Make the Most of Your Training Budget
There are two demographic groups that your company needs to educate: The employees and the customer. If your employees don’t fully understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, they might not do their jobs or represent the company as well as they could. At the same time, customer education is playing an increasingly large role in the sales cycle. Customers want to research and understand products before buying, and if you’re not giving them information, they will find it elsewhere.
The problem is that training can be costly, and splitting your training budget between your employees and your customers can end up selling both groups short. To make the most of your budget, develop materials that can reach both your customers and your employees at the same time.
We’ve come up with a few ways on how this can be done.
- Make mission statement-related materials
In both employee training and customer education sessions, include activities and videos that emphasize your company’s mission statement. Not only will this provide a focal point to your content, but it will help your employees see the training from a larger, company-wide perspective, and better understand their role in the company’s success. You can use these same materials to motivate customers to invest in your products by highlighting the company’s brand and outlook.
- Teach your history
What’s unique about your company? Where did you come from? Where are you going? Create videos or interactive motion graphics that tell your company’s story to both employees and customers alike. Frame your company’s background information in an engaging way that helps your audience feel like they have a more personal relationship with a company.
- Convert your employees into brand evangelists
Getting employees and customers excited about your brand starts at the top level. When your upper management visibly displays their passion in the workplace, it lays the foundation for creating brand evangelists out of your employees. Look for new strategies that can help your brand become more inclusive for your employees and customers, and make it a priority to implement those strategies. Developing and maintaining a unique brand has been the key to the success of many Fortune 500 companies.
Once your brand is solidified, create training that shows your employees why the brand is a source of pride for your company. Although these materials would only be used internally, their effects will reach out to your customers. Employees who know and believe in their brand will promote it without being asked. Their genuine excitement about a company they love will reach customers who can’t be convinced by scripted ads or promos.
- Make training fun
While gamification is becoming rather ubiquitous in the training world, it’s still getting great results. Gamifying is a great way to teach skills to employees, but it can also be effective in engaging customers on your website.
If you decide to make a game for your employee training, consider releasing that game or a slightly different version for customers to play around with. Be sure to use company logos, colors and products—while a customer spends half an hour playing your oh-so-addicting game, they’re also learning more about your company!
Both your customers and your employees will benefit from an investment in solid training programs. Regardless of your budget, making an investment in the people that keep your company running is a great way to show them that they are appreciated.