When companies invest in new audiovisual (AV) technology, they have a tendency to forget one of the most critical parts of implementation: training users. Some companies even view training as too much of an investment, a waste of time, or believe that their employees will simply blow it off. Unfortunately, it’s an easy trap that many companies fall into.

It’s a simple cause and effect: if your employees don’t know how to use technology, they will avoid it. Rooms sit unutilized and productivity plummets. Over the last few years, I’ve written several blogs about ways companies can maximize efficiencies and productivity. There’s one running theme throughout them all: success hinges on the satisfaction of your users. When you have dissatisfied employees who don’t use your capital expenditures – from remote video calls to conference rooms – your company loses money.

Start saving money by training your users to properly use capital expenses. When employees know how to get the most from their technology, they work smarter, harder, and better. Through working with our clients to develop user training programs, we’ve found three key ways companies have uncovered true savings.

1. Extend Your Technology’s Upgrade Cycle

Here’s a common scenario I hear from clients. When employees don’t use a conference room or collaboration space, leaders try to encourage usage by updating the AV technology. Decision-makers tend to translate common complaints like, “I don’t like this room,” “This is too hard to use,” or “It doesn’t work” to “This is the end of the technology’s lifecycle.” In reality, updating technology doesn’t always solve the real problem. A year or even a few months go by, and employees say the same thing. It’s an endless cycle.

These common grievances from your employees are a strong indicator of frustration and intimidation from technology, rather than something that is broken or nonfunctional. When a user can’t figure out how to use a conference room or space won’t work for them, it’s easy to say that it’s broken. On the flip side, employees who know how to properly and efficiently utilize your assets won’t create or propagate an “if it doesn’t work for me, it’s broken” fallacy. Instead, you will have satisfied users who confidently utilize the technology the way it was meant to be used, and you won’t have to reinvest in technology upgrades every couple of years.

2. Prove to Employees that You Value Their Time

When employees don’t know how to use an asset like a conference room, they waste time waiting for the service desk to fix it or trying to figure it out themselves. A lot of time. To the tune of three whole days per employee a year. Doesn’t sound like much? How does a $250,000 loss per year sound? Now I have your attention.

The dollars and time lost may be significant enough for you to invest in user training, but have you thought about what three wasted days mean to an employee? They’re angry at the technology, frustrated at their own wasted time, and are left rushing to finish tasks. This leads to a decline in work quality and potential missed deadlines. User training provides a win-win solution for both you and your employees. Not only do you see dollars saved, but your users work productively and happily.

3. Decrease the Burden on Your Help Desk

Over half of calls to the help desk are due to a lack of training. Users get tired of trying to fix something themselves, don’t know simple “user error” workarounds or are just so fed up with a conference room that they don’t even try. This causes your service desk to be overrun with simple errors that they resolve again and again. Mechdyne discovered firsthand how creatively addressing this problem fixes things for your support team and your users.

At one of our client sites, we developed the Proactive Client Information Program (PCIP) to train employees to fix user error issues on their own. We identified repeat issues such as setting the correct audio source, connecting to a meeting, or duplicating displays. Our service team built a step-by-step written and video process for resolving these issues and provided it to the client’s users. The result? A 40-percent reduction in repeat issues with 90 percent of users not calling back for the same issues. That alone is proof that user training really does work in cultivating satisfied and productive users.

Training Strategies

Understanding the benefits of user training is the first step in implementing a solution that truly works for your organization. Keep a lookout for the second part of this blog series, in which I will discuss some strategies for how to develop and implement the best user training program for your organization.