Improve Customer Training Experiences with Learning Paths

Improve Customer Training Experiences with Learning Paths

April 29, 2024
Content Development
Customer Experience

Customer Education is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different learners have different needs so it’s important to tailor training programs to different learner groups, such as admins vs. the general population, first-time product users vs. experts, and by role or even geography. 

The solution? Learning Paths.

Learning Paths provide a structured framework, guiding users through a sequence of targeted learning courses that progressively build their knowledge and skills.

What is a Learning Path?

A Learning Path is a collection of connected courses within a training library. It is a built-in feature of an LMS that you can leverage to demonstrate which courses are included in the same training program, subject area, expertise level, and more.

Why use Learning Paths?

Learning Paths offer several advantages that make them a powerful tool for targeted learning:

  • Unified learning experience: By combining multiple courses into a single path, learners have a clear blueprint to follow. This eliminates confusion about which courses to take and ensures learner progress through the material in a logical order.

  • Sequenced learning: The Learning Path breaks the topic down into smaller, manageable chunks. The pieces are then arranged in a specific order, starting with foundational concepts and progressing towards more complex ones. Learners can complete training on their own time and pick up where they left off later. This microlearning ensures competency in the fundamentals before the learner tackles more advanced topics.

  • Boosted engagement: Learning Paths can help keep learners engaged by providing a sense of accomplishment as they progress through the program. Completing individual courses within the path creates smaller milestones to celebrate, which increases course engagement. Plus, at the end of each course, you can offer a "last lesson experience." The recap covers what the customer has learned and provides recommendations for their next learning steps.

How can you use Learning Paths?

Here are some questions Skilljar customers consider when creating Learning Paths:

  • Who is taking your courses? (Customer personas)
  • What are the educational takeaways for each persona’s training experience? 
  • Can a path be created based on job title, job function, and knowledge level?
  • Are you offering training to the general public, perhaps leading to certification in your area of expertise? 
  • Is your training for onboarding purposes to ensure new customers understand how to use your product
  • Do you offer training to explain your products to different users or new product offerings to existing users? 
  • What would you like customers to accomplish by completing the training?
  • What information do they need to know to achieve a training milestone or certification?
  • Does the order in which courses are completed make a difference? (i.e. Take Course A before Course B)

The answers could help you divide your overall course library into different Learning Paths. 

How Learning Paths improve the training experience for customers

Below are some key ways Learning Paths improve the training experience.

Enhanced learning structure and clarity

Learning Paths act like a roadmap, guiding customers through a curated sequence of training courses. This eliminates the confusion of sifting through a vast library of courses and wondering where to begin. Each step in the path builds upon the previous one, so users can track their progress and see what's coming next.

Learning Paths don't just present a long list of generic courses. They group content strategically based on the learner’s specific needs or roles. This ensures customers learn information directly relevant to their needs.

Imagine a customer onboarding path for a new marketing automation software. The path wouldn't include in-depth coding tutorials, but targeted courses on campaign creation, email marketing best practices, and analytics for marketing teams. This thoughtful approach saves customers time so they focus on the most relevant skills to get started quickly.

Personalized learning experience

Learning Paths aren't one-size-fits-all structures. Some learning management systems (LMS) allow for branching out within a path. Customers that prefer a more visual learning style might choose video tutorials over text-based modules. 

Learning Paths offer the flexibility to adjust the learning pace. Customers who grasp a particular topic quickly can move through the material faster, while others can take their time and revisit modules as needed. This flexibility empowers customers to learn in a way that works best for them.

Increased engagement and motivation

Learning Paths aren't just about organization—they're about keeping your customers engaged throughout the learning process. This occurs through visualizing success. As customers complete each step, they see their progress visually, often through progress bars or completed modules. The visualization reinforces a sense of accomplishment and keeps them moving forward.

