How to Set up a Customer Training Program
Providing a customer training program with a Learning Management System is a great way to educate your customers and improve their experience of your product or service. This boosts your customer retention rate and increases revenue. But how ready are you to get the ball rolling? If you’re not, then this post is definitely for you.
This is a practical guide to what is needed to set up a customer training program. It will give you an overview of the various steps you need to take and why they are important.
What do you need to set up a customer training program?
Training your customers is simple. It’s the process of teaching them how to use your product or service. Training 10 customers is, however, a very different prospect to training 100. Every time you add another zero, your ability to manually run the training program becomes more and more unlikely. With these larger numbers, you’ll need the help of software.
To create a Customer training program you’ll need the following:
- A Learning Management System (LMS)
- An access point for users
- Customer training courses
Having these three in place will get you to the point where you can give your customers access to a dedicated customer training portal, where they can take their courses.
A learning management system
You’ll need an LMS to manage your training efforts efficiently. An LMS is a dedicated piece of software for the delivery of customer training courses. Companies delivering customer training choose to use an enterprise LMS rather than an academic one, such as Moodle. Enterprise LMSs, like LearnUpon, are built for this particular use case.
Choosing an LMS can be a tricky proposition. You should start by compiling a list of your requirements. From there you can pull together a shortlist of LMSs to trial and demo before selecting the LMS that’s just right for you.
A multi-tenant LMS will allow you to set up a partitioned “mini LMS” for each distinct audience. The key here is to set up separate portals for your employees and your customers.
Set up a training portal for your customers
This customer training portal will be where your customers will find their eLearning courses. Setting it up should be a quick and easy process. Check out this short video to see some of the key functionality you’ll need.
As you see in the video, your customer portal will be branded with your company’s brand colors, logos, and images. You can customize other elements such as automated emails to ensure that the portal looks and feels familiar to your customers.
How do customers gain access to the training?
This can sometimes be a tricky point to articulate. That’s because there are a number of options available to you. So you can choose the best one for your customers. One quick question will help you get started – where will the initial attempt to access training take place? Is it on your website? From inside your product? Or another area, such as a pre-existing customer portal (like a support area or similar).
Access options include:
By clicking on a button on your website or in your product your customers will be given access to the LMS, if, they are logged into their customer account. This is probably the most streamlined and reliable way to grant access. And, it’s a seamless experience for the customer.
- Self-registration form
The customer creates themselves as a user by filling out a form. This may be prompted to take this action when they click through to access training.
You provide your customer with login credentials and the web page address of the portal. This can be a very manual approach unless you set up some automation to support this process.
Some companies provide customer training for a fee. Usually, this is accompanied by a certification when the user completes the course. By purchasing a course on a storefront the customer is brought directly through to the LMS and they are created as a user.
What is in the course?
What are the building blocks of the courses you will be providing? It depends on your resources, your goals and the subject matter of the training. Our advice is to start with what you have and iterate.
The materials at your disposal will largely dictate the formats of the training materials you provide. If you have a large array of product videos for example then the course content can be made up of these.
Keep the courses short
Make the courses digestible. Smaller chunks of information are more suitable to the lifestyle of the modern learner. The best way to do this is by creating a course that’s made up of several modules. Here are some elements that can be incorporated into your courses:
- Live webinars
- SCORM content
- Classroom sessions
You can even incorporate exams and certification if you want to formalize the learning process. This is becoming more and more frequently used for commercial software. The end user benefits from being a certified user of your product as they’re officially qualified to use it.
Training features or workflows?
Don’t fall into the trap of creating courses that just focus on single product features. Instead, show your customers how multiple features blend together to make them more effective. By focusing on workflows, or “the job to be done” you are getting the user to a level above simple troubleshooting.
The old adage ring true here:
“give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”