What makes customer training unique? When selecting an online training solution, it's important to work with a system that meets your needs, whether that's delivering an online college course, employee compliance, or externally facing training.
Online training solutions like HR systems focus on internal learners, such as employee training. Customer training serves such a different audience, that it requires very different features. At Skilljar, we primarily work with companies that are training customers, channel partners, community members, and 1099 contractors. Read on for 5 unique features to look for when delivering customer training.
Skilljar is optimized for customers who can browse and select from a catalog of course options. Customers can register themselves for courses, either free or paid. We can also change course visibility based on the customer's attributes, so you can curate the courses available to each customer. We also enable customers to reuse log-in credentials from other applications (such as Salesforce Community licenses or even your own application).
In contrast, HR systems are optimized for the LMS administrator creating accounts and assigning compulsory training. Many of these systems do not support the ability for the customer to browse a catalog and self-register into courses.
About half of the organizations we work with choose to charge customers for training. Pricing models include a-la-carte, subscription, bundles (tracks), or services included in premium support plans. The financial transaction can occur either online (individual or bulk) or offline (check or wire through an invoicing process). Skilljar has native e-commerce support for credit, debit, and Paypal, both US and international currencies. We also have a promotional code system for discount or free access. Codes can be specified by amount, maximum number of uses, and active date windows, and can be generated either individually or in bulk. Codes can also be embedded into weblinks for easy sharing via email, Tweet, and other channels, and trackable through all analytics.
HR systems work very differently. They have no need for e-commerce as training is not sold to internal employees. At best, they may have add-ons or plug-ins for e-commerce, which lead to clunky customer experiences, limited functionality, and reduced conversion.
Skilljar provides a robust certification engine, which goes far beyond the standard certificate of completion that can be printed for your wall. Certifications can be for a certain number of credits (e.g. continuing education in licensed professions, professional development hours, and other units of value), with optional expiration dates and verifiable weblinks. Our certificates are integrated with LinkedIn profiles as a way to showcase professional achievements. Certification data is available via Skilljar's APIs as well.
In contrast, HR systems may provide certificates of completion or achievement points, but do not have the robust functionality needed for officially recognized certifications.
4. Multiple branded sites
Companies that train multiple audiences often need several training sites. They often have a central content library, then customize the course selection for particular customers based on products purchased, support level, and other factors. Companies also may prefer separate sites for partners vs customers, different countries, and other dimensions.
Skilljar makes it easy to launch and manage multiple branded sites (domains) while maintaining content and administration in a central location. Sites can be completely white-labeled with your branding or that of your clients'.
HR systems, on the other hand, typically require a long implementation and configuration process. Even if the system is hosted, launching another site is starting again from scratch.
5. Customers as administrators
When training customers, the customer typically has a manager within their organization who would like to track the progress of their specific students who are going through the training. This requires two features - first, the ability to easily group students by company, and second, the ability for external users to be granted access just to the analytics for their students. Skilljar has enabled both of these with ease, so you don't have to constantly generate manual progress reports and email them to your customers.
Training customers requires unique LMS features that aren't typically found in HR systems. If you are primarily training external audiences, such as customers, channel partners, community members, and 1099 contractors, make sure to look for a vendor like Skilljar that is optimized for the user workflows and features that you need!