When I joined this company, it was having a difficult time filling classrooms. People wanted our training, but the economy was tight and users couldn’t justify the course and travel expense. At the same time, untrained customers weren’t getting value, and they didn’t renew our services.
I therefore developed a plan to break up our week-long in-person courses into online instructor-led training. Though we considered e-learning and recorded sessions, they simply would not meet the diverse needs of our customers, who naturally had questions specific to their environments. Here’s what we did:
- Reviewed course material and re-organized it into smaller, more manageable modules
- Created shorter instructor-led trainings from each module that could be delivered remotely through GoToTraining
- Evaluated, selected, and implemented a remote server sandbox for exercises
- Beta-tested our training with real customers, offering them the courses for free in return for their review and evaluation and made changes accordingly
- Worked with the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) to review pricing and set a reasonable price for our offerings
We launched our courses and not only kept them full, but nearly doubled the number of courses and participants we expected. Training was a profit center that had been lagging, but after the launch, we met and exceeded every quarterly goal for two years running.
Later, when we completely redesigned our user interface, we also launched a series of free walkthroughs and allowed customers who had already been trained to come to a new version of the training for free. Some examples of these walkthroughs are still available online.
Please note: the audio quality on these videos is sub-par; I’ve learned a lot audio production in the years since these were made.