As a training company, the core elements that you need to get right are subject matter expertise, engaging delivery, and client relationship management. These are the non-negotiables, the things you need to be in the game.
So how can you go above and beyond this to excel and really drive your business forward?
Companies in the market for employee training are increasingly seeking end-to-end service to maximize value and reduce inefficiency. Training companies that only partially fulfill requirements are missing an opportunity to grow. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for training companies to add value by looking at each step in the training process and providing an end to end training service meeting all the client’s training needs. The even better news is, I’ll tell you how.
Improving your offering can be challenging, especially when you’re busy with the day to day responsibilities of ensuring that you deliver a top quality experience to existing clients. Investing the time to read this is a good start. This article will give tangible steps to improving the service you provide to your clients. It will make your clients’ lives easier and improve employee training – they will look good, and you will look good. Who wouldn’t want that?
We present a checklist of ideas for training and development that will deliver added value to your offering and improve customer satisfaction. You may be doing some of these things already – but if you can implement all four items, you will see a marked improvement in customer satisfaction and retention, providing a solid foundation for your business growth.
1. Get to Know your Audience Pre-Course
Looking at an end to end training service, the best place to begin is the start. Truly understanding customer requirements will make constructing and delivering a course easier. Capturing the level of knowledge of the training target audience is a must do, because if done correctly it can generate the following benefits:
- Tailored Training
By gauging the audience knowledge you give yourself a better idea of where the attention needs to be. This allows you to tailor your training course to hone in on particular areas that may need more explanation or reinforcement. This keeps you fresh -you are not just regurgitating the same information over and over- but more importantly, it demonstrates to your client that you are really committed to focussing on what needs to be improved and delivering a customised service.
- Show Before and After
Everybody in business wants to be able to show tangible benefits of their actions. Your clients are no different. Using pre and post course assessment data, you can objectively measure the improvement that has occurred directly as a result of your training program. This emphasizes the value in your intervention for the client.
2. Offer Flexibility in Course Delivery – To Reduce Cost and Time Commitment for the Client
Recently I had a conversation with a Project Management trainer in the UK that was growing his business by offering more flexibility through GoConqr. He had found that existing clients were becoming more and more reluctant to book his 5-day on-site course. Whilst the clients valued the training received in the past, they were starting to feel that taking an employee out of the business for five days straight for an in-person course was a large disruption to the business.
The trainer, facing a drop in business, started to research and explore ways to improve employee training that would allow him to be more flexible in his course delivery. He could have split the training days across a time-period, but this would increase the overall cost to the client due to travel expenses.
Instead, he decided to redesign the way he delivered the course to incorporate some online elements. This allowed participants to complete modules of the course online in their own time. This spread the training over a longer time period and allowed management and participants to plan better and incorporate training time more seamlessly into their diaries.
This change for the trainer has led to more repeat business as it makes it easier for his clients to get approval internally from management for allowing training time. It has also had the benefit of lowering the trainer’s cost base, as there are fewer expenses incurred as the on-site training days are reduced.
If your course delivery remains a purely on-site experience, maybe it’s time to consider how some online elements and innovative training techniques may make your offering more flexible and appealing to clients.
3. Introduce Engaging Content in Courses
The power of images and visual guides as a learning tool is well understood and has been for hundreds of years. The Roman Catholic church, before the printing press, used images on frescos on walls and in stained glass windows to educate and promote their messages.
Thankfully today we don’t need to spend a lifetime creating a stained glass panel to get our message across effectively. Current technology is affording the ability to create engaging content in minutes. Sadly, however, the majority of content produced by training companies doesn’t extend much past powerpoint slides when it comes to innovation.
According to the Research Institute of America, employee retention with e-learning tools range from 25% to 60%, while face to face training is between 8% and 10%; and a Molly Fletcher Company Analysis concludes that organizations can achieve an 18% increase in active employee participation with e-learning software.
Getting these numbers for your customers would give you a great competitive edge in the market. As a trainer, you must embrace the challenge of offering a training program engaging enough to generate more participation and motivation than the average – whether that’s on site training, or boring first generation online solutions that simply try to replicate on site training remotely.
Consider the use of new cloud-based software to generate more interactive, enriching and visually attractive content to arouse the users’ curiosity, increase retention and encourage them to have more active participation in their own knowledge development.
With online courses, for example, you can enrich the learning process of each employee by including mind maps, flowcharts, tests, videos, and images, among others resources. By integrating different types of resources, you can generate much more innovative training ideas and interesting learning content for your clients.
4. Improve your Reporting Back to your Client
Over a cup of coffee with an HR/Training manager for a coffee chain recently, I saw first hand the pain points created when training companies don’t look at the end to end training service. We talked at length about his training requirements which are (thankfully) onerous in that industry as a result of health and safety standards. He was very happy with his training providers and the mix of face to face and online training.
When I pressed him on if he had any frustrations, it took him a while to identify his real pain point, and he didn’t necessarily associate it with the training company. He mentioned that time is taken up every week emailing staff to see if they had completed their online training and asking them to send on their training certifications. Trying to track staff completion rates was proving a real headache.
The online training company was ultimately failing their client here. To complete the service successfully, they should be the ones who take responsibility for informing the training manager who had completed courses, who hadn’t, who was stuck etc.
Training companies who can offer this service are removing a major headache for the client and allowing them to have full control over the training process.
So look to incorporate reporting and feedback into your offering. The more information you collect in the reports you deliver on employee performance and knowledge level, the better. Your clients will only be able to identify existing problems in the workforce and carry out measures to solve them if they have the appropriate information.
Providing timely feedback and up-to-date performance analysis is beneficial to both the employer and the staff receiving training. A study by Harvard Business School in 2014 identified that employees who reflected on their performance and shared their experiences with others were those who learned the most and improved their performance.
These four ideas for training and development can best be implemented with some simple technology solutions. Cloud-based software tools offer the ability to create and distribute learning content, and assess knowledge pre and post course. GoConqr offers all these tools on one platform that is simple to use and very cost effective.
To get more information on how GoConqr can help you improve employee training and grow your business, get in touch below.