Many companies offer a variety of education options for their customers and partners. Resources include self-serve knowledge articles, self-paced training, instructor-led training, discussion forums, in-app messaging, email newsletters, and conferences.
Since Skilljar helps companies create beautiful customer training experiences backed by data, we are frequently asked on best practices for seamless experiences. This article provides key tips and ideas for integrating training with communities.
What is community software?
First, what do we mean by communities? Community software powers peer-to-peer discussions among a company's customers or partners. Typical features include searachable topics, threaded discussions, questions and answers, file management, groups, and user profiles.
What are ways to integrate training with communities?
Here are 4 ways we recommend to integrate training with communities:
- Single Sign On: Enable your customers and partners to use the same credentials for logging into training and communities. This creates a more seamless user experience and avoids the friction of having to create (and remember) additional accounts.
- Gamification: Provide rewards and incentives for a variety of customer activities, such as completing training, getting certified, answering questions in the forum, and attending a conference. Points should be aggregated across all types of customer activities and displayed in "leaderboard" style in the community.
- Cross-link major areas: Create a prominent section (or tab) in your community that links directly to your training portal, likely in the main navigation that's on every page. Similary, you can create a similar section in your training portal that links to the community.
- Create discussions for specific training: Provide a place for participants to discuss training content directly in the community. If your training software offers discussions as well, you can cross-link or embed specific topics to surface relevant information in both places.
Training and communities are both powerful ways for your customers and partners to learn how to successfully adopt your product or service. By creating an integrated experience, your customers are more likely to find resources that work for their needs and learning styles. Use Single Sign On, gamification, cross-linking, and training disucssions and your customers will be on their way to success!