Posted by Ann Fuerst, Ph.D., TCC Chief Learning Strategist
This the next post in a multi-part blog series on the business benefits of training an external audience.
Competitive Marketing and Upselling
In a highly competitive world, it is very important to lead the way or question the very existence. External training paves a robust bidirectional communication path between customers and the organization. It helps in educating the customers about the product’s competitive advantage and retains customer loyalty. Phillips Lighting Academy is an excellent example of how the company’s lighting division uses training content and communication to keep the customer updated of its competitive edge. The Academy partners with world-leading experts to deliver up-to-date information and valuable inspiration for its customer segments.
Get to know Your eCommerce Ecosystem
The organization should be well connected to user data and learning processes. Tools such as customer relationship management system (CRM) can be integrated into the functioning process to send updates, view progress and share promotional offers.
Audience Experience Management
Remember, engaging your customer base isn’t about moments, it’s about the lasting relationships fostered out of wowing experiences. Employees, partner, and customers have unique lifecycle experiences with the brand or organization. Imagine facing a regular slow loading issue with a newly purchased Android smartphone. With a customer-centric training organization and ecosystem, the buyer could easily find how-to guides and quick-tips to solve the issue. DIY solutions and self-service interventions can be game-changers.
Audience Persona Mapping
The omnichannel training content ecosystem we discussed above can be aligned to deliver training as per audience behaviors, attitudes, and motivations. Push and Pull type interventions are highly instrumental in helping customer take informed decisions. Add a little craftmanship and a seasoned expertise, external training could be literally transforming customers and partners into brand advocates.
Audience Journey/ Lifecycle Management
An LMS delivers and measures the training impact. With a little additional effort, integration of a digital experience management tool could take your organization above the rest. From onboarding a customer, to customer orientation and nurturing, mapping the customer journey and delivering personalized training experiences becomes a reality. A unified platform allows the customer to be in control and consume training or content at will. Further it also provides the training organization insightful metrics of the customer choices and allows nurturing the customer through personalized communication and content.
The audience engagement journey/ lifecycle can be nurtured with multiple training campaigns.
Welcome/ Onboarding Campaigns
Brand Motivators, Leadership Exchanges, Go-to Paths, Success Stories are all examples of communication goals that can be integrated to training interventions.
Engagement Drip Campaigns
Outgoing or push communications can help stay in touch with customers preventing them from forgetting the brand. Reengagement focused content can direct customers to more interesting or prospective areas. This takes help of data-driven analytics gathered from the customer behaviors. Customer Support campaigns provide opportunity for the customers to share feedback, raise concerns, and connect to right contacts within the organization.
Training interventions in the form of eLearning courses, explainer videos, downloadable e-guides, installable reference guides, interactive job aids, and apps can act as engagement objects at different stages of the customer journey.
Here are some recommended training solutions that help in engaged customer experiences.
Implementing a holistic external training organization offers a plethora of business benefits. The key lies in intelligently mapping training objectives with business goals and establishing a training ecosystem that nurtures this equation.
Additionally, Digital training is a self-service platform and as such, ease of use, adequate help and support, and clear communication and messaging on your site is a must. One bad experience can lose a customer for a lifetime. Therefore, extra caution must be taken to guarantee extraordinary results.
Consider these pointers:
- Select a portal/LMS that makes training external learners (and charging them for it) easy.
- Continuous innovation is key! Don’t let your product sit on the shelf and collect dust. As mentioned before, monotony can lead to decline in sales. Competitors will always try to surpass your service with better marketing tactics. One of the ways to stay ahead of the competition is to always keep your service fresh by modifying packaging, changing prices, or modifying the way a service is offered. Always keep the penny shining!
- Monitor analytics to understand and improve the learner experience. Customer happiness is directly proportional to the success of your organization. Analysis of customer data such as reviews, ratings, feedbacks in any form must be taken in to consideration while making future strategies for the product. This will assist in making wiser and beneficial changes to make certain the company value and returns do not falter.
- Determine how you will measure success. Each organization prefers to measure success of a product or service by certain features. Most organizations measure via the amount of profit they make at the end of a period but there are many other ways including: increase in customers, number of returning customers, shorter inventory time, if the profile is higher or lower, variety of products consumed, and so on. It’s best to use a combination of these metrics to assess the success of your program.
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