Thursday, January 19, 2017

15 Myths about online training



1. It’s too expensive - It used to be and some still are but most systems are very reasonable to get into today.

2. It takes too long to implement – Most systems are cloud based and can be set up in minutes instead of days.

3. Difficult to use – Student experiences are super simple these days, if it isn’t find one that is. Same goes for authoring tools.

4. Need a full-time administrator – Most systems today have removed the need to a full time LMS administrator it’s something you do to support your team but it’s not your full time job.

5. You must hire someone to build content – A good system with have a built in easy to use authoring tool. If yours doesn’t go shop around.

6. Not an effective way to train – e-Learning has the power to increase knowledge retention rates by up to 60%. 

7. It’s just for millennials – Even my mom can take a course on her iPad, completely untrue.

8. The more interactive, the more engaging – What ends up being important is clear and concise training messages. This can be a simple video, an animation, text to be read with corresponding images (of your staff, equipment or facility).

9. You need to be a graphic designer to make good looking courses – Most good systems come with an authoring tool, are template driven and allow anyone with subject matter expertise to create effective training courses.

10. It’s impersonal and unsocial – With easy to use and low cost tools available today you can absolutely put your stamp on every training module you deliver. A webcam is very powerful.

11. There’s no need for instructors any more. – e-learning is not designed to remove instructors but to augment their efforts with blended learning. Using different mediums will make sure all learning styles are addressed.

12. The tech stuff is going to be super hard and confusing and I stink at that – Find a system that is intuitive, if my 70+ mom(sorry mom) can take a course I’m confident your learning community can as well.

13. I must appear on camera and that’s intimidating – Video is just one option and it doesn’t need to be your face in the video. You can talk over images, PowerPoints, software simulations or have fun happy pictures. They don’t need to watch you as much as they need to hear and comprehend your message.

14. No one will buy my course because you can just Google everything – What is unique about your training message cannot be found on Google because it is in your head. It’s why you built your business. You aren’t building exactly what someone else has already done. Discuss your differentiators.

15. My course and site need to be perfect the first time, and can never evolve or change – One of the biggest myths out there. Training and courses can be modified and versioned. You can start with a small simple course and build upon that by releasing courses in iterations.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wowing your customers with finely tuned customer service...


Providing the best products or a great service idea is nothing without great customer service. Customer service is at the center to every business’ success, and great customer service is often the deciding factor of whether to pay a little less at business A and receive mediocre to bad customer service and whether to spend a little more at business B and receive outstanding customer service. In a world where customer service has turned into an often lackluster experience, there is something so very appealing about an optimistic, warm voice on the other end of a phone, computer or face to face meeting.

Your employees are your company’s first impression. They are very often the deciding factor whether new business becomes returning business that refers other new business to your business. In today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, your best edge over the competition is obsessive customer service training.  

We all know that practice makes perfect and there is no better way for your employees to receive the ongoing, consistent training they need to drive customers to your door than by providing on-line customer service training.  Online customer service training is available when and where you need it for your employees. The benefits of providing on-line customer service training is huge; here are just a few:

Improved Customer Service Skills  
Customer service training programs focus on improving communication, listening, problem-solving and organizational skills. Training employees on the same standards sets the bar for consistent and remarkable service, creating camaraderie, motivation and engagement between staff leading to improved customer service.

Increased Customer Satisfaction
Through effective customer service training, employees are able to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently, decreasing prolonged resolution which greatly increases customer satisfaction. The confidence gained by employees through customer service training leads to the consumer feeling appreciated and respected. This is the basis for customer loyalty, and new referrals.

Higher Profits
Investing in online customer service for your staff pays back big dividends in other areas such as customer loyalty, new customers, lower employee turnover and increased sales.  Customer service training also has a great impact on employee motivation and morale, which leads to increased productivity. Training, increased customers numbers, higher productivity and morale, those are the keys to higher profit.


What are you waiting for? Improved customer service, increased customer satisfaction and higher profits are just a click away. 

- contributed by Felita Estes

Monday, December 19, 2016

Train your staff.... for their good and yours!


There is nothing like walking into a business or receiving a service from a company whose employees are friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable, and encourage referrals. As a customer, you leave the business satisfied and ready to tell everyone about the great service you experienced. You then flash to your business and wonder if your employees could deliver that same level of product knowledge, and service in the same manner.  For restaurant and franchise businesses to thrive having a great product or service is only half the battle.  Without great employees to deliver and represent your business, the best business can find itself treading water. After all, great employees still require direction, motivation and incentives to propel them to give the business they work for 100+ percent.  How do you make fair to good employees great? Training. 

