Expert matters this week looks at engagement, essentially the services and support available after the sale has been agreed.
The essence of good engagement is to build confidence and competence amongst tutors and admin staff within your organisation. Whilst individual needs will always differ according to existing experience, it’s generally recognised that best practice in customer engagement includes the following:
• Supporting Initial set-up – means helping providers to identify and implement the right solution for tasks such as user setup and data transferal. It’s a service that can have real impact in getting things right first time and definitely saving time for admin staff and tutors.
• Integration to existing systems – using technologies such as APIs simplifies access and data sharing. Passing learner data including achievement and progression information to other systems including LMS (Moodle, Blackboard etc), e-portfolio (OneFile, SkillsPortfolio etc) and MIS (ProMonitor, Maytas etc) reduces the chance of error and improves efficiency by allowing a single sign-on.
• Branding and customisation – adding a logo to the home page and customising the login requirements are simple but important tasks that may give users a sense of ownership (costs may apply).
• Help yourself support – always a critical part of engagement. If a tutor forgets how to do a task, being able to find the answer quickly, and at any time, is really important. At ForSkills, we make extensive use of video on the ForSkills YouTube channel. Short “how to” videos cover more than 40 subjects such as adding new learners, running a progression report and amending qualification dates and being on YouTube, they are available 24/7 from any device.
• Webinar training sessions – are a low-cost way of delivering dedicated training on a specific subject to many tutors, often in different locations at the same time. They are best kept to around a 45-minute maximum and recorded so that tutors who miss a session can always go back to it. The best webinars will focus on a particular set of topics or group of tutors.
• Face-to-face onsite training – will always be part of engagement but, for some, it’s an essential part of the mix, often supported by additional webinar delivered sessions (costs may apply).
• Ongoing support. At ForSkills, we have a team of trained and responsive support staff who are able to deal with 99% of all enquiries on the phone during the standard office hours providing advice and support on all the ForSkills platforms: SkillsBuilder, SkillsPortfolio and ForSkillsGo. Supporting this on a 24/7 basis, customers can always use our “Support ticket” system or email to request help.
At ForSkills, one of our Key Performance Indicators is centred on customer engagement. We have a dedicated team that takes a customer through the whole process, selecting and agreeing which parts of the engagement puzzle are the best fit. It’s one of the reasons why renewal rates for ForSkills products are the best in the sector.