SKILLED CLIENTS – “Professional Development to Retain Clients”
Small and large companies alike need to train their clients to use their products properly. This applies to all “technical” products, but that does not mean “software” only. Technical products do include software, but also include machines, tools, processes and materials that are needed to perform independent or interrelated tasks.
Everyone immediately thinks of software companies when it comes to training clients, because proper software usage enables clients and their users to meet the goals they set forth when they bought the software in the first place. Without professional development (e.g., training), software clients can quickly become unhappy with the company and the product. The goal in buying software is always to transform an arduous and/or a manual process to save time and resources. However, if the users aren’t trained properly, they will need to spend time on self-guided instruction which could cost a lot of time and, of course, they could potentially use the product incorrectly. Therefore, if you want to keep your software clients happy, train them and do it as extensively as possible to empower them as “super users.” This will keep your competitors at bay. Ultimately, a trained client is a happy client.
The machinery, tools, processes and materials sold to the military and/or government agencies by contractors are sophisticated, and potentially dangerous to use. Therefore, once sold, it is extremely important that the users are extensively trained to ensure the health and safety of the user as well as everyone in a close physical proximity of the user. While hands-on training in the classroom and the field are irreplaceable, computer-based training can help supplement the users’ knowledge by offering pre-course prep, complementary courses and tests, certification achievement & tracking, as well as career path indicators. Learning Management Systems for government contractors must be available in an easy to use format (from both the contractor and the end user perspective), flexible, and available in an online/offline mode in a highly mobile capacity to ensure “learning on the go.”
Skype and the rest!
Many, actually most, companies today use VOIP (voice-over IP) applications like GoToMeeting, Skype, Zoom, etc. to conduct instructor-led client training and professional development. However, there are many pitfalls with that model. It’s not that VOIPs don’t work, they certainly do work, but companies have just accepted them as the professional development end-all, and do not realize that there is a simpler, more organized way to provide professional development. An LMS with an Instructor-led module also has the to keep your training content and tests in a single platform so that you have a library of course materials that are already to engage in just seconds, client after client.
Clients for Life
The bottom line is that if you keep your clients happy, they will likely remain a client. If not, they will likely be courted away by your competitors. Grow your clients, grow your reputation, grow your revenue, grow your business.
Stay tuned for more “Skilled Client” Blogs.