Grab any of your 2-min Maggie Packet and look on its label back, there’s always a recipe for your delicious dish. They don’t just sell you a product but teach you how to make use of it.
This is the purpose of your customer training academy — teaching customers about how to make the most out of your product. This educational process simplifies the complexity (too technical sounded) around your product & services & helps to advance leads further down to dedicated customer onboarding even creating a lubricative sales funnel.
It's high time! Surface the value of your product by educating your customers and letting them become experts in what they’re using. Because an expert product user is hooked to become your brand advocate.
So, shall we start by understanding why you need a customer-training portal for all this education and how to build customer training academy using an LMS?
Why Do You Need a Customer Training Portal?
Essentially, you aim to create an academy for your customer to make them aware of your product, but, then why do need a customer training portal for that? Is it worth your investment?
Every customer needs something more or less when they’re buying anything online, so it all drips down to the amount of information they have, supporting them in their buying decisions. In simple terms, you need an advanced approach to identify your user’s expectations, goals, nature of work, requirements at their job, etc to create a personalized learning experience.
And hell no, you’re using excel sheets & data segmentation tools to accomplish that process, you need an intuitive portal. You need an AI-tech-driven portal that accommodates a few factors:
- Provides a personalized customer experience through Intuitive Onboarding
- Reduces churn by providing value-driven solutions
- Upsells your sales funnel
- Enables your users to become Brand Advocates.
- Increases Lifetime value (LTV) & customer retention rate.
An expert user is like a loyal addition - they will see the value earlier in your sales cycles. Even if they’ll consider activating or up-gradation your higher-end services as your academy serves as a gainful experience, they will stick for longer.
To upscale your educational bar, consider offering high-quality industry-related education. It will establish your organization as a though-leader or leader in your industry. Furthermore, it improves your position as a strong brand, attracting more and more leads & easy conversions.
How Companies are Using LMS for Customer Training?
High chance that you already have customer onboarding in place through various means — resource sections (blogs, ebooks, case studies, etc), an auto-responder email sequence, live webinar sessions, or even a live demo about your product use. Considering the time factor, these are time-consuming mechanisms to achieve any desired sales goals.
You need to keep a constant tap on your customer's life cycle and regulate your training process to enable an environment of self-paced learning. A dedicated customer training portal helps to tap such aspects by personalizing the right content mix to teach the use of your product until the customer reaches their "Aha!" moment.
Segment the courses from basics to expert-level of your product. That's exactly what Hubspot Academy does with its education academy. They created courses on how to use every tiniest feature of their product, resulting in users buying their premium features to explore more.
How Do You Build a Customer Academy Using LMS?
Let’s take the example of Articulate 360 academy to understand the need for a dedicated training portal. Now, you don’t have to align your goals based on these current academies, just a tap of how successful an academy can be for inclusive lead generation.
This portal was built using Rise 360, a top-rated online course platform (application) and LMS. Rise 360 is a white-label solution with full-customizable features to educate the customer and train the employees or provide courses to a wide audience.
Tips for an Effective Training Portal
When we talk about tools that any organization can employ to create an effective academy - there is a wide variety to implement a training portal. Depending on your S.M.A.R.T goal set in to channel the purpose of your academy. E.g:- You can use tools to establish a knowledge hub. They have an integrated system, providing a range of features to achieve your academy goals.
The Following are Effective Training Portal Features
- Lesson-segmenting capabilities
- Course-access restriction
- Interactive E-books
- Interactive Video Content
- Media Solutions (Visuals, Audio, Exercises, Quizzes, and Text-format)
These features help enable a unique learning experience for your users and encourage them to upskill enjoyably.
Quick Checklist to Build Customer Training Academy (Using an LMS)
A self-hosted LMS can cost expensive range to set up, but a cloud-based LMS setup might cost somewhere lesser, comparatively. Even though purchasing a learning management system is essential for enhancing your training programs, if you’re hesitant to spend the time setting up your platform properly — your training initiatives may not succeed.
We're going to assist you in properly setting up your LMS today by guiding you through the checklist of an LMS setup, are you ready? (Sip up a coffee, you might need these pointers for later whiteboard sessions)
- Schedule a launch date
- Prioritize the first steps
- Define your KPIs
- Familiarize yourself with LMS
- Set up Integration
- Establish User Roles
- Set up Customer Portals
- Upload Relevant Content
- Customize Email Notifications
- White Labelling & Branding
- Finalize Courses & Platforms
- Onboard & Enroll Users
1. Schedule a Launch Date
Choose a day/date when your platform will be ready to accept users. This is the first implementation step. So, let’s start from scratch.
Yes, we are aware that the launch of your LMS is less significant than the launch of Elon Musk's rockets into space, but setting a deadline will help ease the planning stage for a successful training program launch. All we want to suggest is to keep working with your team to choose a day on the calendar so that your business and the stakeholders are trained enough to keep their necks up.
2. Prioritize the First Steps
Prioritize to work on essentials (features, integrations, and learning resources) before launching your LMS. In other words, there may be some features, functionalities, and other course suggestions that might need a detailed inspection eye, not necessarily for the first launch of your training programs.
