Customer engagement is a key element for the success of any training program and training company. Some people feel that they are stuck in a rut while doing their daily tasks at work, so uninteresting and unengaging training sessions are a recipe for disaster. Or to put it bluntly, it’s a waste of time and resources.
And in this day and age, it’s a good idea to avoid both.
In uncertain times for the economy, training budgets do not tend to be very generous. Quite the opposite. Since some learners are paying customers, it’s essential to set the right expectations, to educate them about the L&D industry, and ultimately to talk openly about opportunities and limitations if we want to stay in business.
There is no catch-all solution; perhaps a mix of all of the above might be a good idea. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
Creating an efficient marketing funnel for an L&D company in 5 steps
There is the undeniable truth that any learning program should be relevant, applicable, and accessible. These three pillars are the starting point of any L&D program. What is relevant, applicable, and accessible for every individual learner or every customer is a very complicated matter.
If managers decide what is relevant, applicable, and accessible for the entire staff without any consultation, the training program will not be likely to be a successful one. The same goes for training companies offering their ready-made training packages, without really understanding every client’s profile.
This is why adopting a marketer’s approach to L&D might help trainers and training companies attract more clients, understand their needs, and boost their engagement in the long term.
Let’s see how we can create a step-by-step, efficient marketing funnel for an L&D company and have more engaged customers.
Awareness – educate clients about the L&D industry
It may sound too obvious, but not all prospective clients know what the learning and development industry is all about: types of companies, services, methodology, renowned brands, etc. It is an essential step if we want to set the correct expectations about our client-customer relationship. A perfect fit is hard to find when it comes to training services, while a perfectible one may be a more realistic expectation.
Consideration – prospects consider your L&D services
At this point, prospective clients should have enough information about the L&D industry. They should know what to expect from a training program, their staff’s training needs, and how to address them. Ideally, at this stage, you will see a client that asks the right questions. Most importantly, clients should know that needs analysis is adamant for developing a tailor-made training program.
Read more: The need for a Training Needs Analysis
Conversion – convince prospects to purchase
Educated clients want to see many options before they purchase anything. They understand the intricacies of the L&D market and know that the right training program is not easy to find. At this stage, you will need to show what sets you apart from other companies. Design custom-made campaigns when you target diverse audiences and try to identify the unique selling point for each customer.
Loyalty – retain customers
Once the prospective client has made the purchase, it is your time to shine! Show that you are worth it. Listen as much as possible to understand your client’s needs and make sure that you address all concerns and expectations. Communication is an essential factor that will help you retain customers. Ensure that you collect feedback at various stages during your collaboration and show that you integrate suggestions into your sessions. Adapt on the fly if necessary, and the clients will appreciate it.
Advocacy – turn customers into brand advocates
Happy customers and your best marketing campaign. Make sure that you stay in touch and develop a communication process for former customers. Actually, turning them into brand advocates begins while they are your customers and benefit from the training experience. Create an advocacy program, give special rates or bonuses to those who recommend your services.
A marketing strategy is essential for customer engagement and loyalty. Obviously, offering a good product is the best marketing strategy. Leo Burnett, the advertising guru, famously said: “The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself.” But with all the competition out there, it might not be enough. Make sure that clients know how great your product is!
Veronica is a multilingual trainer of trainers. She has years of experience working with adult learners, both in Higher Education and in the business sector.