We've been talking a lot about certifications lately, whether they're worth it for employees, candidates, and employers. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Many companies are developing their own certification programs as a companion to customer education, which are then becoming industry standards for technologies (like the Microsoft or Oracle Certifications).
A show of hands out there: how many of you are thinking of converting your live training courses into eLearning?
Training surveys are one of THE most used tools in the customer education manager's toolbox. Surveys can impact everything from course design to facilitator hirings. The problem with most surveys is that they're not used properly. They're too long, go un-answered, don't provide actionable data, or just pile up in someone's desks, never to be used.
Earlier this week I was talking to a former colleague who's a director in a technology organization, and she recently attended a two-day training session. When I asked her how it went, she told me it was a good course, lots of good information, but she didn't like that it was only open to other managers from her organization. She would have preferred the course have attendees from other organizations so she could hear about their experiences too.
Many of today's technology companies use an Agile methodology to develop their software, like Scrum, Adaptive software development (ASD), Crystal Clear methods, and Extreme Programming (XP.) Many more use Agile in their non-software development business processes like marketing and product management. The iterative and collaborative nature of Agile allows people to focus on more than just the end product. Learning designers who are tired of the inflexible approach of ADDIE and more waterfall-related development methodologies might want to take a look at Agile and see how it can work for them.
It's difficult to know what customers want in general, but this is especially true when it comes to their education needs. Customers say one thing but then want another. There's a clear discrepancy between customer feedback and the numbers you gather from your education programs. How can customer education managers balance the two to truly determine what education their customers need and then create the right offerings for them?
I have a confession: I'm not a big fan of videos. Any time I see one on a website or in an online course I'm interested in, I tend to click away. Or look for the transcript of the session. That leaves me in the minority, however, as recent studies say that 98% of all organizations include video in their learning strategies. So learning professionals, I give you this challenge: can you create an engaging and effective training course that would work for a cynical and non-video lover like me?
Technology and business are rapidly evolving, and it can be hard for learning professionals to keep up. You need to create more content that's more relevant than ever before, and do so more efficiently than in the past. So ask yourself, "Can I continue to use ADDIE to develop their learning programs?"
MRR. Churn. CPA. ARC. LTV. If you're in the SaaS business, you're familiar with these terms.* Do a quick search for "customer success KPIs" and you'll find a dozen more. It can be a challenge trying to figure out which KPIs to use to measure the effectiveness of your training team and the programs you produce.
Further complicating matters is if you're being asked to tie your training metrics to customer success. According to customer education thought leaders like Wayne McCulloch, senior vice president of Salesforce University, "education has never played a more important part in customer success than in a cloud-based organization."
Last year Gainsight reorganized their post-sales teams to increase customer success. They wanted to put customer success first and designed their organization around customer needs. This included moving their training team to the "front" of the customer funnel, giving them more access to both customer feedback and product development. Gainsight already had a training team set up, but by including them in their customer success department, they were able to infuse the training team with customer success principles, setting them up for greater success down the road.