You’re app is live! How exciting! But how do you make sure it’s a success? A key factor in your app marketing is your staff’s buy-in. If the staff knows and understands the value of the app, they will be able to relay this information to the customer. The more excited and knowledgeable your employees are about this new piece of technology, the better your app will perform. So, it’s time to train your staff on your business’ new app.
Step #1: Overcome Sceptical Employees
Your new app will boost sales, increase productivity, and improve operations. Regardless of these strong benefits, getting every employee on board can still be a challenge. Employees might be skeptical to adopt any new technology, as they are happy with the status quo. According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, 63% managers said that the pace of technological change in their workplace is too slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency and poor communication about the strategic benefits of new tools.”
The solution to dealing with skeptical employees is allowing them to understand why the app is an improvement from what they had before. The job of a small business owner or manager is to help people cross that bridge, and get them comfortable with the new technology. If your employees see how it will make their jobs easier and better, they will embrace the change.
This is where you state your case, putting forth a compelling “vision for what the technology is and what it’s going to do.” You need to demonstrate that the app offers economic and rational benefits for the business. And even more important is to help them understand what’s in it for them.
- Higher productivity: Your job will become more efficient, as you will spend less time taking phone orders.
- Higher revenue: With more orders coming in, you will be making more tips.
- Happier customers: With the new loyalty program, you will have more positive interactions with customers.
- Direct feedback loop: Customers will be able to share what you did great and where you could improve.
As a small business owner, think of the ways in which you were persuaded to invest in a mobile app. What convinced you that this was the right decision? What benefits are you expecting to see from its implementation? Your employees are probably going to need the same amount of convincing you needed before you started the app project.
Step #2: Prepare Customized Staff Training
It is important to take into account individual differences like interest and familiarity with digital technology. Some of your employees won’t be able to live without their digital devices, while others might have difficulty using their smartphone. Your training efforts should reflect these differences. Think of your employees who struggle the most with adapting to technology.
There are many different training approaches you can use, but your app training will be most efficient if you take a hands-on approach. A face-to-face training is going to be the most impactful and useful method, as you can personally teach your staff the ins and outs of the new app and allow them to ask any questions they have. We suggest calling a meeting with the entire team and start with a presentation on the new app and its functions.
We have created a Staff Training Template that you can fill out for your own business and use to train your staff on your new app. All the slides include examples, so make sure to edit the information so it pertains to your own business — check out the notes under each slide for tips.
Part of this training should also consist of setting specific and measurable goals. These training goals should outline what each employee will be able to accomplish with the new app. You can set a quota for new app downloads, for example. Maybe you want at least 20 downloads per week, and the staff needs to work together to reach this. Keep these goals in mind when training starts to ensure that each employee knows how to reach the objective.
However, simply standing in front of the group and showing them the new technology on a screen is not enough. After the training session, give them a chance to test it out. Have everyone download the app to their own phone and experiment with it. Besides understanding the app’s value, they should also be knowledgeable about how each feature works.
Step #3: Make It Fun
Once your business has fully implemented the mobile app, share the positive impact it is having with your staff. Have you seen a steady increase in loyal members? Have orders or reservations increased? Has your business received new positive reviews? Highlighting these quick wins ensure continued support for the app.
You can make these quick wins even more fun by rewarding employees who have effectively incorporated the app in their daily work duties. You can get creative with this! For example, you can organize a contest where the winner is the employee who got the most customers to download the app. Their prize could be a compensation, a special perk, a recognition, or anything else that would get them motivated. You could hang up a running tally of the employees’ scores in the break room to spark some fun and friendly competition. Experiment with gamification to create a buzz around the mobile app amongst your staff.
Step #4: Provide Feedback
Feedback is one of the most important parts of implementing new technology in a business. Open up the communication channels, so your staff feels comfortable sharing both the positives and negatives of the new app. Ask them how they think the loyalty program is working. Ask them how the mobile ordering workflow is treating them. Ask them how the app has improved their daily tasks. Take their feedback seriously, as your employees are the ones using the app every single day. For instance, if they mention that customers aren’t participating in the loyalty program because the rewards don’t get them excited, it’s time to switch it up. When there are issues, you will be able to tackle them before they spread to your customer base. In turn, you can also give your employees constructive feedback on how they are doing with the app.
The only way your new mobile app is going to exceed expectations is if your staff is 100% on board. They hold the power to make the app a huge success. It is your job as a small business owner to get them as excited about the new app as you are. Customers will pick up on this positivity and be more likely to give the app a try. Feel free to use our Staff Training Template to make training an efficient and motivating experience.