Skilljar’s monthly Coffee Chats, hosted by Skilljar’s Customer Training Designer, Cutler Bleecker, showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Customer Education Coffee Chat featured a conversation with Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, and Angelina Earley, Senior Customer Education Manager, of Loopio.
Loopio’s RFP response platform makes harnessing intelligence from every corner of an organization possible at scale. So, for a company dedicated to helping their customers scale, getting out of the “stone age” to train end users was necessary. They turned to Skilljar to help them scale customer onboarding and increase product adoption.
Training Customers Before Skilljar
Loopio’s customer training began the same way as many software companies – customer success managers owned the customer journey from start to finish. Due to capacity limits, “training” consisted of an hour-long kickoff with a platform overview. Providing any additional sessions was challenging as their books of business had clients in all different stages of launch and adoption.
The fast-track overview they were giving also meant that customers were left to their own explorations if they wanted to learn the platform in depth. Naturally, this limited the growth possibilities for even the most committed customer teams. And demonstrating a clear time to first value was difficult.
As Loopio grew, leadership saw the need for specialization. Angelina helped to launch a new enablement team, specifically for customer onboarding. She shared how they reviewed past successful launches and broke them down into phases of platform training. They focused those training efforts on the customer leads in a “Train the Trainer” approach.
At the same time, their Support team built a help center, making basic platform answers searchable. Other resources, however, were still being created by enablement and success managers at a customer’s request, and stored on individual drives.
With these first steps in place they set an ideal launch time frame of 30 days for onboarding. But in reality, they were averaging more than 60 days.
As the enablement team scaled, they iterated on every launch and took on bigger and more complex customer deployments. They took their phased approach and built out a Process Map document for customers to physically plan out their internal launches and training needs. Success managers, however, were still owning the wider training of end users beyond the trainers that were trained.
To offset some of this burden, their help center grew to include some high-level Best Practice resources. But there were still limits on what they could write and maintain. They were getting closer to the 30-day onboarding goal, but still unable to meet it.
Prior to Skilljar, we were in a jungle of our own making, with content developed without a guide, tracking, or version control, which meant lots of duplicative work. We knew it was time to think bigger! — Angelina Earley, Sr. Customer Education Manager, Loopio
Building a Customer Education Platform Team and Platform
Julia picked up the conversation by sharing that Loopio leadership understood that a formal Customer Education team and platform were needed. She knew there was a huge need to scale Loopio’s training content quickly.
While I was working with Skilljar’s implementation team, I was doing a lot of work to also build and scale Loopio’s onboarding content.— Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, Loopio
Julia’s plan to scale content consisted of:
- Needs Analysis – Assess pain points and common questions from internal stakeholders
- Curriculum Matrix – Compile all the data into a learning matrix including learning paths, course titles, topics, and objectives
- Asynchronous Content Design – Hold stakeholders to hard deadlines for content review while piloting early programs with champions
The next step was to launch a Customer Education program with Skilljar that would be ready in time for Loopio’s customer conference, Loopicon. This was known as the “Learning Station.”
There were a lot of moving pieces to get ready for launch, and Julia worked on the following items with Skilljar:
- SSO set up – for a seamless user sign-on experience
- Branding support – to create a unique Loopio-aligned experience between training and the rest of their site
- ProServ support – to customize the program and make it ready for launch
- Launch communications – to communicate via email with all customers through Gainsight
- Certification development – to encourage social sharing of certificates on LinkedIn
And so, the Learning Station launched, featuring paths for certifications, self-paced learning, webinars, and videos.
Getting Buy-in for Customer Education
Julia offered some valuable advice for any training professional looking to get buy-in for a customer education program/LMS from:
- Constantly work on communicating the ROI of training to executive leadership.
Metrics are really important at Loopio, and I have strengthened my muscle in data to make sure I am communicating the right metrics to the right people.— Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, Loopio
Beyond executive leadership, you also need support from the Onboarding, Customer Success, and Support teams. Let them know “what’s in it for them” – that your program is first and foremost designed to help them. Show them how they can benefit by:
- Saving time in their calendars
- The opportunity to scale and communicate product changes
- Leveraging the learning platform as the source of truth for accurate and consistent training
Metrics and Results for Customer Education
Julia explained how they track results at Loopio based on:
- First, you want to be sure that your customers are engaging and interacting with your content. The Skilljar Analytics page and monthly training report is a helpful tool for tracking these metrics.
- Pay close attention to new students and new active students to see what the student conversion rate is.
- Also pay attention to overall active students versus the previous month. While this is not a make or break metric, it can help to indicate trends for new content or busy times of the year.
- Track these numbers with other metrics you gather to help you paint a picture of trends and usage over time; the Skilljar Analytics page is helpful at providing that as well.
- While it’s great to have customers engage with your content, it’s also important for them to enjoy it; that’s why Loopio tracks customer satisfaction.
- The main way Loopio tracks satisfaction is by adding a Feedback Survey to the end of all their courses, which is very easy to do in Skilljar. (There is a Quiz to Survey code snippet in the Skilljar Help Center that you can apply to your theme.)
- Loopio adds an optional quiz/survey to each course that includes asking for an NPS ranking of 1-5, and free text areas for customers to provide thoughts or feedback.
- Another way to track customer satisfaction is via course completion, available on the Skilljar Analytics page and training report email.
We have a course completion of 78% so that tells me that overall, our content is resonating with its respective users.— Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, Loopio
- Loopio leverages the Skilljar/Salesforce integration to compile their ROI metrics.
- Their core metric is Days in Onboarding (i.e., Time to Value), along with expansion, retention, and churn.
- Julia works with Loopio’s RevOps team to compile all the fields that track their ROI metrics. She adds them to a report, where they segment data based on customers that engage with their learning platform versus those who haven’t.
- For ease of tracking, they define “engaged with” as having started a course. Over time, they plan on drilling down further to course completions.
Customer Education Makes a Difference!
Julia shared the success that their customer education platform had for onboarding within the SMB segment:
Compared to customers that did not participate in training, Loopio SMB customers who engaged with their Learning Center:
- Completed onboarding 26% faster
- Had an average of 7X more expansion revenue
Julia credits Loopio’s training success largely to their amazing customer-facing team members who work around the clock to give all customers phenomenal service.
While customer education may not be the deciding factor in our success metrics, it certainly does help customers understand how to use our product and the value it gives them. – Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, Loopio
Loopio is in the early stages of building out their Enterprise training as well.
What’s Next for Customer Education at Loopio?
There is a lot on the horizon for Loopio’s Customer Education program, including:
- Group training for customers that prefer having someone walk them through training, as opposed to the asynchronous training they have today
- Monetization strategies to bring in revenue to support future program growth
- Customized role-based user experiences so that content in the Learning Station can be tailored for different users based on their role
- A “Train the Trainer” option for their Enterprise Education program
- Blending community support, such as a help article, infographic, or course, with education using federated search to comb through various learning sources to serve up the right option
- Updating and building out new content to support ongoing feature creation
Content development goes hand in hand with running an education program, so we will never let this go.— Julia Singer, Manager, Customer Education, Loopio
Skilljar customers often learn a lot from seeing other people’s programs and hearing what their goals and objectives are – and then use that information to reflect on and improve their own programs. Find out how it works: join our next coffee chat or share these recaps with your teams!
If you are a Skilljar customer and would like to share what you’re working on in one of our monthly coffee chats, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.