As the technology industry continues to shift its focus to customer outcomes, education services organizations need to transition from a delivery-intensive model to a content-intensive model. To support that strategy, education organizations will need to add some new capabilities to their repertoire.
“The ability to produce micro-content quickly.” To keep learners engaged and returning for more, new content needs to be added and existing content refreshed on a regular basis. Using rapid content development processes and technology enables quicker production of smaller, easy to consume bites of knowledge. This capability also accelerates time-to-market, as a 15-minute module can be produced in a few hours to a few days, versus a three-day course, for example, which takes several months to produce.
“The ability to source information internal/external to the company.” This capability is the acquisition of content from sources other than the content development organization. Internally, content might be sourced from R&D, product management, or maybe the customer support organization. Externally, it could be sourced from a customer, partner, or a subcontractor. This capability goes hand-in-hand with rapid content development, because it enables the repurposing of content. Content development organizations need to get over the “not invented here” syndrome and leverage content from experts across the company, and elsewhere, to continue to drive down content development time.
“The ability to engage the customer to drive product adoption and subscription renewals.” The best way for education organizations to begin to drive adoption is to ask the following three questions:
Answering these questions enables education services organizations to work with the customer to develop learning roadmaps to transition a learner, or enterprise, from low, to high, to effective adoption. Monitoring the learning taken and correlating it with usage data (e.g. has product usage increased?), provides a snapshot of adoption. Customer success is an ongoing activity because it’s more than just giving the customer a call. It’s about understanding the customer’s goals and laying out steps that can be taken to achieve those goals using your products and services.
“The ability to gauge how learning contributes to adoption.” This capability gauges how effectively learners have applied their newly-learned skills on the job and correlates skill application to achievement of the customer’s desired outcomes. It is this data and information that the Customer Success team can leverage in their conversations with customers. Assessing what a learner has learned and how he or she has applied that learning on the job provides a definitive value proposition that can be communicated to customers. However, successful performance management is highly reliant on the fifth and final capability.
“The ability to collect and analyze learning data to make informed decisions about the education services business.” In order to accurately gauge learner performance and its correlation to adoption, education organizations need to collect and analyze customer usage data. Ideally, usage data should be collected pre and post-training. This data establishes if usage has increased, decreased or stayed about the same after training has occurred. Clearly, there are other variables that need to be considered when gauging learning’s impact on product usage. This data can provide a lot of other useful information as well, such as what content is consumed the most, which companies are consuming, the number of individuals within the company consuming training, and so on. This data can both enable you to further assist your customers and allow you to improve your offers, content, and delivery methods over time.
To learn more about how education services organizations can be better drivers of customer adoption, be sure to watch my on-demand webinar, “Using Data Analytics to Drive Adoption: Why It Matters.” In this session, I go over the results from TSIA's recent Education Services Analytics and Metrics Survey, covering both the good news and bad news regarding current data collection and analytics practices. If you’re looking to stay on top of your business and the market, I encourage you to listen in!
Post Date: November 19, 2015
Maria Manning-Chapman, is vice president of research, Education Services, for TSIA. She has more than 25 years of education experience in the high-technology industry. Maria is well versed in the dynamics of running an education services business and has held leadership positions in operations, virtual learning, business development, curriculum development, delivery, and partner management over the course of her career.
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