A show of hands out there: how many of you are thinking of converting your live training courses into eLearning?
(Photo credit: Maurizio Pesce)
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?
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.
Today's customer education technology market is big and is expanding every year. Applications, information, and devices are connecting in ways we've never seen before. To stay relevant in the industry, customer education pros need to be aware of what's going on out there, even if you're not ready to use the tools yourself.
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?”
One of the questions I get asked most by early stage enterprise software companies that begin to train customers is how to build scalable customer education programs. I even get this question on open forums. The trouble with this question is that the answer is always, "It depends." Although there are several ways to deliver scalable customer education, not each method will work for each company depending on maturity level of that organization. It is important, therefore, to understand various ways to deliver scalable training to customers, so you can make decisions about which method will work for you and your customers.
One of the scariest moments for a customer education professional occurs after a course is done, and it is first made available to customers. The course is placed in on the web site and customers can register. Once it is published, you are left to wonder, “Will anyone buy it?” It has happened to the best of us. Two weeks goes by and no one registers for our course. Then we ask, "How can we market this course to get people to register?” Let's face it. Customer education professionals are not marketers and our marketing teams (if we have one) are too focused on marketing our products and not training. We are often left to ourselves to figure out how to generate demand for our courses.
If you are new to the job of managing your customer education programs, one of the first things you realize is how overwhelming it is to develop training content, especially when you don't have a lot of resources. There are so many things to consider: determining your customer education strategy, figuring out what customers actually want, deciding what course to create first, determining what topics should be covered in that first course and what topics to leave out. And these a just scratching the surface of what you need to do.