Engage Customers By Sharing Your Industry Expertise In Online Courses

May 3, 2016

 

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Information is cheap on the internet. If customers want to learn about any given topic, they have a number of inexpensive resources at their fingertips: they can search YouTube for instructional videos, they can sign up for a bargain course that’s not much more than a PowerPoint and a quiz, or they can register for a MOOC for nothing.

With all of that information available to learners for little or nothing, why should they pay for your elearning?

Because, though information is cheap, real insight is more precious. You have more than knowledge to offer; your organization has expertise and industry perspectives that other online courses cannot offer.

That expertise — which only you can provide — is the way to engage customers and to differentiate yourself from the competition and therefore to get the full value out of your online classes.

The power of experts

Every organization has a bank of institutional expertise. Elearning can help turn that store of institutional knowledge into happy, long-term clients. According to a survey conducted by ExpertUS and Training Industry, 82 percent of companies reported an increase in customer satisfaction as a result of training.

It’s pretty clear that customers like your organization already; after all, they’ve bought your product and subscribed to your services. It’s not surprising that many of those buyers might be hungry for more knowledge: about your product, your services or about your industry in general.

We’ve written about the need to engage elearners; when you do that well, people taking your online courses will enjoy your training more, remember it better and come back for seconds. The same is true of your clients: you need to engage your customers, and offering insight further up the value chain is a great way to do that.

Related reading: 7 Reasons to Ditch Workshops and Webinars for Online Customer Training

Customer training builds community and credibility

No one knows your product like the people who design and build it. Consider tapping the experts in your organization as trainers, or as consultants who can help create a bundle of courses for your customers.

These courses should be more advanced than a basic how-to; they should offer in-depth knowledge about your product, your industry about how your product works, how it was created or what sort of hacks will help them to use that product more efficiently.

Consider Apple’s Workshops program, for example. Workshops are group learning sessions, led by an instructor in an Apple Store, which teach customers about their devices. By holding these sessions in an Apple Store, and connecting Apple users to each other and to an expert, the company is creating engagement and a sense of community around its products.

Customer training adds value

Your organization’s knowledge is not limited to your own products and services; you also possess in-depth knowledge about your industry. In an earlier article we mentioned that customer success training need not be limited to your own product; many companies offer academies that teach customers how to succeed in their industries.

Take a look at Salesforce University, for example. While the the catalog of online courses includes certification and training on Salesforce’s own products, it also offers an array of indirectly related courses to help its customers succeed with marketing, sales and customer service in the Cloud. Salesforce is selling its expertise, rather than just product training.

Related reading: Why Should Revenue-Centric Companies Invest in Customer and Channel Partner Training?

Expertise attracts learners

It’s difficult to stand out in the market, particularly in the elearning space. Capitalize on your employees’ knowledge of your industry and you will engage customers with courses that help them succeed in your shared industry. It’s a value-add for your clients and for you; by offering elearning to your customers you’ll be getting more revenue out of your proprietary knowledge as well.

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