Software tools are ever improving, constantly delivering value in new ways. So, too, must training content. Just like old bread, stale content is easy to spot and turns people off. As discussed in a previous article, customer training is strongly correlated with renewal, product adoption, and feature expansion. Making thoughtful updates to your training content maximizes these benefits by ensuring your customers are consuming material that is top-quality and most relevant to their needs.
So, updating content is important - but exactly how do you go about it? Unless your training library is especially limited, it’s probably impractical to review and update all content very often. The practical solution is to prioritize updates that will matter the most to your learners. Note that what we’re interested here in evaluating training content. Check out this great article if you’re evaluating your customer training program as a whole.
Continue reading to learn how you can prioritize updates and make sure the freshest content gets in front of your customers.
1. Critical fixes come first
When curating training content, I like to perform a critical audit first. Rank the quality of the existing material and call out any major mistakes or technical flaws. Learners can react quite negatively to inconsistencies like illegible screenshots, noisy videos and broken links. All of these all strong candidates for updates.
Sometimes, functionality changes completely and “the old method” is totally replaced by new steps. Unless some of your customers will find the older steps useful, strongly consider updating content that shows antiquated steps or screens.
2. Consider the customer
I recall being asked to audit training content for a department at a previous job. After digging into the usage data, we found that the most frequently viewed items covered basic setup of the system. This was surprising, but suggested two things:
- Most of those consuming our training were trying to perform the repetitive steps of system setup
- Those same customers might realize even greater value if we expanded content in this area
High visibility, high demand training content is a great candidate for updates. Use tools like Google Analytics to track consumption of your training material and turn those insights into action. Expanding on the content that customers use most often will ensure that you’re hitting a topic that is important to them. Even small improvements here can garner strong response.
3. Aim for many birds
As you review your existing training content, continually ask yourself how many ways you can use the same material. If you tweak a single video tutorial to make it slightly more general, would you be able to use it in multiple courses? Can release notes be published to a dynamic list that also links to relevant configuration articles? The more purposes your content serves, the more consistent your overall training message will be and the easier it will be for you to make future updates.
Training content should be accurate, relevant and easy to consume. Time and labor aren’t free though, so it’s important to work on items that will matter the most to your customers. Thoughtful prioritization will help knock down some of the largest barriers to training adoption.
Do you have a different way of prioritizing your training content updates? Let us know in the comments!