In this edition of our Training Tips series, we asked Skilljar’s new Customer Training Manager, Damani Musgrave, to share his insights and tips about training customers. Welcome to the Skilljar team, Damani!
What advice do you have for other people who are training customers?
I’d say that planning is super important. If you don’t plan ahead, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of time and energy – especially if you’re creating brand new courses.
My advice is to start by thinking about your goals and objectives: what, exactly, do you want to accomplish? I’ve found it’s helpful to use sticky notes or a whiteboard to map out on a high-level what each course will be, who they will be for, and how they will flow together.
If you’re offering some in-person or virtual instructor-led training (VILT), it’s also important to consider the timing of your trainings. For example, are your users in different time zones – on the West Coast, East Coast, or abroad? Do they travel for business, and spend most Thursday nights in an airport? Be sensitive to their needs. Try to find that sweet spot where you can maximize attendance.
I’d also add that you should always get feedback at the end of training sessions. This allows you to improve, and can provide you with quotes to demonstrate that training is working well to management.
What customer training resources would you recommend?
Camtasia. It’s awesome, cheap, and easy to learn. At my last job, we went from have no video tutorials, to up to 500 in one year! You can get a lot of bang for your buck. Customers can find the answers they need, and it’s easy to upload the tutorials to Skilljar and other tools.
Other than that, I’d say you need a microphone that works well. And depending on the size of your team, you might want to use project management tools like Smartsheet and Jira. That way, you can assign tasks and track progress over the course of the quarter, as you move from inception to publication.
This is a different type of resource, but I think it’s also beneficial to join TSIA and other organizations. You can then network with a community of people who have had similar experiences – some of them may be in the same stage as you; others may have moved onto the next step. There’s a lot you can learn from both groups.
This is actually one of the things that excites me the most about Skilljar’s customer training program. We have the potential to create a vibrant community of customer training professionals, who can share their stories, and help pull each other up.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Learn as you build, and don’t be too afraid of making mistakes. You’ll make them anyway, so the important thing is that you’ll be learning and building. At my last company, my team was successful in delivering on customer training because we dove in.
Feedback is key to turning past mistakes into future successes. A huge lesson I took from my previous manager is to collect and leverage feedback from participants.
In our Training Tips series, we asked Training, Marketing, and Customer Success Managers what some of their best practices are to get the most out of a customer training program. Stay tuned for new Q&As each month!