Learning Paths take engagement a step further by creating a structured curriculum. Imagine a roadmap towards a specific skill set, with each course as a stepping stone. Completing all of the courses can lead to certificates for basic mastery or badges for smaller achievements. Then, quizzes within the courses can assess knowledge and act as a gatekeeper for final certification, demonstrating a deeper understanding. This structured approach with a clear rewards keeps users motivated and validates their progress.

Improved knowledge retention and application

The structured, step-by-step approach to Learning Paths reinforces knowledge acquisition. Since each course within the path builds upon the previous one, customers must understand the fundamentals before moving on to more advanced topics. This helps avoid information overload.

Also, Learning Paths often incorporate practical exercises, case studies, or real-world examples that directly tie back to the customer's work environment. This allows customers to see how new skills can be applied to their day-to-day tasks.

Accessibility and convenience

Learning Paths are designed to be accessible across different devices. This means customers can learn on-the-go, during commutes, breaks, or even while traveling.

So, with on-demand access and multi-device compatibility, Learning Paths remove the traditional barriers of time and location, making knowledge acquisition more convenient for your customers.

How Learning Paths improve the training experience for administrators

The below section discusses how Learning Paths benefit training administrators.

Simplified course management

Manual course assignments can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Assigning each course individually to a large group of trainees can eat into valuable time you could be spending on managing other aspects of your training program.

Learning Paths offer a powerful solution by automating course sequencing. They act like intelligent roadmaps, stringing courses together in a logical order. This eliminates the need for manual assigning, freeing your team up to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Enhanced learner engagement and retention

Imagine offering a one-size-fits-all Customer Education program to a diverse group of learners. Some might find the material too basic, while others struggle to keep pace. This lack of personalization can lead to disengagement and ultimately, poor knowledge retention.

Learning Paths empower administrators to create targeted training experiences based on various factors:

  • Job roles: Tailor Learning Paths to specific job functions within your customer service team. For example, a path for onboarding new representatives might look different from one designed for seasoned specialists.
  • Department: Build department-specific Learning Paths that address the challenges faced by different areas of your organization. For example, a marketing team might benefit from a path focused on social media marketing and SEO, while a sales team could focus on negotiation tactics and lead generation.
  • Skill levels: Assess the existing skills of your trainees and design personalized Learning Paths that address their individual needs. Beginners might benefit from more foundational courses, while advanced learners can be introduced to specialized topics.
  • Learning goals: Do your trainees need to improve product knowledge, communication skills, or conflict resolution techniques? Learning Paths allow you to curate specific content aligned with each individual's learning goals.

Improved training outcomes

Learning Paths allow administrators to align content with learning objectives. This ensures that customers are provided with the most relevant and essential information, leading to more effective learning outcomes.

Also, since Learning Paths are built on a modular foundation, administrators can easily add, remove, or update content as needed. This helps with keeping learning programs current and relevant across all of your distribution outlets.

Streamlined communication and feedback

Automated notifications can be strategically timed to nudge learners back on track. Gentle prompts can remind them of upcoming deadlines, unfinished modules, or new content available within the Learning Path. These reminders help learners stay focused throughout their learning journey.

How are Skilljar customers using Learning Paths?

Solver uses Learning Paths to help focus their customers who prefer a “breadcrumb through the forest” approach to find what they’re looking for when they may not even understand this for themselves.

Zendesk offers training for customers and partners, as well as employees. One use case for Learning Paths for Customer Admins is to prepare learners to advance toward earning a Zendesk certification. 

Procore is building role-based Learning Paths for anyone in construction management. They offer training by company type (e.g., owner, main contractor), construction role (e.g., site manager, project manager, admin), and Procore tools.

Skilljar offers a customizable solution for customer training

Skilljar is a learning management system (LMS) that focuses on customer and partner education, but it also offers tools for creating and managing Learning Paths. In Skilljar, Learning Paths let you group related courses together. This makes it easy for users to see which courses go with certain training bundles or topics. This is helpful for organizations that want to provide organized training programs tailored to what their customers need. 

Get a demo to learn how Skilljar enhances your customer training programs with flexible, personalized Learning Paths.

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