Let’s get one thing straight; customers never ever, or at least very rarely, want training. Sure some might say that they want training and there are even those that think they want training, but in every single instance, customers buy a solution to a business challenge. That challenge could be to gain greater compliance, improve productivity or even just to tick a box, but in reality they never ever want training and they hate paying for it.
That may sound a bit wishy washy but it’s also a very important differentiator to make because if we don’t understand that, then we will never be able to solve our customers real business challenges. So many training companies out there deliver training and that is their fundamental problem. Sure they say they deliver it better than anyone else but the reality is that they end up being another training provider that is in a race to the bottom of the price war. When they get caught up in this race then the training gets cheaper and of lower quality and the customers problem still exists. Guess what customers do in this scenario? That’s right; there is no loyalty and eventually they end up going elsewhere to someone who claims to do it better and cheaper. Sound familiar?
Maybe it’s a problem of non compliance, maybe it’s a problem of lack of resources, maybe it’s a problem of “right first time” errors, maybe it’s even a clash with operations not being able to release people for training but there is always a problem that requires a solution. Training alone is not the answer, it’s certainly an integral part of the solution that’s for sure but training alone will never solve that problem. Of course there are also more than a few training managers out there who don’t understand this concept either and are quite happy for a “one size fits all” approach to the provision of training. Those poor souls will get the results that they knew they were going to get, but hoped that they wouldn’t! These are ideal customers for us because failure is always a key ingredient to success and those that have been through the pain tend to better understand the solutions we provide.
Far be it for me to dictate what customers want, but generally customers also want efficiency. Let me tell you something; asking them to impact on operations by sending 20 people at a time on a training course is just an outdated practice. It’s one thing sending them off into a room on site which is still a big “no no” but imagine the inefficiency of having to send them off to a big steel shed, a couple of miles from the premises. I don’t think so! Yes of course there will be certain individuals who can’t work a smartphone and therefore eLearning is not for them but are you really going to stop increasing efficiency because 2% of your workforce can’t use a phone!. Of course you’re not and that’s why you deal with the 98% and put alternative measures in place for the 2%.
So let’s then deal with what all customers want and that’s low cost. I could be all motivational and say they are really looking for better value and hide behind all the lovely things that we do but the reality is that the demanding customer of today wants better value AND lower cost. eLearning can do that because think of all those overheads of rent, rates, light, heat, trainers’ wages, administrators fees etc are all being carried by the customer in a traditional training environment. The training world as we know it is coming to an end and all the big corporates are going this way regardless of who believes it or not.
Of course there is always the argument that you can’t replace the human in this process. That’s a bit like the argument that they had when they said that cars would never replace the horse or that the lightbulb would never replace the trusty candle. All you have to do is look at recent examples of efficiency to show how outdated practices eventually become a thing of the past. It wasn’t that long ago that we were listening to music on vinyl, then it went to tape, on to CD Rom and now everything is streamed. There are some great training companies out there who are moving with the times but the reality is that there are a hell of a lot more of them who are in the training space because they couldn’t get a job doing anything else and those are the ones who are really fearful of the future. And so they should be!
Typically these trainers deliver training at the pace of the fastest in the class, the slowest in the class or at their own pace. Sure we wouldn’t blame them as they are providing a commodity at a low price so the longer they are in that room the less they make. They typically don’t care about the customer’s problem, they just put the bums on seats and tick the box. The reality is that this is just an inefficient way of delivering a poor result.
That is not of course to say that traditional training hasn’t a place, because of course it does. It’s just that those that really know how to train are few and far between. Most in fact don’t even deliver the training themselves and subcontract people in which just leaves another layer of cost, bureaucracy and inefficiency. Most are “agents” at best.
Companies now are looking for flexibility in terms of training their workforce at a time that suits operations, they are looking for greater control of that training, they are looking for greater value, they are looking for lower cost and they are looking for increased performance. We love horses by the way, we just no longer use them to get from A to B as quickly, as comfortably and as efficiently as possible.
Why not start your journey to greater efficiency by giving dulann.com a call.