Question

Assisting users who really struggle with the move from Outlook to Front

  • 2 November 2023
  • 8 replies
  • 236 views

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Question for the community. Has anyone had someone they have setup Front for, and they simply do not get how it works? Totally stuck within the Outlook realm no matter how many training sessions, and guidance you have given? Keen to understand how others have overcome this. 


8 replies

Userlevel 3
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Hi Steve!

This is a great question. Thank you for asking it.

I’ve been using Front for nine years. First as a customer, but now as an employee. I would have the issue in reverse 😅 I can certainly understand that change is hard, but we see it happen every day.

I look forward to hearing what others have to say, but I wanted to share a few ideas. 

  • Ask them shadow another employee who’s using Front well.
  • After they’ve completed the trainings (I’ve listed more below), ask them to get a Front Administrator Certification. This will help test their knowledge on what they’ve been taught.

You mentioned they have already gone through training, but I wanted to share a few additional links they may not have come across.

I hope that helps! 

Userlevel 1
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Hi Steve, 

 

This is a really great question and I totally had some of the same struggles. This was especially true when working with Sales people who had been doing things their way for decades. It’s hard to implement something new when, in their mind, they have a system that works and has worked for a long time. 

 

The things that made the biggest difference for me, were the following. 

 

  1. Ensure certain updates and information were only provided within Front. For example, sales huddle links etc. were only sent in Front Discussions. That required everyone to login to Front. 
  2. Find out what they felt was the simplest in Outlook and how Front also solves for those things. Calendar, Mobile App, Tags vs. Folders, etc. 
  3. Lastly, for those who didn’t feel that they were lacking anything, I was able to gain buy in by incorporating champions or early adopters on the team and having them share how Front has helped them in their role. For example, how Front has helped them keep up with pipeline via the Salesforce integration. How commenting has allowed them to get answers quicker from peers. Etc. 

 

I know it’s not easy, but those are the things along with incredible patience that helped me. 

 

Thanks,
Ryan 

Userlevel 4
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A Find & Follow Strategy May Help


Change is never easy, and traditional training methods, even when you have great resources like Front provides, often fall short for many users.  Does your organization utilize task-specific training that guides employees in the using software tools like Front, to accomplish specific tasks?  If not, that might be something worth considering.  We are hopeful that Front’s new Knowledge Base offering matures quickly, so it can be used as an Intranet-only accessible resource for this purpose.  If you’re not familiar with the Knowledge Ops Maturity Model and the Find & Follow method of transferring knowledge, I encourage you to check out the following book: Find & Follow: Reduce Supervisor Burnout & Improve Employee Performance by Transferring Knowledge Faster 

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I found the training course to be really effective for some of them. However, most of them are still having a hard time because they believe that the folder structure on Outlook is easier and more manageable.

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Echoing a few thoughts from above, I think being able to watch someone use the product efficiently can really help. It’s less about “here’s how you do the things you used to do in Outlook in Front” and more about “here are all of the ways that Front can help you work.” We’re part of a portfolio company and have done this for entire teams of people from other business units prior to their moving into Front - just demonstrating our processes and workflows so they can see how Front helps us.

Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to keep pushing your team to use Front in new ways. Most of our processes would be impossible to execute in Outlook now, so it isn’t even a question. Front is just the tool that can accomplish what we need. And I’ve found that, once somebody really dips their toes in, they have very little desire to go back to Outlook or another mail client. Even if you take out all of the specialized features, Front is just a better email client overall.

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I think the biggest thing that helped me was understanding that the end goal of using Front is to achieve 0 open conversations in your inbox. Coming from a medical background, the idea of “triage” made a ton of sense to me. Being able to utilize the snooze feature to organize things that can be dealt with later in the week, vs needing immediate attention, really helped me and my team when we were first getting set up in Front. 

I treat my inbox as my list of tasks I’m actively working on. If the email doesn’t contain critical info that I’m needing to reference in the next hour or so, I will snooze or archive the email. Taking full advantage of the snooze function is what really opened my eyes to the power of Front over Outlook or Gmail.  

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We’ve take the path of having managers of each department in our company be the Front champions. They all got Front first, they forced themselves to remove outlook from their desktops and mobile phones and strictly use Front.

Each employee has their own way of managing their outlook inbox and folders, tasks, calendar and todos. By having their manager already versed in Front helped adoption, the minute one of their employees struggled with a concept or said something like “I used to be able to”, we were able to jump right in and solve the issue and show them how to do that same thing in Front, but BETTER!

Change is always hard but having champions that bring positivity and confidence tends to be infectious!

 

-Eric 

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This is a great question and something that I have been nervous about through our implementation phase.

We have split our implementation up across each department, launching within our IT teams first and we will then be following up with my team in customer service.

What I have found really successful is getting senior members of my team on board early to act as Front champions across the entire team. We have then been able to control communication throughout the wider team, gradually introducing them to the concept of Front and then building up to become hands on. They have been able to be supported by their supervisor and training has become a lot more casual rather than a formal classroom type scenario.

We also have a Business Performance team who have been able to create a bespoke guide, tailored to our business. It has made instructions/guidelines/tips more accessible.

There are some great tips listed in this thread that I will be referring back to if we run into any issues as we complete our implementation.

All the best

Mike

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