Should You Opt For Pre-Built Customer Training Solutions?
Your customers need to stay up-to-date on your product offerings and new services on offer, particularly if you want to boost brand loyalty and increase your repeat business. There are two popular ways to go about this. You can either outsource the training to a vendor who already has a pre-built solution at the ready. Or you can develop a custom-tailored customer training program in-house. Both routes have their benefits and drawbacks, depending on your team’s experience, budget, and scope of the project. Here are some insider tips to determine whether pre-built or in-house customer training solutions are best for your consumers and your bottom line.
Is Outsourcing Optimal?
1. Do Thorough Customer Training Audits
The first step in weighing pre-built versus in-house customer training solutions is evaluating your current approach. Have you already launched a custom-tailored customer training program? If so, what are its shortcomings, and how can you address them by outsourcing to a vendor? Will their vast eLearning toolbox help you cut costs and maximize resources? Can you bridge existing gaps and boost engagement thanks to their high level of experience in the industry?
2. Crunch The Numbers To Identify Budget Pain Points
Many organizations assume that outsourcing customer training solutions is going to be out of their price range. However, pre-built options might be more cost-effective when you factor in the time it takes to develop custom customer training content, as well as the resources you’ll need to develop value-added courses for your loyal consumers. This is why you need to crunch the numbers to identify current budget pain points that factor into your decision-making. For instance, you are spending too much on authoring tool monthly subscription fees and payroll hours for development. A pre-built solution might be your best bet as it eliminates these budget-breakers.
3. Survey Your Team To Determine Their Hidden Talents
Get to know your team’s talents and skills so that you can determine if they’re up to the task in the first place. Evaluate their daily workflow and conduct surveys and assessments to disclose hidden eLearning abilities. Namely, those that can help them develop meaningful customer education content that connects with your base. For instance, a member of your L&D team has a knack for visual design and marketing. Thus, they might be a good fit for your product demo production team, which saves you the expense of outsourcing the task to a vendor.
4. Test The Waters With Vendor Quote Requests
Compile a list of top pre-built solution providers, then test the waters with your top candidates by requesting quotes. Ask for an itemized breakdown of the costs involved, what’s included in the package, and ongoing maintenance/support fees. This gives you the chance to sit down with your team and do a side-by-side comparison. For example, how much it will cost to develop a branching scenario or serious game in-house versus purchasing a pre-built solution?
5. Inventory Your In-house Tools And Assets
Take stock of the authoring tools and resources you already have in-house to see what can be repurposed. You may find that you have an entire library of assets you can reuse to cut costs and reduce your implementation timeline. Let’s say you have purchased an LMS outright (thanks to a one-time licensing fee), and you have a fully-packed toolbox. It may be more prudent to develop your customer training solutions in-house instead of racking up redundant costs by outsourcing. Another option would be to meet with the vendor to see if you can purchase a-la-carte solutions that omit LMS, authoring tool, and hosting fees. For instance, they develop the content, and you take care of the launch and ongoing maintenance.
6. Get Feedback From Customers To Identify Their Overlooked Needs
A successful customer training course caters to the needs of your core demographic. These are the loyal, repeat customers who bring you word-of-mouth business. As such, you need to gather their feedback to see if anything is being overlooked in your current strategy. For instance, you are already using a pre-built solution to impart product knowledge training. However, it doesn’t reflect your brand image or give customers an insider’s POV of the features and benefits. Instead, it barely brushes the surface because it wasn’t designed by your in-house experts (who have unique insights). It may be wise to develop these crucial components internally so that you’re better equipped to target their specific needs.
7. Evaluate Your Team’s Workflow To Weigh The Pros And Cons
It’s not only the customer online training development you need to consider but every aspect of business operations. For example, will developing customer training in-house take valuable time away from other essential tasks? Evaluate your team’s daily workflow to see which tasks they handle, how long it takes, and if they can even take on the added workload. They may have the necessary skills and experience. However, there simply isn’t enough time for them to master the new authoring tools or LMS. Let alone create meaningful content for your consumer base.
Is it worth your while to outsource customer training solutions and purchase pre-built courses? Or can you entrust the task to your in-house team, who already knows your consumers’ needs and buying behaviors? This checklist can help you make the right decision for your organization. So that you allocate resources effectively, stay within budget and provide your customers with an optimal experience. After all, they don’t expect any less from your trusted, customer-centered brand, right?
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