One way corporations are going the extra mile for their customers these days is through extended enterprise. The idea is that no corporation works in a vacuum and that there are important external entities, such as customers, that help businesses flourish. A special emphasis is placed on extended enterprise learning, which makes learning solutions available for external partners. Customer training is the client-facing aspect of this concept.
Customer training programs are created to give customers an idea of the functionality, optimal use, and best practices of the product they have purchased. Usually delivered via an LMS, these programs help customers engage and gain familiarity with the product. This helps them quickly realize the true value of their investment, and at the same time helps build the value of the seller’s brand.
It makes sense, right?
If a customer takes time out of their schedule to get more efficient at using a product, wouldn’t they be more likely to remain a customer of that product? They may also be more likely to recommend that product to other customers.
Despite the numerous benefits of training, having to sift through extensive learning materials before using a new product is a hard sell to customers. Many customers cannot afford to spend hours watching video tutorials or reading user manuals, and even if they did, their level of engagement and interest would quickly wane.
Enter microlearning. As an emerging eLearning trend, microlearning aims to deliver content in a way that keeps learners engaged and information retained. Applying microlearning to customer training can help solve our dilemma. Let’s explore how.
What is Microlearning?
Here’s a direct consequence of living in an increasingly digital age: humans now have a smaller attention span than that of a goldfish. A mere 8 seconds of an average human attention span creates unique challenges to learning, especially if that learning is also reliant on digital devices.
This calls for tools like microlearning, which are more suited to address people’s decreasing ability to focus or lack of time. Microlearning is the idea to deliver small, easily digestible chunks of information that are focused on a single topic. Normally, this content is presented in a way that is visually appealing, available on multiple platforms, and incorporates a range of mediums like podcasts, videos, games, and more.
Microlearning in customer training must incorporate three significant aspects: the learning must be brief, it should be singularly focused, and it must be flexible. Ensuring these three aspects is central to the effective implementation of microlearning. If done correctly, this kind of approach to learning can present both learners and administrators with many benefits.
Benefits of Leveraging Microlearning for Customer Training
The effectiveness of any learning intervention is best measured by the degree of learner retention. Microlearning is an effective learning strategy in customer training precisely because it allows for better retention. Breaking down information into smaller segments prevents learners from getting overwhelmed with information.
By focusing on one precise piece of information at a time, customers can reinforce previously learned concepts about the product and build a strong foundation. In this way, they can acquire a better understanding of the product they’ve purchased and these concepts are likely to stay with them long after the training is over.
Additionally, the content is so short that the customer is more likely and more willing to return to it whenever they need it. Watching one minute of the specific content is much easier than finding that specific minute spread across several hours of longer learning content.
As we mentioned earlier, clients aren’t always enthusiastic about spending long hours sitting through lengthy product training materials. Many customers are eager to get started with using the product and specifically looking for solutions that require minimal time and effort to get acquainted with. Microlearning is the perfect solution to this requirement. Typical microlearning content is delivered in three to seven-minute segments, which is much more appealing to customers.
Microlearning gets right down to business and usually incorporates one learning objective at a time. This focused approach is valued in customer training. In many cases, customers need to deploy products across global teams in a time-efficient manner. If the product comes with an efficient training solution, not only is it likely to be successfully implemented, but it also means that any subsequent updates can be rolled out quickly and easily. Vendors who offer such a directed approach to customer training are also likely to retain customers for future business.
Flexible Learning Options
For all kinds of learning solutions in customer training, convenience is key. Microlearning is usually administered via an LMS, and LMS platforms are available across multiple devices. Mobile learning allows greater accessibility to learning materials. Customers can train whenever they find the time to do so and from anywhere, even when on the go. With flexible microlearning options, learners are better able to fit the learning into their busy schedules.
There is also added flexibility when it comes to the way content is delivered. Microlearning leverages rich media formats that incorporate both video and audio. Quick games or quizzes are also visually appealing and known to aid learning. Customers can choose their preferred way to learn, giving them a sense of control over their learning.
A significant challenge for course authors is presenting information in a way that motivates learners. This is especially true for online learning, where learners can easily get distracted. One way around this is to incorporate interactive tools like gamification and AR in microlearning.
Customers are also bound to learn more when social learning is incorporated into customer training. Interaction with other learners can make training less isolating and more effective. All these measures, when incorporated into microlearning, create an environment where customer training becomes less of a chore.
Ever wonder why recipe GIFs like those on Reddit are so effective at getting clicks and engagement? Well, if done correctly, seeing a concept executed from beginning to end can motivate a user to engage with longer content. And that can include training too.
From a vendor’s perspective, microlearning is incredibly cost and time effective and can have huge returns on top of that. Creating small, focused chunks of training is not only an easy task, it is one that can require minimal expenses. In a time when online learning solutions have the potential of becoming increasingly pricey, microlearning is a perfect substitute for more elaborate training methods.
How to Incorporate Microlearning in Customer Training
- Single Learning Objective: Each microlearning exercise must focus on a single, well-defined goal. The idea is to make it clear to the learner what the key takeaway is, without overwhelming them with excess information. Going back to our recipe GIFs example, this explains why each GIF doesn’t need to show the chef setting the oven temperature, opening the door, loading the dish into the oven, etc, etc. Instead, the GIF might just say “Bake at 375°F” and cut to an image of the dish partially baked.
- Spaced Repetition: Spaced repetition involves repeating tidbits of information from time to time to ensure that previously-learned concepts are retained. This is most effective on mobile devices where customers can get these tidbits as notifications. Over the course of their progress, the learning platform may be able to identify low-performance areas and specifically focus on repeating those topics.
- Gamified Content: Leveraging gamification tools can be a game-changer when it comes to customer training. Gamified content is highly interactive, and therefore likely to be retained. Leaderboards can also create a healthy sense of competition between your learners. For example, a points or levels system motivates learners to achieve more.
- Short Videos: Creating no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point videos such as product walkthroughs is what most learners are looking for when it comes to customer training. Getting right to the point avoids frustration on the learner’s end, as they are able to access exactly what they need.
- FAQs: Sometimes, customer training can fall short of explaining the fine details of a product. Vendors can leverage past customer experience to come up with frequently asked questions that can be delivered in the form of microlearning content. Seeing a specific query being answered gives customers the impression that the vendor is well prepared. These queries can also be prepared in a separate place of reference giving the customers a self-service opportunity. Thinking of the recipe GIFs again, this might mean clicking through to the Reddit comments to see what other people are saying about the recipe shown in the GIF. Are other commenters suggesting substitutions or additions to the recipe?
- Industry Application: Sometimes it’s best to incorporate examples. Many industry-agnostic products can be better explained with a directed walkthrough of how the product can be applied in specific industries. As a result, customers can skip to their relevant applications to learn how they can optimally use the product.
As we’ve discussed, customer training and microlearning are a natural match. By leveraging microlearning tools, customers can learn about the product they have purchased, one bite at a time. Not only is this time-efficient for the clients, but it is also very cost-effective for vendors. Setting up brief, to-the-point, engaging chunks of information is a relatively simple task with enormous returns. Knowing that a particular vendor creates convenient customer learning solutions, clients are more likely to do business with them in the future. Remember: microlearning means bite-sized and everyone knows that sliders are better than burgers!
Need customer training solutions that are impactful and affordable at the same time? Look no further! Edly can help you create customer-focused learning solutions that place the learners at the center. Using our powerful and engaging learning solutions, you can gain both client satisfaction and a better ROI, all with one move. To find out more about our customer training solutions, schedule a demo with us today!