“Hello? Is anyone out there?” I found myself asking while delivering one of my first live online classes. I’m having a “black hole syndrome” moment, and I’m panicked that I lost my connection and stranded my students. There are many reasons to launch a live online program, but how are you engaging students and ensuring they learn something?
You finally create a course or three with your small team, and customers buy your instructor-led training offerings. Congratulations. Now, how to meet the growing demand to deliver classes across the globe? Explore live online training.
When it comes to customer education programs, most training teams focus on the development and delivery, as that's where their strengths are. Yet there are other equally important aspects that have significant impacts on customer outcomes too. I'm talking about the sales and marketing of training programs, as well as analysis and reporting. And given that there are entire disciplines centered on these topics, it's no wonder many education teams are ignoring them.
I know what you're thinking. Or at least I know what your management team is asking you to think and then do.
One of the biggest mistakes I see made in hand-on training activities is a lack of clear instructions for what to do in the activity. How many times have you been in a training course, the trainers says, “OK. Now you try it.” Most of the class looks up and says, “Wait. What do you want us to do?”
It is no secret that learning management systems (LMSs) have low customer satisfaction rates. Brandon Hall's research shows that 45% of customers are satisfied with their LMS, and 47% of people surveyed are seeking a new LMS. Two of the six top reasons why people are so dissatisfied are: 1) poor reporting features; and 2) inability to adapt to changing needs. In a fast moving world, number two is a difficult challenge for any software provider building a product to satisfy customer needs. Customer education professionals have fast moving and unique needs, and it seems LMSs are chasing these needs with little success.
Part of the process of creating customer education programs is to know what happens after participants take the training. Metrics are a good way of analyzing how the program is doing. You can look at the number of participants, the number of completions, the feedback you received, product usage, customer outcomes, and more.
As a customer education professional, you know how important it is to measure your program's' effectiveness. You want to make sure that it meets the needs of the participants and meets the business goals you set out for it. However the thought of doing a deep dive into your training program's results is scary. Probably because that means wading through a stack of paper feedback forms or attempting to use a database program that has more options and features than NASA Mission Control.
Customer data breaches are an unfortunate example of what can happen when companies are not careful about protecting data. For companies with large pools of sensitive, protected, or confidential data, it is vital that precautions are taken to ensure data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
When valuable time is put into developing and selling software and then educating your customers to use it, it’s important to make sure your customers actually learn how to use your software. However, the challenge with any software implementation is making sure users aren't just knowledgeable about using a tool, but that they can perform job tasks with your software.