Often we are quick to think of our learning technology as a cost center; a necessary evil to onboard employees, get people up to speed, maintain compliance, etc. However, those examples of how you can use your LMS are just the tip of the iceberg. Learning and training programs shouldn’t be confined to your internal folks. There are so many untapped opportunities where you can leverage training outside the traditional four walls of your organization.
You just need to take a step back and look at learning audiences from a broader perspective – start thinking about your extended enterprise. These folks are comprised of a dynamic and diversified set of customers, partners, contingent workers, brokers, dealers, channel sales and other external sales and service providers. The specific audiences will depend on your industry and organization, but every company has some type of an extended enterprise.
Extended Enterprise Audience Examples
- Associations – The extended enterprise is often association members seeking certification and continuing education opportunities. For example, HAI Group and The Society of Actuaries offer industry-specific training and certification courses to their members to help them deepen their knowledge and better serve their clients and communities.
- Manufacturing companies – The extended enterprise is often partners, specialists and technicians who resell, service and maintain product offerings. For example, Johnson Controls offers dozens of training courses to their large network of technicians, dealers and distributors to ensure they are safely and correctly installing and servicing Johnson Controls equipment.
- Enterprise software organizations – The extended enterprise is often clients who need to be trained on how to use the software products. Many large enterprise software companies offer universities where clients can access training courses that are embedded directly in the software product they’re using. So, if they don’t know how to do something, they can quickly launch a tutorial video and continue on with the task at hand.
In each example the value of extending training to external stakeholders is clear. External training programs give the learner deeper knowledge and understanding of your organization’s products, services and solutions, making that learner better equipped to deliver a better customer experience on your behalf. The impact of external training on the customer experience is HUGE. Too huge to dive into in this post. So, stay tuned for a few more posts breaking down how you can increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue through external learning!