Zenarate AI Coach Blog

You’re Ready for Better Training, Hooray! Now, let’s make sure you’re actually ready.

I’ve worked with hundreds of different customers looking to improve their training, integrate coaching best practices, and change the ways their employees learn. My biggest takeaway is that there is always something new to discover on the journey. No two customers need the same things to make the changes they are looking for, because no two customers start from the same place, or have the same destination in mind. But no matter the situation, there are some things that can help make the changes stick and reach the outcomes you’re looking for.

My role at Zenarate is to make sure that our clients reach their maximum potential working with AI Coach and that starts with ensuring they are set up for success from the beginning.

I come at this from the perspective of how you can incorporate AI simulation training into your stack, but the change management guidance here would be helpful for any new technology you’re looking to bring onboard.

  1. Gather the right team from the start

Many times, we start our conversations around improving training and coaching with members of the L&D team. They come into the situation having watched the use case develop and thinking about how the team will really use the product from day one. They also understand how to deliver things effectively and can quickly conceptualize how the content strategies will work. However, if L&D is the only group in the conversation, I’ve found that you’re missing not only the full value/benefits of the product but also potential budget centers or beneficiaries that can help drive the case home. Including business owners early in the conversation to align specific outcomes and needs helps build the consensus that will ultimately make the decision much easier and create universal buy-in. While they may not strictly need to be involved in the buying process, their commitment will ensure teams are using the product and will remove barriers to a successful launch. Bring in teams that know the ROI factors like Quality and Operations groups, Process SMEs, and experts in change management to give different viewpoints and expand the potential benefits. One big Caveat! Bring big picture thinkers from these groups into the conversation only! Solutioning or getting hung up on a single point of contention early in the process can stop you in your tracks, at this point you are looking to collect people that can be positively impacted by the ideas that you’re bringing to the table and want to see improvements in their team’s performance.

2. Understand your existing landscape

This step is easier said than done, driven largely by the fact that many people start, deploy, attempt or even think about ways that you can change your current operations and results. Different parts of your business may have different approaches, techniques or just philosophies surrounding what they want to accomplish, which will inform how they join your process in decision making. Your existing landscape includes the tools, resources, people, and outcomes that are being measured. If you want to make a new decision and gather buy-in, knowing how others operate, and speaking their language will help you do that quickly. Start by gathering information and understanding the challenges that still exist in these various environments. Knowing what has already been done to solve a challenge, and why it did or didn’t work will make your business case stronger and more easily rallied behind.

3. Start Small, but Plan Big

I’ve seen the deployment of new solutions go sideways, even well optimized ones. In my experience, this is due to one of two causes.

Either – A focused area receives attention for launch, with a dedicated team working to hit KPIs and ensure things are going well (Awesome!). But… the decision makers and business owners hand this over to a project team to implement and a larger vision never sees the light of day.

Or – Teams prepare a large and complex rollout to impact multiple areas of the business at once (Big Results!), however quickly find that without some built in expertise and experience with the use cases and tools, only the best resourced departments and those making the rollout happen fastest ever see any benefit.

So what do we do? Take the best of both worlds. The best rollouts of SaaS products throughout an Enterprise environment involve starting with a well-structured and manageable launch. Then, using the learnings from that launch, they quickly follow with a scalable routine. You don’t want to lose sight of those amazing things you can accomplish with a tool by getting too bogged down in the day-to-day, but you also need to make sure you’re learning from each experience when using a new product. We recommend keeping your project teams and business leaders in a consistent cadence of working together to continually reach new outcomes and take advantage of new features, while also sharing what you need to make those big hairy audacious goals come to fruition.

4. Prepare to track your Return or as we like to say “Measure what Matters”

The question that always comes up, and it should, is “what impact did we actually see with this change?” It can take a long time to move from discovering a problem, researching potential solutions, selecting one, and implementing it to seeing the impact of the changes and decisions you made. During that time, your business changes, other processes change, and priorities that you hadn’t considered suddenly creep up your list. To really know the impact of any change you’re making, you need to decide how you will measure it from the beginning, and what is an acceptable range of outcomes you would be happy with. You’ll need to be able to measure a before and after, which means you’ll need to make sure you have a way to collect that data now and try to filter out any noise that you may be seeing from other factors. Save yourself the headache later and align on your expected outcomes, measurements, and ROI desires before you start implementing!

At Zenarate, we’re aware of the pitfalls that can happen while you’re implementing something new, and we’re here to help navigate those waters. You should always ask your vendors for client examples, references, and to dive into your rollout planning with you. I recently worked with a National Bank, who saved months on their rollout, avoided multiple resources being allocated and bypassed an unnecessary security review. All because we involved the right people early and understood the existing landscape. With that information, our team was able to make suggestions to change their content strategy and tools usage that helped us start small but plan big. As we finish their implementation, I’m looking forward to seeing the results come in, and celebrating the victories and milestones the team accomplishes.

To learn more feel free to reach out to one of our Ai Coach experts or join one of our Zenarate Open Office Hours!
Screenshot 2024 05 09 at 2.16.36 PM
Liz Powell
Head of Account Management at Zenarate | + posts

Liz is a CS Senior Leader, known for driving success through strategic thinking, diverse collaboration, and a commitment to excellence in every customer relationship. As a seasoned customer experience (CX) expert, Liz has an understanding of CX needs and preferences, identifying opportunities for enhancing the CX journey, prioritizing customer satisfaction and retention.

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