You identified a need for venue management software. You did meticulous market research. You chose a solution that is the best possible fit. But now you’re face to face with the onboarding process – and your enthusiasm is fading fast. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
As an Onboarding Specialist for Ungerboeck, I see this same scenario play out again and again. Clients make a buying decision based on a real need to improve efficiency and reduce mistakes and are thrilled about the future potential. But as onboarding gets near, they get overwhelmed by the information gathering process and misperceptions they might have about the length of the timeline and possible hiccups we may encounter along the way.
The good news is, software onboarding doesn’t have to be painful! Not only is there less to fear than you might think, there are several things clients can do to prepare for the onboarding process that will practically guarantee smooth sailing.
Change is tough for everyone - even more so for smaller or mid-sized venues whose booking and scheduling process up to this point may have consisted of nothing more than a desk calendar and a pencil or a collection of spreadsheets and Word docs. That’s why my first recommendation to clients at the beginning of the software onboarding process is always to make a strong effort to get all users to sign on to the new way of doing business.
If it’s not clear to staff at every level why change is needed, lay it all out on the table. Share what you learned from your research and why you chose the solution you chose. If everyone truly understands how this new event management software is going to make their lives easier, they’ll be more willing to take the steps necessary to put things in place.
Cozy up to Excel
To help our clients prepare for onboarding, we provide a comprehensive onboarding checklist. Essentially, this is just a pre-formatted Excel sheet that provides a framework for the info gathering process everyone’s so nervous about.
A master Excel sheet is probably the easiest way to corral everything you’ll need to get the system set up to work the way you want it to, but it’s not a must. However you can best organize and quantify the way you manage your venue is fine.
A few examples of the kind of information we request from our clients for onboarding purposes:
- A complete list of users and their account info
- A list of your account/client types and all the channels you use to communicate with them
- A list of all the types of events you host, the classifications you use for each and the various status descriptors you use to identify where they’re at in the sales process
- All available spaces/prices and accompanying details
- An inventory of all equipment/resources available for rent in your facility
Getting your head wrapped around everything on this list will have you well on your way to an easy transition.
Keep an Open Mind
For a lot of clients, the simple act of collecting and reviewing all this information about their business processes often leads to moments of clarity on changes that could trigger improvements. It’s also sometimes the case that fresh eyes might be able to spot inefficiencies that have gone unnoticed.
Keeping an open mind to any suggestions for improvements, whether they’re from internal or external sources, not only keeps things running smoothly, it also ensures that you’ll end up with a system that puts you in the best possible position to drive success and growth for your venue.
Make it a Priority
Aside from the practical, need-to-know information gathering, if I could only make one recommendation to clients at the beginning of the onboarding process, it would be to make the transition a priority. Whether or not a client is responsive and committed through every stage is the single biggest factor in determining the ease of software onboarding. Make sure you don’t miss any opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to you during this key time!