While employees have to complete mandatory compliance training, customers don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do. Often, busy customers aren’t interested in adding more work to their plates. Many companies choose to incentivize their customers to drive content consumption so people will complete training.
Companies are bullish on customer training, and with good reason. According to research by Forrester, formalized customer education programs drive measurable business growth:
There are many incentives you can offer to get customers to complete training. Incentives include social certificates and badges, gamification, rewards, and continuing education credits.
Dozens of articles cover these incentives, but nobody addresses the elephant in the room: content’s impact on the performance of education initiatives. If you don’t get content right, incentives are a moot point. Customers will go through the motions to claim the incentive versus learning because they find real value in the content.
We’re talking about two aspects of content: quality and freshness.
Platforms like Intellum allow companies to present a wide range of training content to customers. You can upload any file type and link—copy, formal eLearning, video, PDF file, Word doc, Excel spreadsheet, etc. But the medium doesn’t determine content quality; the curriculum itself does. How valuable is the information?
Before you add traditional incentives (or “bells and whistles”) to your customer education initiative, first ask the following questions to determine content quality:
There’s a reason Netflix is constantly adding new content to its library: to give users a reason to come back to the platform.
The most critical engagement tactic in an educator’s toolbox is the consistent addition of new content. People need a compelling reason to return to the learning platform. Many companies stand up a catalog and call it a day. Then they get disappointed, four months later, when people aren’t returning.
Humans will seemingly jump through a ring of fire to share a small digital badge on LinkedIn. The bigger the brand, the more this is true. While Pavlov first discovered Classical Conditioning, brands have taken full advantage of the theory. We’ve been conditioned, by companies like Fitbit and HubSpot, to value badges even though they have no monetary value.
Points and rewards go hand-in-hand. Some customer education platforms integrate system data (points earned) with third-party reward platforms so customers can exchange their points for merchandise such as gift cards or physical products like travel mugs.
Allowing learners to earn points and redeem rewards is a simple way to increase content consumption and training completions. However, gamification and rewards aren’t a magic bullet; customers must also have intrinsic motivation because the content is valuable. Otherwise, you’re incentivizing people to play, not to learn.
Continuing education credits are one of the most valuable incentives because many professionals must earn credits to maintain employment or professional certification. For example, if your customers are human resource professionals, you might offer professional development credits toward SHRM recertification after a learner completes a certification.
Finally, accessing the content must be an easy and enjoyable experience for learners.
The more choice you give a learner, the more likely they’ll be to come back and complete training!
Want more? Read The Secrets to Customer Eduction Success