Trainers who focus on Customer Education understand that their audience consists of busy professionals who are on-the-go. Unlike mandatory compliance training where employees are captive at their desks, customer training is an optional, yet critical activity. Undergoing customer training will lead to faster product adoption and long-term success.
And how can you incentivize your customers to complete their training courses? We’ve identified four incentives to encourage customers to engage with your content and complete training.
4 Ways to Incentivize Your Customers to Complete Training
Social Certificates and Badges
Adult learners are rarely excited by a printable certificate of completion that is tacked to their cubicle wall. Learners are much more interested in obtaining credentials that demonstrate real value to existing and future employers.
A learning management system (LMS) like Skilljar enables learners to share their achievements on social networks, specifically posting their certificates on their LinkedIn profiles. For extra credit, work with your marketing team to run a promotion with a prize for eligible certified users.
For more on badging, watch our webinar: Badging, Certificates, and Certifications: Which is Right for Your Customer Education Program?
Continuing Education Credit
Licensed professionals, from medical doctors to real estate agents to bartenders, require ongoing professional development hours to maintain good standing in their respective industries. Many informational webinars and on-demand training courses are eligible for continuing education credit if your organization goes through the process of becoming accredited (the process does vary from industry to industry).
Offering industry-recognized credentials is a fantastic way to draw students to your organization, especially when students are required to meet a certain threshold of hours. Licensing bodies often have directories of accredited providers which can refer students to your site. An LMS like Skilljar can track the action time spent in the course as well as assessment scores for reporting and compliance purposes.
Rewards and Points
Many organizations give customers loyalty points, rewards, and other intangible incentives for completing a variety of actions. Software like Influitive, Big Door, and Bunchball power customer rewards for attending events, purchasing items, completing surveys, answering discussion threads, and more.
Training and certification are excellent activities to integrate into existing training rewards programs. Students have another reason to complete training and add points to their existing accounts. Organizations have a holistic view of customer engagement actions and can build integrated campaigns between training and other customer activities.
A monetary incentive for completing employee training can be a discount, free offer, or other promotional credit that’s only available upon course completion. For example, a consumer financial institution might offer its customers a coupon for a discount on closing costs at the end of a First Time Homebuyer course. A software company might offer its customers a discount on additional seats, a certification exam, or a premium version of the product. In our experience, these promotions have worked best when designed to encourage a highly desired behavior while still making economic sense.
A Note About Gamification
In many cases, gamification has proven to be a remarkably effective way to create training that appeals to learners. Leaderboards and point systems go a long way towards motivating your customers to engage with training.
At Skilljar, however, we’ve found that most of our customers prefer to integrate rewards with a broader customer advocacy program as described above. We believe gamification works best in environments where there are a high number of end users (tens of thousands), an existing and engaged community, and reasons for users to come back on a daily basis for at least several weeks at a time. Otherwise, gamifying training completion is unlikely to have a significant impact.
Learn more about the gamification dilemma when training customers.
It’s always nice to be rewarded for a job well done. If you’re encouraging your customers to complete employee training, consider incentives to learn, like social certifications and badges, continuing education credit, points and rewards, and promotions.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2019, and has been updated in 2021.