While in-person training has a place in your education strategy, it can also be challenging to schedule, and, in light of recent events, impossible to attend. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen increased interest in the use of on-demand training to equip customers with the knowledge they need to be successful. Self-paced, on-demand programs can give students access to the information they need, exactly when they need it. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the key characteristics of on-demand training and delve into the benefits of this method for students. 

What is On-Demand Training?

On-demand training, also referred to as just-in-time learning, is education that’s available to customers anywhere and anytime. There are no restrictions on time zones, locations, room capacity, or availability of instructors, and learners can access content immediately and at their own convenience, a top priority for adult learners. 

On-demand education includes a mix of content types and typically involves video, interactive simulations, and downloadable guides. Some other resources commonly included are recorded webinars, infographics, slideshows, and blog posts. This format of training can be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices, and its ease of access means that geography no longer presents a barrier to knowledge acquisition. 

By providing the opportunity for workers to learn when and where they want, educators increase both the likelihood that learners will engage with training, and that they will be in the best frame of mind to retain the information. 

Four Key Characteristics of On-Demand Training 

  1. Instant access: With an instructor-led training model, the onboarding process can be prolonged or delayed due to the volume of resources needed, as well as scheduling logistics. An on-demand approach empowers customers to start learning how to use your product immediately and at their own convenience.
  2. Consistent: On-demand content isn’t subject to fluctuations due to instructor interpretation. Customers around the world all receive the same high-quality training experience, no matter where they are located or when they participate in training.
  3. Bite-sized content: This technique is becoming increasingly popular. Instructor-led training tends to cover larger amounts of material within a single training session. In contrast, on-demand training is the perfect format to deliver bite-sized training. The content is easier to consume and easier to fit into a customer’s schedule, whether they are at the office, on the road or at home.
  4. Convenient: Customers and accounts can easily re-onboard by training new users when there is turnover. Additionally, on-demand training offers a solution for people who simply missed previous training due to scheduling constraints or need a refresher. 

Advantages of On-Demand Learning for Voluntary Learners

  • Faster Time to Value: A self-service customer training option means that your customers can get started right away. There’s no need to schedule live sessions or fly an instructor across the country. This is particularly true for software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, where accelerating the time to value means your customer is more likely to adopt, engage, and renew. With well-designed training, your customers will also appreciate having diverse training options, and reward you with higher satisfaction ratings.
  • Increased Training Effectiveness: Self-paced training is the format that most adult learners prefer today. It enables your customers to pick up and resume training at their own convenience, and review the material as often as they like. You can also easily assess their knowledge with interactive quizzes. Self-paced training is a valuable option for customers who have scheduling conflicts or just prefer to learn on their own terms. Building out specialized role-based training and advanced topics also gives customers the ability to self-select into exactly the areas they want to learn. Designing a Customer Education program for users to work independently greatly increases the chances of participation and content absorption.
  • Remote/Mobile Learning: Whether students are on-the-go or work remotely, on-demand training ensures that learners have access to the information and solutions they need. Given the difficulty of gathering employees, customers, and partners in one room for training, skills assessments, or new product onboarding, organizations need an alternative solution for ensuring that these audiences have the information they need to be successful. To this end, companies need to prioritize on-demand training options that are not restricted by time zones, geographies, room capacity, or instructor availability. 
  • Best Learning Experience: By offering coursework that can be completed in a self-paced and on-demand manner, organizations also reduce the pressure on learners to “squeeze in” training, in turn, encouraging learners to complete courses when they feel they are in the best frame of mind to learn. 

As we’ve now seen, with the creation of on-demand, self-service content, organizations can ensure that their employees, customers, and partners are enabled with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their roles, regardless of where they are in the world or when they have questions. 

Do you have other tips for engaging virtual customers? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn!