Customer training programmes have introduced new heights of knowledge – an increasing number of organisations are now adopting the educational approach and reaping the results of higher sales, more loyal customers, more valuable feedback, and greater levels of partner engagement.
But what makes a successful online customer training programme?
Unlike more informal methods, a formal online programme creates a structure of learning paths for people to build on and grow as partners. It also allows for the certification of learners, which is recorded and reported on to track partner engagement and build a tiered partner programme.
The features of a formal training programme allow you to communicate the benefits of your service and equip your customers with the necessary tools to promote and sell your product, well ahead of the competition. Not only will the programme establish a secure relationship between both parties, but it also increases shared revenue.
We’ve collected some of the biggest success stories to explore how they got to where they did through their formal online training.
Four Stories of Customer Training Success
With an ethos built around learning, Cisco is teeming with countless training and development resources for customers to take advantage of. Its technology-based services are served alongside not only educational resources but also exams and certifications that its customers can take and claim as well.
With training, webinars, exams and on-demand learning assets, Cisco provides an all-round learning experience to its users that delivers on quality.
Once users have passed an exam, they receive a certification kit which includes:
- A PDF of their certificate.
- A certification logo they can download through their profile.
- A digital badge of the certification logo.
- The option for a printed certificate to be sent directly to them.
The certification also offers a tracking system so users can be kept up to date with the subjects and areas they have achieved certain qualifications in.
Cisco’s extensive training resources have allowed their partners to establish stronger partner relationships that last. For example, Mastersystem, an IT solutions organisation and global partner of Cisco’s, has gained an incredible amount of insight into their customer needs through Cisco’s substantial portfolio of learning solutions, helping them to gain a distinctive edge over their competitors and close a deal with a major financial services customer, one of the largest privately-owned banks in Indonesia.
The organisation needed to expand its firewall capabilities in order to better its cybersecurity, and worked with Cisco to achieve this by shifting its selling approach to customer engagement. With Cisco’s customer experience knowledge, they were able to accelerate the implementation and operations process, resulting in a more beneficial partner experience.
“Cisco helped us make customers more aware of the outcomes they gain from implementing our solutions. That encourages them to renew and expand their solution, which aligns to our strategy of increasing recurring business.” – Meilinie, Product Manager, Mastersystem
Robotiq eLearning is an online platform that offers collaborative robots to production and manufacturing companies, combining lean robotics manufacturing concepts with real application content.
Robotics are an everyday function of the manufacturing process, but some organisations still struggle to implement the costly and complicated functions of robots in their factories. Robotiq eLearning tools offer extensive courses that simplify functionality fast, with all the relevant support and information on their products to help speed up the production process with local manufacturers and an international network of partners.
With a digital reach that extends to online courses, webinars, and interactive training, Robotiq has taken customer training programmes to a high-tech level. Its dedication to supporting the acceleration of cell design and supplying relevant product information means that, as a company, it has been able to streamline production and actually start the process a lot faster, resulting in its customers seeing a much quicker ROI.
Professional healthcare pioneers Philips has taken education into its own hands with its customer training programmes, offering staff the opportunity to learn how best to use its products, how to provide non-clinical professional development and proper education in clinical specialities.
With a range of highly advanced healthcare products and consulting services, Philips’ online courses teach a range of healthcare skills and improve staff’s service development through better operational efficiency and quality of care.
With free online learning materials such as webinars and courses, its collection of educational resources equips its team with the proper tools required to enhance their role at a time and pace that suits them.
Working with healthcare service and partner Wye Valley NHS Trust, Philips was even able to improve workflow and increase productivity at an expected rate of 5-10% per year. Through the development and delivery of a foundation-level training solution to all imaging staff, such as radiologists and radiographers, they were able to help engage staff and see real results in their culture of continuous improvement.
“Since the training, staff are starting to see things from a different perspective and think in a new way. We are changing people’s mindsets and I have high hopes for what we can achieve together.” Robert Griffiths, Radiology Services Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust
CommScope is a client of Cabling Science, a subsidiary of Wahoo Learning. Wahoo Learning offers training to CommScope’s external partner network through the CommScope Infrastructure Academy, a learning platform developed specifically for CommScope to integrate and deliver training to its channel partner network across the world.
The training programme earns CommScope’s partners sales, product, design and installer knowledge and practical skills in a range of areas including emerging wired, wireless, wireline, and fibre-optic technologies. Kept up to date with the latest product developments, best practice guidelines and regulations, partners remain leaders in their field and stand out from the competition.
With interactive and engaging learning courses produced by Wahoo Learning, working in collaboration with subject experts in CommScope, the training platform, powered by the WahooLMS, delivers this training online and on-demand to learners 24 hours a day in over 120 languages. Available as part of a formal certification programme or taken as one-off courses, the partners can choose the training in a way that suits their specific needs, broken down by area and subject matter.
Themed and integrated with CommScope’s own website, the CommScope Infrastructure Academy provides a consistent, on-brand training solution that reflects CommScope’s core values.
There is also instructor-led training on offer which the user can choose to enrol in through the online platform, which will give them more hands-on insight into the inner workings of the subject they are learning. These are available in real-time, or on-demand if the learner isn’t able to make the class.
The CommScope Infrastructure Academy now delivers over 100,000 online and classroom courses per year, in over 120 languages, earning itself popularity in the social media sphere amongst online discussions from student engineers, designers, and installers.
Delivery and management of the training programme are entirely outsourced to Wahoo Learning and in doing so, CommScope is able to deliver their training programme effectively and expertly to best serve the needs of their partners.
Steps to Success
Each of these success stories shares the foundation of a powerful learning culture. But what steps did these organisations take to get there?
Related reading: 8 ways to create effective channel partner training
We’ve compiled a list of key objectives to consider when designing your customer training programme:
1. Communicate With Your Customers
The best way to learn what your customers need from a learning platform is simply to ask them – conduct surveys and arrange interviews with your ideal customers and get to the bottom of what it is they really want. Identify any existing areas of confusion and pinpoint what the perfect outcome would be for the people using your product or service.
2. Collate Your Content
Once you’ve established your training needs, you can reflect and respond to your current training systems and work from there. What materials have you already got that serve to train your customers? Gather your resources and identify what gaps need to be filled.
3. Test and Adjust
Rather than unveiling your swanky new programme to your entire customer base in one go, allow some time for testing and tweaking your training. Run things past a select few and gather feedback for a fresh, outside perspective, then make any necessary adjustments to the programme before you officially launch your content.
4. Track and Revamp
A good programme doesn’t settle once it’s seen the light of day – once you’ve put in the work and your training is out in the world, you have the opportunity to track the success of your training with your customers and reflect on how you can make any improvements. Use tracking systems to collate data and see what content your customers are or aren’t using, and refine your processes from there.
5. Build On Growth Over Time
It takes time for a training programme to build momentum and there can be obstacles to that growth. Thankfully price doesn’t have to be one of them. Taking a long-term view and building the programme over a number of years allows you to keep costs low initially and then leverage the traction over time, building revenue from the training later. For example, if you launch your programme at a lower price point for your customers, you’ll overcome friction and expose them to the value of your system. You can then take the next step by increasing your prices to allow for revenue growth. Quality customer training also leads to more referrals and positive testimonials, increasing your ROI and resulting in higher profit margins. More skilled and competitive partners, and a return on investment for your organisation. A win-win for all.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of online customer training programmes, get in touch today and we can explore what Wahoo can do for you.