We live and breathe Way We Do every day, so there is a risk for us to take what we do for granted and overestimate how well our customers understand just what they can achieve in their business through our platform. We’re always here to help with your questions, but we also know that sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that you may not know what questions to ask! If there’s ever a problem you have – no matter how ephemeral or embryonic it may be – you can always reach out to us. We see ourselves as an extension of your team, and we’re always happy to help you work through your business challenges, and maybe even help you with some potential ideas and solutions. After all, a problem shared… as the saying goes.
As usual, we’ve been beavering away over the past 12 months to make Way We Do better for everyone, and amongst all this development, we’ve been keenly aware that we need to build in more educational opportunities so you can get the best bang for your Way We Do buck.
We launched the first of these opportunities in August and September this year, starting in Australia with live workshops in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with plans for similar events in the UK and US.
But Way We Do is all about learning to leverage our capabilities, and do more with less, so we also developed a webinar series we could deliver in parallel with the workshops – something we could refine over time, and repeat on demand.
As a result, we went into the Australian workshops not just with the intention of teaching, but also of learning. We were thrilled to be able to successfully achieve both objectives (though not quite what we expected in some cases!). The workshop attendees told us the events opened their eyes to the full potential of Way We Do, and gave them clarity on what they could do in their business and how — regardless of whether they were new users, or more experienced. Tim Caruana, project manager at software company, Web Ninja, observed how the workshop gave him new insights into using Way We Do, even as a four-year veteran user.
(check out his full testimonial here).
And what did we learn? Read on…
1. Events created community and connections
As a “software as a service” (SaaS) business, much of our communication happens via online channels around sales and support, so the greatest positive outcome for us was being able to connect personally with our clients. It created a new opportunity for conversation with those who could make the live event, and those who wanted to (but couldn’t). The personal and constructive feedback we got from those who came along highlighted what we love about systems and Way We Do: That you’re all working towards being the best you can be in your businesses and your roles. And we love being part of that.
“I think I spend enough time on screens,” said Amanda Scott, from Farm House and Milk Bar cafes, who attended the Brisbane workshop. In her testimonial, Amanda also added how she enjoyed spending time with other business people who were managing similar issues, and sharing their solutions. Hear more of what Amanda had to say about the workshop in her video testimonial.
2. Being global and local at the same time – in the right time zone
This was a bit of a reminder! Maybe we tried to do too much – but that’s the way it is sometimes. When we announced our webinars as “4pm eastern time”, our US clients and our Australian clients alike thought we meant 4pm in their respective time zones. Talk about your rookie mistakes!
When we realized what had happened, we quickly organized a 4pm webinar for the Aussies. (No matter how committed you may to your business, no one is going to be fired up about a 6am webinar!) A flurry of extra communications later, and some very long days for us, and we got to keep our commitment to our clients. And it was a great lesson well learned! Wherever your clients may be around the world, it’s important to still be able to connect with them at a local level (and in the correct time zone!).
3. Webinars, workshops and the dilemma of choice…
We held our “Systems and Automation” workshops Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, but while we were promoting them, we were also promoting our webinar series. While we had great turnouts in Brisbane and Sydney, the numbers in Melbourne were lower than we expected – we suspect because we had been promoting both event types to our Melbourne audiences at the same time. One attendee who went the other way and cancelled her webinar registration in favor of the face-to-face format of the workshop was Peta, a senior staffer at a Brisbane insurance brokerage. For Peta, the workshop gave her the chance to learn from other attendees as well, in a dynamic environment. But we know everyone learns differently, and that it’s important to help everyone access what they need in a way that suits them.
With our next round of events, we’ll focus on hosting and promoting a single type for each region, so there are no dilemmas around which one to attend.
4. Listen carefully, and be prepared to change
The first half of our first workshop went swimmingly. We shared information about the systems and features of Way We Do that support business owners in implementing procedures and processes within their organizations. Everyone was positive! The second half of the day focused on automation. Our plan was to help participants build automations, so they could develop the basic skills and confidence they’d need to implement “zaps” and “flows” once they got back to their offices. Unfortunately, some of the participants found it harder than we’d expected.
One participant found the confidence she’d gained from the morning session fading quickly in the afternoon. However, the key lesson we were able to share with all our participants as a result, was that you don’t have to learn all of this yourself. It’s about understanding what you can achieve in your business, even if you need to delegate the actual execution to a member of your immediate team, or to Way We Do or IT services partner as your extended team.
Nevertheless, we took the feedback on board, and adjusted our later workshops to demonstrate automation at a high level, rather than building them together. Our participant feedback ratings for this segment went from 3 stars out of 5 to full marks, so we knew we’d hit the right mark. We will later create advanced automation workshops for those that want to delve into technical details.
5. Feedback is a must
Regardless of whether it’s your first time or your fortieth, getting feedback from your customers or end users is critical. For us, the workshops and webinars were a first, so we wanted to learn all we could from those who took the time to learn with us. The feedback we got helped us see that we were on the right track, and understand what we could refine and improve to enhance participants’ experience for future events.
Among the lessons we learned from this experience, our participants were still excited by all the things they learned. Here are some of the more common responses we got to our question of what they liked best.
- “Seeing the checklists and processes in action.”
- “Learning about Way We Do’s automation and integration capabilities.”
- “Building a stronger understanding of Way We Do, and learning how to use it, particularly from a beginner’s perspective.”
- “Getting new ideas and insights into what we can implement into our business.”
For our final feedback question, “Would you recommend this workshop to others?”, the response was unanimous: “Yes!”
Despite the hitches we encountered on our journey, the overall result was a gratifying and humbling success. And we certainly couldn’t have done it without the support of the Way We Do user community – your feedback, questions, and insights have helped us learn the most significant lesson of all from this endeavor: We need to help Way We Do users learn more about how to get the best from us, and our software, through education and hands-on support. So if you missed the earlier workshops and webinars, just stay tuned. There’ll be much more to come.
Watch the highlights reel from our Brisbane “Systems and Automations” workshop for a glimpse of what it’s like to spend a day with Way We Do.