Customer Education Glossary

Customer Education Glossary

May 28, 2024
Instructor-Led Training (ILT)
Training Tips

Feeling overwhelmed by the terminology used in customer education programs? This guide is here to help. We'll unpack the key terms you'll encounter when designing and implementing effective learning experiences for your customers.

Software terms

  1. Learning management system (LMS): An LMS is a software platform for planning, delivering, managing, and tracking educational courses. It is an online hub for all training needs, where instructors can upload materials, students can access them, and administrators can monitor progress and results.
  2. Cloud-based LMS: A cloud-based LMS (learning management system) is an online platform for managing and delivering training materials that reside on remote servers, not your on-premise hardware. The solution provider handles all the back-end technology and integrations that power your LMS platform. Unlike traditional systems, it doesn't require software installation on individual devices. Instead, users access the LMS and its course content through a web browser on any internet-connected device.
  3. Integration: Integration refers to connecting two or more software applications so they can share data and functionality. This streamlines workflows by eliminating the need for manual data transfer. For example, Skilljar can connect with payment gateways like Stripe. The integration allows learners to pay for products and services directly within the Skilljar LMS, whether it's a domain subscription, a single course, or a bundled learning path.
  4. SaaS: SaaS stands for Software as a Service, which is a cloud-based software delivery model where applications are hosted online and accessed over the Internet. Instead of installing software on individual devices, users subscribe to the service and access it through a web browser.
  5. Single Sign-on (SSO): SSO is an authentication method that enables a user to access multiple applications with a single login process. SSO eliminates the need to manage and remember different credentials for each application.
  6. SCORM: SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, which is a set of technical standards for eLearning. It ensures compatibility between eLearning courses and learning management systems. Think of it as a universal language for eLearning content, allowing courses created with one authoring tool to function seamlessly within any SCORM-compliant LMS, such as Skilljar. The SCORM file itself is a web package made up of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Training terms

  • Credential: A record of achievement, such as an academic degree, with explicit criteria that are third-party validated. This can also be in the form of a digital credential for an online course completion or to recognize a particular level of experience within your organization.
  • Certificate: A certificate is a formal document awarded upon successful completion of a specific training program or course. It typically acknowledges the learner's participation and basic understanding of the covered material.
  • Certification: Certification is a more rigorous process that assesses an individual's mastery of a specific skill set or knowledge area. It often involves passing an exam or demonstrating practical skills through performance-based assessments.
  • Badge: An image containing underlying descriptive information (“metadata”) that represents a credential. The metadata contains the contextual information such as the course description, skills, and earning criteria, and is embedded into the digital asset, also known as a digital credential.
  • Customer academy: A customer academy is a centralized online learning platform designed to empower customers by providing comprehensive educational resources including courses, videos, webinars, FAQs, PDFs, and other content formats. It functions as a one-stop shop for users to acquire the knowledge necessary to maximize the value of a product.
  • eLearning: eLearning, also known as online learning, is education delivered electronically. Think online courses, videos, and interactive modules. It offers flexibility by letting users learn anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.
  • Gamified learning (gamification): Gamified learning uses elements commonly found in games, like points, badges, and progress trackers, to enhance the educational experience. These elements aim to increase customer engagement and motivation by rewarding learners for mastering concepts and tracking their achievements.
  • Instructor-led training (ILT): ILT is a type of learning where a teacher guides students through the course material in real-time, rather than a self-paced learning experience. This can happen in person, as in a classroom session, or virtually through video conferencing (known as VILT). The key is that a live instructor is present to answer questions and adjust the teaching based on learner feedback.
  • Learning path: A learning path is a curated selection of courses within a customer training catalog. It groups related courses together based on a specific topic, skill level, or training bundle.
  • On-demand training: On-demand training is a self-paced, learner-centric approach to knowledge acquisition. Learners can access a curated repository of educational resources on their own time, save their progress, and return at a later time to complete a session.
  • Self-service training: Self-service training allows customers to learn on their own schedule, without a live instructor. It provides resources like online videos, FAQs, knowledge base materials, or interactive tutorials that can be accessed at any time.
  • Webinar: A webinar is a live event delivered over the Internet where a presenter shares their knowledge and expertise with a remote audience. Unlike a pre-recorded video, webinars allow for interaction using a chat feature or live Q&A.

Other customer education terms to know

  • Churn rate: The churn rate measures the percentage of customers who stop using a company's product or service within a specific timeframe. Understanding why customers abandon is a key component to keeping churn rates low to maximize revenue and growth.  Customer relationship management (CRM): CRM is a system that helps businesses manage customer data and interactions. CRM tools track customer information, interactions, and history, providing a consolidated view of your customer relationships. Some of the popular CRM platforms include Salesforce, Zendesk, and Pipedrive.
  • Customer enablement: Customer enablement is a strategic approach to empower customers to get the most value from your product. It goes beyond basic customer support by providing them with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to succeed. This can include training materials, onboarding programs, user communities, and readily available support channels.
  • Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is a measure of how happy customers are with a company's products, services, and their overall customer experience. Companies often track this with surveys that ask customers to rate their satisfaction and use metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores to measure those ratings.
  • Customer onboarding: Customer onboarding is the process of guiding new customers from initial sign-up to actively using and getting value from your product or service. It involves a series of steps to educate customers on features, ensure successful product adoption, and eventually drive long-term satisfaction and customer retention.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI): KPIs are quantifiable metrics that track progress towards goals. Different teams focus on specific KPIs. For example, Sales teams might target monthly demo calls booked or calls and emails per rep, while Marketing might track cost per lead or brand awareness. Though some KPIs, like customer satisfaction, can overlap across teams, each focuses on metrics directly tied to their area's efforts.
  • Monetization: Monetization refers to turning the value offered by your training into revenue streams. This can involve charging users for access to specific learning materials, features, or functionalities. For example, a platform might offer a limited set of free courses but require a paid subscription to get in-depth modules or personalized learning pathways.
  • Product adoption: Product adoption refers to users actually interacting with your product after acquisition and sign-up.It involves users learning about the product's value, trying it out, and integrating it into their workflow.
  • Quarterly business reviews (QBRs): QBRs are regular meetings held between a company and its clients, typically every three months. These meetings focus on reviewing the client's progress toward their goals and the impact of the company's product on achieving those goals. It's a chance to discuss challenges, identify opportunities, and plan for the future of the partnership. You can download Skilljar’s QBR template here.
  • Content Syndication: Syndication refers to the practice of sharing learning content strategically across multiple platforms. This allows organizations to expand the reach of their educational programs by making materials accessible in the locations most convenient for learners. For example, Skilljar enables you to create and upload training content within their system and then syndicate it to another LMS used by your customers. This allows for centralized content creation and management while still ensuring your customers can access the materials seamlessly within their preferred learning environment.

Start your Customer Education journey with Skilljar

Now that you understand the key terms of the customer education landscape, it's time to join the many companies (see our success stories) that use Skilljar to onboard new customers, improve retention, and enable them to become product experts. Skilljar's LMS makes it easy to create and manage content, including courses, learning paths, and certifications. Plus, Skilljar comes with robust integrations with popular CRMs, payment gateways, and many other business applications.

Get a Skilljar demo today to see how our platform can enhance your customer education programs.

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