For most restaurant and franchise businesses, trying to get everyone trained at the same time is like herding cats. Attempting to schedule everyone in the same place at the same time or even in shifts is difficult for most part-time employees and many full-time employees because of other jobs, school, and family obligations. But the benefit of providing training for employees far outweighs any downside, and on-line training is the tool that can make it happen.

Training not only provides employees the necessary tools to perform their jobs but it also provides something even more valuable to a business; confident employees. When employees are given the tools necessary to be great at their job, it increases their confidence which increases their need to perform above and beyond and increases their desire to make each customer happy and satisfied. That confidence, increased self-worth and desire to succeed translates to a more successful business.


Study after study has proven that training is important in improving an employee’s capabilities, overall productivity and efficiency. But it doesn’t stop there; training can also improve other areas of the business. Imagine a workforce that is consistently trained with substantial, relevant material. A workforce like that will produce increased revenue, productivity and create an atmosphere of strong working relationships, all of which will more than cover the costs associated with the training. Wouldn’t it be amazing to walk in the doors a business and witness a crew of friendly, effective, efficient, knowledgeable employees servicing increased numbers of happy customers and realize it’s your business? 


- contributed by Felita Estes

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

10 Signs You Should Invest in Online Training


The team here at Learning Zen got to thinking about the top reasons someone would want to be investing in online training. It’s kind of our business to know these things. We help so many diverse companies from Zoos and Aquariums to 1000+ unit franchisors, individual restaurants, non-profit associations, family fun centers and government agencies. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot by helping a lot.


Let’s get to it. 10 Signs you should be investing in online training


1. You have Multiple Locations. Let’s face it, you can’t be everywhere all the time but your message sure could be.


2. You struggle with Consistency. Okay this is a killer problem with most businesses whether you have multiple locations or just one. Training coming from different people tends to stress different points. One instructor might think profit is what needs to be focused on while another instructor believes profit comes from a superior customer experience. One concise message helps make it clear to everyone what your company message is.


3. Those darn Rating Sites are beating you up and giving you a bad reputation. If you want to be able to address problems being reported how nice would it be to point that person, or store, to training that is available right now to address those areas being reported as weaknesses.


4. Turnover is happening but you don’t know why. Look, all businesses deal with turnover but the ones that are the most successful get that way because they invest in their employees, the most valuable asset of any business. Investing in your employees helps empower them, they understand what they are supposed to do and how that is being measured. Everyone inherently wants to do a good job but not everyone knows what that means.


5. Profits are down. When profits dip there is almost always a cause and effect you can point to. The bottom line is to keep profits up you need to have a great product, with a good customer experience so people want to buy what you are selling.


6. Quality is dipping. Whether its food, craftsmanship or customer experience somebody needs to be making sure the quality has not changed and expectations of that level of quality remains high.


7. Hiring is tricky – Finding good quality candidates to hire is not easy. Teaching people how to hire right the first time is one of the best skills you can hand over to someone. Take the time to understand what are the qualities you want in your new hires. What can you work with and what can you absolutely not work with.


8. Your workplace needs to make sure you meet certain Safety and Compliance regulations. Training of safety and compliance isn’t an option it needs to be done. It keeps your employees and your patrons safe, happy and secure. One incident can cripple a business.


9. Company Policies are not being followed or enforced. Hand in hand with training is also the adherence to your specific company policies. Online training systems can manage these policies and protect you from unwanted frivolous law suits brought about from an employee against the employer. Protect your investment by tracking adherence to your policies so everyone is clear.


10. You don’t Trust your staff. This one is huge. At the end of the day employers need to be able to trust their staff or they would have to do everything themselves. No one has a true duplication machine that we’ve found to date so you can’t make more of yourself. You need employees that understand their job and how they are being measured, act professional and friendly. You need to trust that they are handling a customer or situation in a way you would be satisfied with.


This list comprises 10 signs that you should be considering investing in online training. These aren’t the only reasons but these are all things that can be addressed with online training. Online training gives you the ability to put your message in front of your employees regardless of where they are located or whether you can be there. With video hosting being so affordable now your message can get to every employee, you can track that they are retaining the training and you can identify strengths and weaknesses. Investing in employees is worth every single penny. After all, they are the backbone of any product or service you are selling yet somehow training budgets always seem like the first thing slashed. If at the end of the day I know that I have well trained employees that I can trust, my business will succeed and my expectations will have been met.