Customer Education Coffee Chats are interactive discussions designed for customers to connect with and learn from our community, tour other academies/training sites, see live demos of the latest Skilljar product features, and have their questions answered in a supportive environment. Skilljar customers can register for our next monthly Customer Education Coffee Chat.
I’ve been hosting Skilljar Coffee Chats–a chance for our customers to meet, keep in touch, and share best practices around their Customer Education programs–for well over a year now. One of my favorite things to do, in addition to taking tours of our customers’ training sites and learning more about their programs, is to pause and consider the topics that recur most often, no matter how big or small.
So for this month’s recap, I’ll review the eight best practices I shared with Skilljar customers in our March coffee chat. If you have others to share or want to leave a comment or question, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!
1. Global Header Navigation Bar
Having global header navigation links across the top of every page of your Customer Education platform helps provide users with the most common links they may need at their fingertips. A best practice is to include the items they’re going to access most, such as a link to your help center, to the most-used content or most-accessed page within your own learning academy, or, of course, to your product login page. Learners will thank you for enabling them to find the pages they need when they are in your dashboard without having to remember or type in URLs.
Pro tip: Try to use links that are similar to those on your marketing site’s nav bar, and style it to match the look and feel. If it can align to some degree, it will seem familiar to your learners and unify your branding throughout.
2. Catalog Header Welcome Message
If a learner was coming to your Customer Education site for the first time, would they know what to do or where to go? Don’t miss the opportunity to add a personalized welcome to your catalog homepage that learners will see when they access your training site for the first time. Just say something that recognizes they’ve arrived and offers a suggestion on what they could do now.
This message can be as simple or complex as you want. It could have a way to help funnel or filter users to the things that they need or it could just be a simple reminder or nudge in the right direction, such as onboarding material for a first-time user.
Pro tip: For learning programs that have custom catalog pages based on group settings within their training site that are meant for different users or different groups of users, a best practice is to personalize your catalog header welcome message for each group.
3. Catalog Structure Review
Have you shown a little love to your catalog structure lately? From time to time, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and revisit your site layout, starting with the homepage, where you can welcome users as discussed above.
From there, what is the best way to funnel users into other areas, products, groups, or roles? Consider whatever works for your setup as a way to get your learners to the content, or sub-pages, that makes the most sense for them. Setting up a review can help you determine if you have too much information in one area or not enough in another. The goal is to make sure your structure is intuitive for your learners, making it easy to find what they need.
Pro tip: Make a list of all the different pieces of content you have currently running on your Customer Education platform and share it with different team members. Ask them how they would bucket or structure certain areas, then come together to discuss ideas. You can repeat this process as needed as your programs change and grow over time.
4. Estimated Duration on Course Tiles
Sometimes your learners will want to know how long a lesson will take before they commit to it. So by placing the estimated time to complete the course at the bottom of the tile, they can choose to take it when they know they have the time. This can also help to improve course completion rates. If they register for a course without knowing how long it will take, they may abandon when they realize they don’t currently have enough time to complete it.
Pro Tip: In Skilljar, you can add a course duration using our Text Override string in Course Settings. You can also use this feature to add any text you want, not just course duration. So in addition to providing tags to describe the course, you can add a short snippet using the same functionality if you choose not to put a course duration there.
5. Course Details Page
This is a valuable best practice I encourage learning professionals to take advantage of. Customize each course description with some sort of welcome message including a course summary, who the course is for, how long it should take to complete, and the learning objectives or key topics covered. You may also want to include links to downloadable assets that may be needed such as handouts or worksheets.
I recommend creating and sticking to a template for this. Being consistent with your details for every course helps to set learner expectations as they will know they can learn more about any course before they register.
Putting a little time and thought into this page is helpful because if a learner registers for a course when they’re not sure if it’s right for them, they could abandon, negatively impacting course completion rates.
Pro Tip: In Skilljar, you can create a custom course template in the Course Details page so all of your course descriptions look uniform.
6. Course Lesson Structure
If you have a lot of lessons within a course, it’s best to organize the content into sections, or buckets, with a timestamp for each section. This way, learners can see what they will be covering in the section and decide if they have time for it, and then take a natural pause before they begin the next section. If they leave the course, they can come back to the point where they left off when they return.
Pro Tip: In Skilljar, you can create course sections in the Course Management Area on the Curriculum Tab and add your lessons to the appropriate sections.
7. Course Actions
What do you do if a learner registers for a course but never starts it? Or they start it, leave, and don’t come back? A best practice is to create custom triggers for the desired engagement actions, which is basically a customized email reminder to the learner that they registered for a course but didn’t complete it.
Similarly, if a learner completed a course, it’s a best practice to send a custom or default message thanking them for taking the course and directing them to further courses or resources.
You never want to bombard the learner with too many messages, but you can set defaults; for example, 3- and 7-day reminders, providing a gentle nudge to start or continue the course. And a simple note of congratulations can go a long way to building customer relationships.
Pro tip: In Skilljar, use the Actions tab within a course to create and manage these engagement actions.
8. Last Lesson Experience
When learners finish a course, this is a great opportunity to further engage them. The “last lesson” (after the official last lesson in a course) is something you can use to congratulate them, summarize the key takeaways of the course, and provide a recommendation of what they can do next (another course, list of resources, etc.)
Learners will appreciate this, as very often they don’t know what to do next after they’ve finished a course.
Pro Tip: You can also use the last lesson as an opportunity to include a link to a survey, but it’s best to make this page optional because you don’t want to impact course completion rates if learners choose not to view this lesson.
So, how many of these best practices are you using to create a better customer education experience for your learners?
If you’re a Skilljar customer and have your own best practices, or tips and tricks to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org–we may feature you in a future coffee chat, case study, or webinar!
Customer Education Coffee Chats are interactive discussions designed for Skilljar customers to connect with and learn from our community, tour other academies/training sites, see live demos of the latest Skilljar product features, and have their questions answered in a supportive environment.
Join our next coffee chat!