Skilljar’s Customer Education Coffee Chats showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Coffee Chat, hosted by Jen Raphael, Director of Customer Marketing for Skilljar, featured a conversation with Julie Badger, Director of Product Learning, and Jeremy Heckathorn, Manager Corporate Systems, at IPRO.
Both Julie and Jeremy are passionate software industry veterans. Julie is passionate about embracing self-service education as a net positive customer experience, while Jeremy cares about simplifying and improving efficiency. What better pair to talk to about how they revolutionized the customer experience at IPRO, an ediscovery software solution for the legal industry?
So grab your coffee and read the recap!
I’ve worked with a lot of other tools and programs, and Skilljar is hands down the easiest product that we work with.— Julie Badger
Why launch an online learning center?
Julie explained the challenges IPRO was facing prior to the launch of Skilljar. Does this sound familiar?
- Too few customers were able to receive training (They trained less than 5% of their customer base.)
- Not enough training options (They only had live, in-person training, either at their headquarters or at a customer’s site. While the trainers had industry knowledge, they were not educators.)
- Too many support tickets related to basic knowledge coupled with exponential customer growth was not sustainable
- Inconsistent training revenue (New customers bought training hours as part of their contract, but there was no streamlined process for what that training should include.)
- No way to correlate customer training with customer outcomes such as fewer support tickets, less churn, and shorter time to value
The evolution of a training program
Julie started working at IPRO in 2017. One year later, they launched their Help Center to start reducing support tickets. They also offered live training, but their initial offering was not effective for onboarding customers in a meaningful way and turning new customers into confident users of their products.
They purchased Skilljar LMS right before the pandemic in 2020. This purchase enabled them to quickly make the switch to Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) using a Zoom integration. They also make recorded webinars of all of their admin training available in the Learning Center, which helped with the transition to online learning.
Attorneys and paralegals love recorded training because it’s easy to schedule around their court dates. The ability to let them start admin training, then go back to it, and complete the homework that goes along with VILT, all on their own terms, was huge for us.— Julie Badger
With VILT in place, they spent some time building out their platform, including integrating with Salesforce, NetSuite, Pendo, and Strike Deck. They launched a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) of the IPRO Learning Center in April 2021.
Shortly after launch, IPRO created their first learning-focused blog as a means of driving people to the Learning Center. They created free courses to incentivize blog readers to use this resource. They promote their learning-focused blogs, Help Center, and Learning Center in their customer portal, myIPRO. Having access to everything customers need to be successful with their site in one place has been helpful for expanding their user base.
By having the Learning Center and Help Center integrated in one dashboard, users can search both resources for answers. This helps drive people to training they may not have known about if they are searching for a Help Center article. They find they can get hands-on training that explains exactly how to do something.
Allowing users to see the results from both Help Center and Learning Center together really helps the customer find what they need.— Jeremy Heckathorn
Self-service learning becomes integral to the customer journey
In April 2022, IPRO released their subscription plan offerings, coinciding with a repackaging of their product so that subscription plans for training content are embedded into their product packages. Task-based free courses and subscription content work together to drive users through the customer journey.
As a result, IPRO has been able to move to a much more predictable revenue model including subscription-based revenue for basic and admin training, as well as standalone purchases (Some of their customers are more oriented toward a single product line and they tend to buy individually.) They built a content roadmap using analytics from Google Analytics and Pendo so they could see what customers are doing in their products.
Our subscription model has led to exponential growth in the registrations of total users that we’re able to reach. It makes it easier for us to correlate training with good customer outcomes.— Julie Badger
Employees need training too
IPRO also has an internal training platform, IPRO Academy, which helps new employees get up to speed on all things IPRO.
In addition to product-based content, which is shared on both domains, IPRO also allows departments to create their own online learning content and publish it to an area specific to their department in IPRO Academy. This can be in the form of recorded webinars or training created especially for new employees.
We tested our customer training content with new employees and the usage was sky-high. So now we send an email to every new employee that introduces IPRO Academy for employee onboarding.— Julie Badger
Customer education leads to a net positive customer experience
I think there are some pretty significant shifts we’ve made as a company by valuing self-service as a net benefit to customers.— Julie Badger
Julie’s team has built 200+ courses in less than one year at IPRO. Prior to Skilljar, IPRO only trained about 5% of their customer base. Now, practically 100% of their customers are trained, as customer education is included in their product package.
Jeremy explained that over a two-year period, there was a 50% decrease in total support tickets. This is even more impressive when you consider that during year two, they were experiencing record growth. The number of customers was going up while the number of tickets was coming down dramatically.
Trained customers can have a more substantive conversation with a support person because they already know enough about the product and how it works to help the support person understand their issue.— Julie Badger
In just their first year, with basic and admin subscription plans included in customers’ overall packages, Julie has seen registrations and enrollments for courses increase dramatically. Her team can demonstrate how much training was sold based on the packaging of admin and basic subscriptions, as well as standalone options. Having data like this makes it much easier for Julie to have conversations with the IPRO executive team.
I really encourage anyone trying to make an argument for a learning management system or demonstrate value to figure out how to get the data to show how you’re reducing costs to the business or increasing revenue.— Julie Badger
For more on how IPRO integrated its Learning Center into their onboarding process, read our case study.
Skilljar customers can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to demo your unique learning platform to our community.