By Susan Saldibar

Sometimes learning to use a new software app takes me back to when I was a kid doing homework and my mom would say, “Just read the instructions.”

Remember those days? Forget reading instructions. We’d just try to figure stuff out on our own. It took longer and with predictably terrible results.

What if we put first grade teachers in charge of teaching us how to use new software? 

Think about what that looks like.

  • We’d get easy, bite sized lessons.
  • We could learn on a computer (videos, tutorials).
  • We could ask the teacher questions when we were stuck.
  • We’d get empathy when we screw up and high-fives when we “got it.”

So why did it take decades of unread user manuals to figure out that we don’t want to “read the instructions”?!

For WelcomeHome (a Foresight partner) this is a no-brainer. They built a whole department around making sure every user is supported in his or her learning style. It’s part of how they run their revolutionary CRM software organization. People really do come first.

Guess who their education specialist is. (You knew this was coming.) A former first grade teacher! 

No joke. And she’s a rock star. Her name is Ashley Stevenson, and she joined a recent Marketing Monday episode (watch here) to chat with WelcomeHome’s Chris Mohrman and Foresight’s Leigh Ann Hubbard about why it’s so hard to get users to actually use some of the great software that’s out there.

Turns out, there are a lot of reasons. But most of them can be addressed by listening to the students and meeting them where they are.

A few lessons learned:

1. People want learning to be fast, easy, and their way. I love how WelcomeHome has totally deep-sixed manuals. If you remember the ’80s, you know what I’m talking about. No more thumbing through a ton of text. Now it’s about identifying the best learning method for each child (sorry, adult) and providing it to them. So,

a. Short, easy to read and use guides that walk you through steps and issues.

b. GIFs and screenshots for an instant “I get it.”

c. Video tutorials that get right to the point.

d. Searchable short answers to questions. Minus all the fluff.

2. People want to learn on their schedule, not yours. So all these great materials and methods should be accessible 24/7.

3. Sometimes we all need a human. I do not mean someone paid (poorly) to simply read off the same FAQ database you just finished combing through on their website. Really knowledgeable folks (like teachers) who know the software inside and out. The kind you can hop on a quick Zoom call with and work through the problem once and for all.

Software support that makes users sing? 

Finally, I hope Ashley and Chris are right when they say they’re seeing more software companies define their brands with customer service. We’ve heard this for years, and it’s become a throwaway line: “Our service is great.” No it’s not. Not for most software companies.

But it is for WelcomeHome. Which reminds me of Ashley’s favorite Zoom call with a client who was so glad she got the help she needed that she broke into song. No kidding.

When was the last time your CRM support got that reaction from your team?

Check out WelcomeHome’s demo. Learn about the CRM built from the ground up by listening and learning from users like you. With a learning experience that satisfies the first grader in all of us.

Now that’s something to sing about.