3. Build an implementation team
Some businesses will take up considerably more time than others, depending on several factors;
- Learning resources you need
- The size of your business
- The level of training delivered
Another thing to consider is that, if your company is getting started (startups), there are chances of hiring any full-time eLearning and training managers or specialized training managers that may get out of budget. For that situation, you can train your employees to implement the program. Start by sketching the picture through questions you need answers for, e.g.:-
Question to Ask to Form the Customer Training Program Implementation Team
- Who will upload the content and who will produce it?
- Who will consult with and employ specialists to aid in the LMS's setup?
- Who will write customized code for the LMS (if permitted)?
- Who is in charge of marketing the new training system to your stakeholders—customers, staff, etc.?
We recognize that your company might have specific demands, so even if these are generalized questions to ask when assembling an implementation team, don't be hesitant to add additional ones and make them more goal-oriented.
4. Define your KPIs (Measuring Learner Performance)
This step will make sure that as soon as your LMS is operational, your team will be able to assess learner performance right away. Moreover, your company and its trainers can quickly monitor learner progress by using analytics & reports in your LMS.
5. Familiarize Yourself With the LMS
In this phase, you've set a date when your LMS will be operational for registered users to access courses, and you've organized an implementation team.
The exciting phase is about to begin, Sit tight!
Entering the LMS. Depending on the size of your business, only a few members of your implementation team should be operating the LMS rather than the entire team.
6. Set Up Your Integrations
Integrations are one of the reasons LMSs are such in-demand training solutions for hybrid training of consumers, employees, and other audiences. Through integrations, your company can link external 3rd party programs with your LMS, so that they can support your training requirements.
Whether you utilize default features included in the LMS, it's always worth checking with your provider to see if it can be connected while you're setting up the integrations.
Common Integrations in an LMS
- Google analytics
- Facebook pixel
- Other webinar solutions include Zoom, GoToTraining, and GoToWebinar.
- Accredited single sign-on (SSO) (for storing CEU and certifications)
7. Establish User Roles
Your LMS needs a systematic approach that clearly defines the access permissions and responsibilities that your trainers and admins have for learners. Just like in universities, when students take tests that are graded by professors.
8. Set Up a Customer Portal
Customers Portals acts as an exclusive training ground for various user demographics you are educating. Therefore, you can skip to the next step if you're utilizing the LMS for internal training and are not interested in segmenting training by the department.
But, in the case of B2B training, your team must create portals for each of your clients. While creating a portal, you should designate an administrator to run the training sessions for the group of learners being trained.
9. Upload Relevant Content
You have so far started building your training programs in the LMS and uploaded some learning resources, but you haven't fully developed a course that is prepared for users to enroll in. If you faithfully adhere to this LMS implementation plan, your courses are currently in the form of outlines or drafts rather than finished products (training courses) that are prepared for distribution through internal and external channels.
It's now time to complete your training programs in the LMS to get everything ready for launch.
10. Customize Email Notifications
If you're using a cloud-based LMS, you might already have an email notification system built into your platform, depending on your LMS provider. What are these LMS notifications for?
4 Reasons Why to Use LMS Email Notifications
- Sending out notifications to users to tap their learning progress.
- Updating your learning about new resources or relevant courses.
- Enhancing learner's involvement in a course.
- Promoting new training and courses.
The LMS can help you keep your learners more engaged and on schedule in completing their training programs. So, you must try to customize your email notifications according to your course requirements.
For example, a trainee who enrolls in a course using your LMS ought to get an email including their account and password. The ones who need to reset their LMS passwords also require an email.
11. White-Labeling & Branding
Since many LMSs are white-label platforms, you may replace any vendor ties by attaching your logo and brand assets to the platform. Your user may feel more at ease when your training LMS is visually customized representing your brand (colors, graphics, and unique pages & URLs).
Advantages of White Labeling:
- Enables a Learning Environment (customizable branded features)
- Hide vendor ties
- Provide personalized instructions
Since each LMS is unique, find out what your provider has to offer in terms of white-labeling before starting to customize.
12. Finalize Courses and Platform
In this step, many of you are ready to click “Publish” and onboard your users. But since there are many factors responsible for the training to be successful — invest as much time as you need to detail your road map.
After that, you can access templates to evaluate your training programs here, check that everything is functioning as it should, and polish all of your courses and learning materials.
13. Onboard and Enroll Users
The team manager feature sells online staff training courses in bulk directly to businesses' LMS eLearning platforms.
Put your LMS to the test right now. Get your team managers to send out bulk direct mails to businesses “LMS e-learning platforms” and onboard them into the LMS system. Easily said than done, we understand, that’s why you might need a customer training onboarding guide to keep your process in flow.
Aye, high time to launch your customer portals as well if you're conducting external training. Make sure you implement the best practices you can go about onboarding users into the system if you haven't already.
Challenges for Making a Customer Training Academy
- Traditional customer training methods in different learning environments (Hybrid Workforce)
- Course promotion and Increased competition
- Lack of time or resources to finish objectives
- Failing to make a good first impression
- Using old training manuals
- Burning out your customer training team
Educating customers is a continuous process. You might face friction points while establishing your seamless training program, but setbacks are meant to let you restructure your entire process & re-create using tools & strategy to evolve your entire organization dynamics.
So, to ensure your customer training academy is helping your customers to understand your products & services better - Start with a Free LMS Demo to have a peek at how it shapes your training strategy in a personalized manner.