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.
This is a key piece of feedback for customer education managers: it's not just the quality of the training that matters to attendees. There are other factors at play that lead them to take the course, give good feedback, recommend it to others, and more. Let's take a look at some of the other factors that impact good training experiences and how you can improve your customer education programs.
Factors that impact good training experiences & how you can improve them
1. Course calendars
Customers take training when it fits into their schedule, but if you only offer a particular course once a year, they may miss it because it doesn't match their work schedule.
How to improve it: Offer critical training regularly, so you capture all of the customers who need to take it.
2. Different formats
People learn in different ways, so if a course is only offered in one format, they may have a negative experience in the program because they're not getting as much out of it as they could.
How to improve it: Try to offer critical training in different ways too, so that they can take it in the format that works for them (webinar, in-class, online, etc.)
3. Training facilitators & designers
Just as people learn in different ways, not all training facilitators are made for all training methods. Some rock the in-class experience, but are horrible online, while others are the opposite. Or there's the training designer who is an atrocious speller or the other one who simply refuses to add in images or other non-traditional training methods into his/her courses. All of these things impact the customer experience as they may not get as much learning as they should be out of the course because of this mismatch.
How to improve it: Hire facilitators and designers who are passionate about what they do and deliver high-quality work. Of course not every organization has the budget to hire 15 different people, so if you're running a leaner team, make sure to hire people who are good at multiple things and are good at shifting between designing and delivery methods.
The final factor that impacts customer training experiences: you
Yes, that's right. If you're not running a training organization that is self-aware and can shift priorities and change in response to customer experience, you'll find yourself in a tough position. Training organizations typically struggle to demonstrate their value to the business as a whole, so if you're not ready to shift and be proactive about your programs, you may find yourself shut out of the business planning (or worse.)
So, how is your customer training organization looking right now? Are you delivering an awesome training experience to your customers? How do you get their feedback and then incorporate it into your planning and programming? Hit the comments and share your successes. We'd love to hear about them.
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