Onboarding plays a crucial role in the adoption of any new system, and in the case of your digital communications platform, it is even more important. One of the most common adoption barriers in platforms like these is a lack of employee investment. When some departments are making use of the platform and others are sticking to older legacy systems, it can be impossible to get the full benefit offered by your digital communications platform. It can result in disjointed communications, having an impact on everything from marketing campaigns to customer service. With that in mind, taking some time to consider ways to make the onboarding process easier makes all the difference for platform adoption. In this guide, we share some ideas on how to get your team invested, so that your entire company is on board.
Getting Your Team Invested in Your Digital Communications Platform
Before we share some strategies for improving the onboarding process, it helps to ask why it is so hard to get everyone on the same page in the first place. There are a few adoption barriers to overcome – some more challenging than others. Some of the most common barriers include:
- Complicated platforms that are difficult to learn and understand
- Lack of preparation before new platforms are implemented
- Outdated legacy systems that have been in place for years
- Discomfort and wariness of moving over to new systems
- Force of habit in doing things the way they've always been done
Understanding these barriers will go a long way in making it easier for your entire team to embrace your new digital communications platform. Here are some strategies you can then put into place.
Start preparing your teams early
As we mentioned above, lack of preparation is a major adoption barrier. From an employee perspective, this makes a lot of sense. At every level, from C-suite down to management and other employees, the transition to a new system is not automatic. People are not robots. They need a bit of time to know what to expect. They also need to know why the new system is being put into place and how it will benefit them directly. They need to know how long the transition period will be so that they can prepare to make the move over to a new system. Many may have questions or concerns about training gaps, making them wary of learning a whole new platform (more on that later).
The preparation process can include a few steps. The most important step is to let your teams know as early as possible. Keeping them involved in the process goes a long way in helping them see the many benefits that the new platform will offer. It will also allow time for any training that may be needed while addressing concerns and developing a company-wide plan for the implementation.
Address concerns proactively
It is natural for many employees to have a lot of questions and concerns. New systems can be scary at first – especially after years of using older systems. No matter how simple the system may be, it will still require a learning curve. Failing to invite feedback across the board is a big mistake that can jeopardise adoption. Rather than implementing new systems and then waiting for your teams to give feedback, be proactive. Find out the biggest concerns employees may have about moving to a new system.
Find out whether they understand the need for the new platform and the benefits it will offer to them as well as their customers. When you address these concerns early, before the implementation, it will be easier for your teams to start using the tools. They will feel more comfortable, now that their questions have been answered. Some may still find the adoption a bit stressful but it will be far less difficult than it would be if their concerns were not addressed. Making teams feel part of the process gives peace of mind. It also motivates teams to embrace new systems, because they feel heard. This is far better than going ahead without any feedback or input
Make the transition as smooth as possible. Even with input and preparation, making the move from an outdated system to a fully integrated digital communications platform can be challenging. Platforms that automate everything from marketing to debt collection, billing, and other customer functions can be especially overwhelming at first. Numerous companies have relied on older systems – even manual systems – for years. Suddenly moving over to a system that automates digital communications functions such as customer invoicing requires adjustment. Expecting everyone to make the move as soon as systems are up and running is a big mistake that can affect adoption greatly. Even if you plan the implementation over a longer time frame, it can still be a process.
The best way to make the transition go as smoothly as possible is to provide training and then aim for a gradual transition. This is why preparation is so essential. When your teams are prepared for the new platform to be implemented, they are more likely to be ready to start the transition. That does not mean that they will be ready to start using the many tools offered within the platform immediately, however. Training can greatly help during the transition. Making a slower move from legacy systems, integrating tools slowly is always advised. For example, you could start by automating your debt collection processes and other related processes. You could then begin to implement marketing automation tools.
Making a slower transition will streamline the process. It will give you a far better chance of getting your teams on board without the risk of overwhelming them with a completely new system. These are just a few of the ways that you can plan your implementation with minimal stress. You should expect some hiccups along the way, of course. Making a complete move takes time and patience. Learning is a process, after all. But, with the right planning and approach, you will soon find that onboarding becomes easier across your company.
Ready to get started? Contact Grapevine Interactive today and let us show you how our digital communications platform engages, improves, and streamlines all of your business functions.