Confessions of a Jim2 User
Tags: Accounting   Support   Email   Tips   Team   Training   ERP  
11/07/2012 11:47 AM

By Renee Pimentel

Prior to working at Happen Business, I was a long term user of Jim2 software in two businesses (one of which I owned). It was well over 12 years ago that I was trained by the ‘Rock Star’ himself (aka Paul Berger, MD), and I used the software almost every working day since that implementation. I thought of myself as a stellar Jim2 user.

Having studied accounting, I also awarded myself the title of Super Bookkeeper.

So what else did Jim2 offer during those years that I didn’t already know? Obviously I never gave much thought to what the ‘Russian’ (Ernest/Jim2 Software Developer) and his team were creating over those 12 years.

Now I do admit to occasions when I had become a highly frustrated user, wasting oodles of time, often expressing this by resorting to the software user's vernacular.

Rarely (okay, almost never) during these times did I consult help, read any supplied documentation, attempt to navigate through the online menu, locate the Happen website support section, read an informative Release Note, send an email seeking free support, or consider valuable onsite or remote training. I was always too busy. My preferred method of removing immense frustration – abandon task! Sound insane? Yes, but apparently I shared this behaviour with others.

There’s no shortage of information to indicate that usability problems tend to induce frustration, and large loss of time. Software users these days demand high levels of functionality, but sometimes this can leave them perplexed, and yet rarely will they access documentation, either printed or online, for help.

Generally it seems people have negative attitudes towards manuals and printed material, and although online help is slightly more popular, it doesn’t rate as a well-accessed source.

The most likely option the user will take to solve any problems is to ask someone else (usually a colleague). Professionals claim that they don’t have the time to read the documentation. Do these users perceive the time cost of reading documentation, for example Release Notes, greater than all the potential benefits gained from the new enhancements and functionality?

Funnily enough, irrespective of users’ limited response to Help options and lack of desire to read documentation, research suggests users often rate themselves as being reasonably proficient operators.

On the flip side, software developers have access to an abundance of information when considering how best to empower users and motivate them to learn. Numerous sources claim to have the answers to the problems we face when trying to engage users to access Help options. Clearly this is a well debated discussion.

These days I am part of the Jim2 Support team – yes, the irony. I’ve since discovered that I missed out on a hell of a lot of functionality Jim2 offered during those 12 years. It’s now my mission to make sure you don’t.

In March we began our email campaign to assist users with preparing for the end of the financial year. We emailed detailed documentation.

In April, May, and June we repeated the email. I hope you found this useful, timely and informative.

Further to our end of year email campaign, we were then able to offer free email support for those users who required more assistance with the end of year tasks. And further still, we were available at the end of the phone to guide you if required. Pretty unique support, hey?

We will continue our quest to try and reach out in an attempt to inspire users to further their learning. We want to keep you right up to date on the exciting developments of your Jim2 software. Our ultimate goal is to empower you with Jim2 knowledge and skills to ensure you are much more than just a reasonably proficient user.

I cannot report that I have the answer that will ensure we will succeed at seducing you into reading what we provide. Feel free to share any of your ideas.

However, it is most evident from our experience that users who sought a knowledgeable person, or Help document/menu, invariably reduced frustration and made for much happier, effective Jim2 users.

It’s got to make sense to give it a go.

Access our Help at:

About Renee

Renee works in support at Happen Business, and was involved in the very first site implementation of Jim2 years ago when working for a Wholesale Business.

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