How to: Train Customers to Utilize Your Custom Software

You are ready to release your custom software. You have your onboarding process created to ensure your customers feel welcomed and supported in the journey they have started with your company. Now, you need to design a training program that will give them the tools they need to implement your software solution.

We pride ourselves in creating software that is user friendly and intuitive to use. Good UI design requires little to no formal training to use the software. However, there are tools that are more than simply teaching “where to click” for a particular option. Sometimes the greater “why” of the custom software needs to be talked about. This is especially true if you’re selling your custom software to another company for use in their organization.

For example, one of our clients, Become Unmistakable has implemented a tool called uMap. The design of the product is easy to use, but there needs to be an understanding beyond the software that is helpful to get the most out of the tool.

So, how do you go about training the people who are going to implement this custom software in their organizations? What is the best method? What should you focus on? 

Creating the Right Kind of Training for Your Custom Software

Avoid ‘Sit and Get’ Training

One of our amazing clients, Danielle Bouwhuis of Become Unmistakeable, recently told us a great piece of advice that she has found when it comes to training: Avoid “sit and get” style training. 

A “sit and get” is the kind of training that everyone dreads. You get people in one room, sit them behind a desk, and talk at them all day. They will diligently take notes but, odds are, they will never look at them again. It’s also unlikely that they will actually remember anything you’ve “taught” them. According to Danielle, “sit and get” training fails to create the new neural pathways that are needed for us to retain new information. 

This is the reason why, pre-COVID lockdowns, Become Unmistakeable resisted offering virtual training options as a matter of course. They wanted to ensure that they provided the most engaging, most interactive, most effective training they could so that the admins and internal champions felt like they could go back home and successfully train end-users on the ins, outs, and benefits of their new software.

Embrace Virtual and Highly Interactive Training

Along with the rest of the world, BU has been forced into needing to embrace virtual training. What they have found as they have been forced into the virtual training world is that it’s just as possible to provide personalized, interactive, and engaging training in a virtual setting. And now? Now there are very few people that don’t engage in their training! Danielle estimates that about 90% of their customers take part in their training. 

“Our product is all about people and we found lots of value with our in-person training sessions. But with the proliferation of video conference tools, it has been easy to make it as impactful and special as in-person training,” says Danielle.

BU is a great example of prioritizing highly interactive training and being able to make adjustments to continue that same model. But, no matter how the training is happening in an organization, the two most important questions that need to be asked are:

What are we trying to accomplish during this training? What do we want our customers to walk away with?

Training Towards a Goal

The answer is likely more simple than you think. You want your training to ensure your customers feel successful from day one and can go back home and provide a similar training experience for the ultimate end users. This includes creating accessible materials on tips, tricks, and places to start with their software that engages the users from the first glance.

According to Danielle with BU, “We train for the level down. We focus on training the admins and internal champions to be able to provide the level of engaging training that employees and users will need to embrace the product.”

One part of training development that is critical for accomplishing these goals is the creation of activity cards and take-away materials. These enable customers to practice skills and activities in the software environment on their own time to make sure they understand them and can explain them to others. The beauty of this method is that if someone needs to help your organization can always be there to walk them through it. 

Be on the lookout for the third and final installment of this series where we’ll cover everything you need to know about the on-going support for your users.

Custom Software Resources

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