Delivering exceptional customer experience, increasing sales and growing the bottom line isn’t always up to your internal workforce. Often it’s the external customers, partners, resellers and dealers that interact with your customers and potential customers on a daily basis. They recommend your business, help answer questions about products and services, resell your offerings, and ultimately leave a good (or bad!) impression about your business to your clients.
With such a huge influence on your business success, what are you doing to support, engage and develop the skills of your external workforce?
Regardless of your industry, the benefits of learning and development go far beyond the four walls of your organization. Extending training to your extended enterprise can have a profound impact on customer experience, brand loyalty, sales and revenue.
If you’re trying to build a business case for offering or selling training to your extended enterprise, here are 5 ways your company can benefit from external learning:
- Boost customer loyalty and improve customer experience. Loyal customers are worth about 10x as much as their first purchase, and news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many years as praise for a good service experience.¹ Well-informed customers are happier, more loyal and far more likely to recommend a product or brand and spend more on your services. What does this have to do with training? A lot. Key customer touch points are mobilized to build customer satisfaction and increase Net Promoter Scores.
- Increase revenue and better enable the salesforce. The more you empower, engage and train your channel partners and resellers, the better they will be at scouting, gaining and maintaining clients. By continuously training your partners on your new and existing offerings, you’re giving them the tools they need to identify and solve customer challenges.
- Improve product speed-to-market. By properly training your external workforce, the learning curve for new product launches is shortened, and issues are quickly resolved during rollout. A well-thought-out learning program ensures your partners, dealers and resellers know the ins and outs of your offerings so they can best represent your brand and get ahead of the competition.
- Drive innovation. Social collaboration tools within your learning management system, as well as feedback forms and surveys, help you capture knowledge, recommendations and feedback about the learning and training programs you are providing. You can take that knowledge back to your product and marketing team to help them build new product offerings, shift product roadmaps and better understand the needs of the clients and industry you serve.
- Explore new revenue streams. Have you considered selling training to your customers, partners and resellers? Certification courses, workshops and other paid educational resources open up new revenue streams that accelerate your business growth. Companies that extend learning to customers achieve a whopping 800% year-over-year FTE increase than those who do not.² Organizations like Johnson Controls and HAI Group are capitalizing on the learning and development market by using Meridian’s learning management system to sell, deliver and manage online and instructor-led training, and they’re seeing some serious results!
How to get started:
Learning management systems have helped millions of organizations automate, deliver, manage and train both internal employees and external stakeholders for years. And companies using an LMS to deliver external training have seen significant results. Brandon Hall Group found that companies using an LMS for external training saw a 40% increase in sales, 37% increase in customer retention and a 45% increase in customer relations. If you’re interested in learning more about how learning technology can help you train your extended enterprise, check out our upcoming live demo of our learning solution, or take a look at some of our extended enterprise resources.
¹White House Office of Consumer Affairs
²“Customers and Learning: Extending the Boundaries.“ Aberdeen Group, 2013