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Best Practices to Measure Impact of Customer Training Program (Intuitive Method + Templates + Tools)

Written By Amol Shinde

Best Practices to Measure Impact of Customer Training Program (Intuitive Method + Templates + Tools)

Learning & Development (L&D) isn’t about what you can remember, it is fundamentally how you apply what you learned to improve your life. 

Once you understand that what you are learning are simple tools to operate your complex task without putting extra effort - your interest grows & exercises your will to learn even more. 

That’s how your customer should feel about your training program. But how would you know, if they are already in that phase of curiosity? Or maybe they’re excited but clueless to narrow it down. It is better to know best practices to measure impact of customer training program before implementing customer training.

Again, how would you know which part of your training is making a change? Through KPIs, or feedback starters?  

Know more about the best practices to measure impact of customer training program.

Fundamental Questions You Need to Focus to Evaluate Which Part of Your Customer Training is Making a Change.

  • Did they like it?
  • Did they learn?
  • Are they able to apply what they learned?
  • Is training improving their goals in their organization?

Best Practices to Measure Impact of Customer Training Program (Intuitive Method + Templates + Tools)

 

Yes, there are countless measuring metrics to analyze your customer response & satisfaction rate during training, but, just think about it for once!  

Your self-paced learning program - capable of delivering diverse content according to diverse needs - establishes a personalized benchmark for your diverse audience.  

Such a diverse paradigm of training and you decide to limit your evaluation to just tools? 

Your training evaluation may find customer pain points & improvement insights through analytical meters.  

But, you need an intuitive method to evaluate your training and to establish your success meters. 

Yes, we know, it’s not that exciting part though, but by intuitive evaluation, you can easily figure out if your training works and how to improve it. 

Kirkpatrick’s model of learning is meant to be the most widely used method to evaluate the results of training and learning programs. Although, this model has been an effective benchmark to evaluate employee training programs, but has shown even more successful results when it comes to customer training. 

Donald Kirkpatrick (1924-1950) was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. He developed the four levels of evaluation model in the mid-1950s as part of his Ph.D. dissertation. And, his vision of L&D training evaluation has now been used for over 30yrs by many different companies as a major system for training evaluation.  

Kirkpatrick Model - Four Levels of Learning Evaluation

  • Reaction.
  • Learning Evaluation.
  • Knowledge gain.
  • Results.

 

Kirkpatrick model - Four levels of learning evaluation 

Level #1: How Are They Reacting?  

There are good chances that you already taking a survey after customers’ first learning session. The fundamental idea to evaluate right after the first session is to gain insight into the training experience from the learner’s perspective. 

Ideally, most B2B companies limit their first survey to just collect basic responses from customers because of many reasons like “They might churn off customers soon”, “They are overpopulating after the first signup onboarding emails.  

The problem here is, they are focussing on just a customer response. They need the right questions to pinpoint the accuracy of the first survey: 

Smile Sheets

A smile sheet is simply a form consisting of a series of questions combined, asking your customers about their satisfaction.  

In a recent survey, many B2B organizations were asked about the smile sheet effectiveness, and most responded that “they don’t understand how to bring improvement in training through just good or bad customer responses”. 

We understand it can get hard to find precise pain points to improve when scalability is of a wide range. And, we accumulate such common limitations that smile sheets may have:    

Limitations

  • Data is basic. 
  • It doesn’t necessarily correlate with actual learning or customer behavior. 
  • It is hard to scale. 

Now you might be confused that whether to use smile sheets? Are there any evaluating benefits? Whether to infuse a smile sheet in evaluating your training or not?  

Well! There’s always a good and a bad side to any tool. All you have to do is to find the right way of using it.  

Benefits of Smile Sheets

  • It demonstrates respect for customers thoughts & concerns. 
  • It provides early satisfaction results. 
  • It gives you insights about your training’s valuable side & not so valuable. 

Smile Sheets doesn’t limit to the “Just asking for your feedback” tool, you can employ it as a performance-focused evaluation for your customers during training sessions. 

Performance-Focused Evaluation

E.g. Writing a TPS Report.

Instead of asking your customer, “How are you liking the course/training?

Focus on their progression towards set goals, “How well are you able to imply the reporting skills in the practice of your job?

On a learner scale your feedback to get customer reaction must be of some accuracy, to understand specifically about the customer experience, here’s an example of how you can touch down customer’s understanding: 

Are you able to apply what you learned in the training? 

  • I am not able to apply these concepts. 
  • I have some understanding but require additional training. 
  • I can apply the concepts but require support. 
  • I believe I have competency.
  • I know I can perform to an expert level. 

Level #2: Are They Learning?  

This phase of evaluating your training programs focuses on measuring the customers’ knowledge, skills, and mindset developed as a result of your training program.  

Here we want to ensure that your customers are learning what they are supposed to have learned. Take an example of how Hubspot evaluates their customer knowledge & skills acquired during their delivered training. 

  1. Quick Quiz: Few questions to ensure customer retention level. 

Few questions to ensure customer retention level

 

Hubspot Academy’s - Know Yourself Quiz 

Hubspot ensures that its customers are understanding the concept and also, they provide further assistance by providing helpful resources to make it easy for customers to catch up on what they learned, later on. 

