Introducing a new telephone operating system can help improve your business company-wide; driving efficiency, saving money, and making communication easier for employees and clients alike. However, bringing a new system online for the first time will inevitably result in some initial hiccups. These can often prevent you from operating at peak efficiency and result in you taking longer to get your system ‘up and running’, despite a lack of quantifiable technical problems.
So, what can cause these early bugbears and what simple steps can be taken to prevent them in the first place?
What do we mean by 'issues'?
In a technical implementation, an ‘issue’ is classed as a client’s inability to adopt a system as quickly as they should following a standard installation. These can take many forms, from a reduced usage rate, staff complaints about integration, or a slower than expected increase in operational effectiveness. When dealing with a platform that offers unified communications as a service, outright failures are rare, but a system’s failure to meet expectations can be all too common.
Fortunately, these issues are not only regularly encountered but relatively straightforward to resolve, albeit with a small degree of preparation and commitment from the client.
A lack of familiarity with the system
One of the biggest obstacles facing the new system users is a lack of familiarity with the new platform, coupled with a reluctance to embrace novel tools. While training in the new system can address this very effectively, failure to maintain staff knowledge and best-practice can rapidly result in ongoing complications.
This can come in the form of staff members who are trained in maintaining the system leaving your business; carrying their embodied knowledge with them as they do so. Alternatively, a large number of new-hires may be unfamiliar with the platform and take time to ‘find their feet’ if they haven’t used a VOIP telecommunications solution before.
While these can be annoying, they can be quickly resolved with a small commitment to training key members of staff in the operation of the system.
Organising ‘train the trainer’ training for these employees can allow them to easily pass their knowledge on to other colleagues. In addition, regular opt-in refresher training for system users can ensure that employees continue to use your system in a way that is efficient and actively tackles any bad habits that may occur. In addition, informal training from competent system users can also help new employees get up to speed quickly and effectively by walking them through ‘real world’ examples.
Lack of checks and validation
When a business chooses to deploy a new communications solution, staff will often work to produce a detailed use case document and work to fully validate the best configuration for deploying the system in your particular working environment. Unfortunately, this diligence can sometimes stop when the platform is finally in place – leaving it ambiguous whether the system was truly fit for purpose and leaving the critical question ‘is the system being used properly’ unanswered. This can be easily addressed by taking preventative action at the outset of the project.
Once the specifications of the system have been agreed, detailing these as a checklist document can provide a quick and valuable aid for analysing future system use. This can also be repurposed as a guide to help employees retain their awareness of how to deploy the system – letting you use cloud storage to circulate the material internally rather than calling time-consuming meetings or dealing with users on a case-by-case basis. In addition, taking the time to ask line managers to check in on how the system is being used can also score a quick win – either through sitting in on the start of relevant calls or walking those that are encountering difficulty through the required steps.
Lack of feedback
A key part of any technical solution involving heavy-use is to capture real-world feedback and make small adjustments to the system as required. Failing to offer a channel to capture critique and opinion can leave employees feeling robbed of their voice and result in an increased rate of dissatisfaction of the system. This results in a loss of useful data that could be used to aid learning and guide training on how to ‘get the most’ out of your new platform.
Failing to capture this will often lead businesses to spend valuable time and resources on discovering the specifics of certain issues or why members of staff fail to use the system. Choosing to embed a simple feedback process can, therefore, end up paying dividends. This should be almost always be anonymised and simple to tender, ensuring that honest critique is not ‘pinned’ to specific users and encouraging others to speak out.
This can result in deploying small but massively effective tweaks to your networking options, deciding on bringing new functionality to the system, or saving money by retiring elements that are rarely used but may have seemed essential on paper.
What is the best way to implement these?
While you can pick and choose which of the above are most relevant – making sure they are carried out properly does not need to be a difficult task. Some simple options include:
Securing a commitment from managers: ‘Onboarding’ managers from the outset of the implementation process will almost always prove to be a huge value-add in the long run. Keeping them informed about the system’s use cultivates a drive for oversight and can help justify the additional time in your budget to fully optimise and maintain your chosen system.
Consulting your implementation specialist: A implementation specialist will have dealt with all the issues your business faces and then some. They can easily help you pre-empt problems and make sure that unforeseen issues are fully addressed. They can also help with the arranging of hands-on training or producing a tailored instructional document that can be internally circulated to system users.
Designating a member of staff: Allocating the responsibilities of information gathering to a member of staff can be useful in collecting questionnaires from users and staying on top of correct system use. This allows individuals to step forward to a single point of contact and streamline communications and avoid confusion.
Get in touch with our team here at Immervox for all the help you need when it comes to relocation. We're more than happy to offer you any advice when it comes to transferring your systems to a new workplace, as well as doing the tricky installations for you.