Monica Green, Director of L&D Strategy at Epicor, shares her secrets for rapidly producing customer training content
We recently sat down with Monica Green, the Director of Learning and Development Strategy at Epicor Software to discuss the importance of customer training, and get an inside look at her process for producing content rapidly and efficiently.
In Part 1, we looked at the real-world results of Epicor’s customer training program.
Monica’s study revealed that better customer training yields the following outcomes:
- Reduced implementation time from professional services team. Better customer training allow for self-implementation by customers.
- Increased job satisfaction by getting rid of mundane tasks, allowing for more consultative engagements on complex areas of business.
- Reduced support call volumes by allowing customers to get quick access to support content, solution videos, and knowledge articles.
- Improved customer experience by reducing customer effort. Quick access to training provided awareness of all the product’s features and functionality, and made using the product easy and fun.
- Reduced churn and increased retention by improving customer satisfaction.
The key insight Monica found was that customer training drives revenue, plain and simple.
However, developing a customer training program can be complex and difficult. To help make things easier, Monica shared what she has learned from refining Epicor’s customer training development process over the years.
Inside Epicor’s Process for Rapidly Producing Customer Training Content
According to Monica, the Learning and Development team shouldn’t be siloed off to develop customer training content after products have already been developed. Instead, she believes that L&D should be part of the product development process, from beginning to end.
“We develop customer training content incrementally, using an agile methodology, rather than all at once,'' Monica stated. “We sit in scrum meetings alongside the product team as they are developing a product’s features and functions. Then, we create training content at each stage of the product development process.“
Monica went on to explain the benefits of Epicor’s customer training development process:
“[Epicor] customers don’t get software updates, and then wait 6 months to receive training on new features. Training is ready and goes live alongside the product, so customers have instant access to everything they need to adopt the product right away”.
At Epicor, Monica and her team develop 3 primary types of customer training content:
- Live training
- Video training
- Guided learning that walks customers through a particular feature or process, embedded directly in the product itself
“Training is grouped by agendas that are role-based,” according to Monica. “Once a customer goes through an agenda of training, they’re fully-functional in all the relevant features they will be using in that role.”
How Epicor Uses Tracking and Analytics to Improve Their Customer Training Content
Monica and her team at Epicor closely track what training content their customers are consuming. This includes how often they complete training, hit milestones, and even how long they watch training videos.
Epicor also allows customers to rate how useful each piece of training content is. All of this data helps Monica and her team refine their customer training program based on direct feedback from customers.
However, it’s often what content customers don’t consume that provides the most valuable insights.
“We don’t want to be spending time creating content that customers don’t need,'' Monica said. “By monitoring what content customers don’t consume, we can stop creating that type of content, and focus our time and resources developing training on topics that customers do need more information on”.
In addition, by monitoring the training progress of individual customers, you can see which of them are highly-engaged and may be open to up-sells on related products or features.
You can also discover which customers are not engaged and are at risk of churning, so you can reach out to them proactively.
Monica believes strongly in the importance of reaching out to at-risk customer, because “if they’re on a subscription plan and they’re not using it, they’re going to just cancel it.”
“We want to find the customers who own a feature, but aren’t using it. Then, we can send them an email or a notification the next time they log in encouraging them to learn how to use that feature”.
Why Your Product Must Enable “Learning and Doing, Simultaneously”
In our interview, Monica also explained that, while the content inside your customer training program is obviously still important, context should now be your primary consideration:
“5 years ago everybody was saying that content is king. Now, our mantra is “Context is king”. We want to deliver content based on who the customer is and where they are in the product.”
The biggest obstacle for most customers when it comes to training is that there simply isn’t enough time in the workday for it. Because of this, your software product must allow customers to learn how to use it while they are using it.
Monica emphasizes the importance of this with what she calls “learning and doing, simultaneously”.
Most software companies rely on a corporate learning management system (LMS) to deliver training to both their employees and their customers.
Unfortunately, a traditional corporate LMS is merely a dull, static collection of PowerPoints, courses, and exams where learners are forced to proceed through in a rigid, linear manner.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t how we, as users, interact with technology anymore when we need to get answers and solve problems quickly.
Thanks to search engines like Google, learning is now seamlessly incorporated into the workflow, rather than being a separate, designated activity. When we need to learn something, we just search the internet for specific topics and find information and answers in the form of videos, webinars, blog posts, graphics, and other online content.
This is exactly the kind of experience that you must provide to your customers; a seamless learning experience embedded inside your product.
Why Choose Raven360 for Your Customer Training Program
With tools like Raven360, learning is no longer sectioned off as its own, separate activity. Instead, your customers can search for the bite-sized information they need, at the exact moment they need it.
And, if they want to go more in-depth on that particular topic, they have that option as well. Both bite-sized and long-form learning is incorporated seamlessly into the workflow, rather than interrupting it.
Raven360 creates the kind of exciting learning experience that all of your customers will actually want to engage with. They will actually enjoy using your learning tool and see it as a useful resource, rather than another chore to get through.
The Advantages of Using Raven360
Raven360 is an enterprise-grade, scalable platform that helps fast-growing companies with high-complexity products painlessly train employees, customers, and partners.
Raven360’s secure, cloud-based platform allows you to onboard faster, train better, and retain more customers with these powerful features:
- Upload content of any format: Raven360 supports PDF, video files, Google docs, HTML packages, SCORM packages and more. You can author your own material from within the platform or bring in outside content.
- Seamlessly integrate with your existing tools: Integrate with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box to access everything you already have from one single dashboard, at the right time.
- Always up-to-date: Upload your training material once and users will always have access to the latest version and you won’t have to update your docs on multiple platforms.
- Accessible anywhere, on any device, 24/7: Allow users to access training on the go and at their own pace. Raven360 works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users can even access content while offline.
- Dynamic learning experiences: Go from open classrooms where users can access all the material at once to pre-defined learning paths where you dictate how the content is consumed. Manage how you feed your content to increase knowledge retention.
- Self-paced labs: Learners can access a virtual machine instance of your software on their browsers —no downloads, no installs. They get hands-on experience using your tech, without compromising real data or breaking stuff.
- Generate extra revenue: Sell subscription-based trainings through a simple e-commerce platform.
- Keep sensitive information secure: Assign individual and group level access to your content. Prevent confidential information from leaving the platform or landing on the wrong hands, with industry-leading security.
Request a FREE Demo of Raven360
Request a FREE demo to discover how Raven360 can help you solve these top customer training challenges:
- Your training content is all over the place in local drives, private servers, and online storage.
- Selling high-tech, complex products means your customers need clear guidance on how to use your products.
- Customer retention requires continually showing customers how to achieve their goals with your products.