Resources (to Provide & Understand What Audience Needs)

  • Slides. 
  • Transcripts.
  • Goal calculator. 
  • Knowledge Base. 
  • Templates. 
  • Ebooks. 
  • Blog Post. 
  • Reports. 
  • Website.

 

Resources to provide & understand what audience needs.

 

2. Free Certification: Presenting a Learning Win to Grow for Customers.

 

Free Certification_Presenting a learning win to grow for customers

3. Hand-on Surveys & Assignments: To Assess Customer Retention Rate by Providing Assignments Right After Each Training Session. 

 

Hand-on Surveys & Assignments

Hubspot Academy’s - Survey Assessment 

They assess their customer’s demographics and improvement scale after they are done with the course. Perfect CTA!  

Two Major Benefits for Post-Training Session Assessment

  • The customer is still in the learning mode, high response rate. 
  • Customers want to exercise their choice after learning, future improvement in training required would be answered precisely. 

 

Two major benefits for Post-Training Session Assessment

They appreciate customer learning efforts & acknowledge their time, so to improve significantly - They choose accuracy to deliver value. It simply means, “Knowing your customer”. 

Level #3: Are They Applying What They Learned?    

"One of the reasons why most SaaS companies are failing in customer success program is because their program is driven by cost, not value"- Glide Consulting (Customer Success Expert)   

Customers who can achieve success with your product on their own do result in reduced support cost but such consequence becomes your value when you see your customers value in it too. 

So, level 3 is all about evaluation based on, “Are you customers applying what they learned or not?” 

You can further segment this evaluation into 3 steps: 

  • Monitor customer’s performance.
  • Offer support. 
  • Measure the results. 

How to Monitor Your Customers’ Performance? 

Firstly, find a natural data point to monitor your customers’ before and after training performance. Are they improving in any areas of their applied work? Is there any issue they are facing while applying it? 

You can develop a demographic survey (one like given above) to understand the basic needs of your customer before you develop a working environment for them.  

Secondly, you may have noticed your customers feedback filled up this survey form real quick. You can use a start and stop time to measure the accuracy and pace of answered value. This way you will see if there are any errors customers while answering due to limited time. 

After your trainers assessing those errors closely, combine this data with the above data points to understand where the customers are getting that error and offer performance-focused support to customers to improve.     

How to Measure Your Customers’ Results From the Training Provided? 

Okay, Let’s continue with the above TPS reporting example. Let suppose your manager tells your customer to complete 10 TPS report.  

Before training when you delivered this task, customers were able to complete 5 per hour with only 60% accuracy. But after baseline training sessions, your customers can complete 11 TPS reports per hour with 80% accuracy. 

Knowing your customers’ improvement gives you direction to assess your level 1 and level 2 training evaluation accordingly to let your customer keep exceeding the benchmark. 

Level #4: Is There Any Training Impact on Their Organizational Goals?

In level 4, you assess whether the training program was accomplished? Have they achieved their effective goal?  

Now, to evaluate level 4, you need result-oriented data that provides a comparative measure. 

Let’s take an example of a company that spends 20 % of their workweek time in team meetings to structure & plan out things accordingly. 

 

Is there any Training Impact on their Organizational Goals

They plan to infuse training with their work environment to reduce team meeting time as a result. And, they found that after employing training for each employee, they successfully reduced their time spent for meeting & whiteboard sessions.  

Similarly, you can map data points considering your before and after training results for customer’s in their working areas.  

Well, as every L&D experiences this most in their life that no training program ensures perfect results, as there is consideration for using with Kirkpatrick model as well: 

Considering Using Kirkpatrick Model

  • It works best if training results are relatively isolated (It means there are no depending factors that rely on training results apart from customers’ growth itself.) 
  • Degree of accuracy (There are chances that your customer already knows best to be assessed for a basic training test. So, to deliver training, in that case, won’t be necessary.) 

4 SaaS Customer Success Metrics (Tools to Evaluate) 

 

4 SaaS Customer Success Metrics (Tools to evaluate)

  • Product/Services Usage Rate: The more customers use your product, the more valuable is the product for them. Your customer support team can easily track the product use frequency by customers and create a scale for the ideal growth rate. 
  • Active Customers: As a SaaS company, your goal is to land up recurring customers. Measuring daily, weekly, and monthly active users will provide you access to short-term activity time & long-term customer active time. 
  • Free Trial Conversion Rate: Free-trail conversion metric is a must-have in SaaS recurring business model to identify how well your customers are switching from freemium - to - premium services while monitoring churn rate too. 
  • Average Time Spent on Platform: Evaluating the average time will provide you with a detailed story as to how much time your customers are integrated with your software. 

We hope that you understand about best practices to measure impact of customer training program.

Conclusion: 

As a SaaS company, you may come across a lot of measuring metrics and perfect training evaluation tools to infuse for results. But, eventually, your customers are changing goals on daily basis - So, it becomes an adaptive practice to employ intuitive methods to evaluate your training program. Also, ensure you are using effective L&D strategies to evaluate your training up to the current market benchmark. 

Top 5 Key Tips to Choose the Right Technology for Customer Education

 

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