Creating a dedicated learning academy for your customers has a double purpose. On the one hand you can teach users how to make the most out of your product or service with product and skills training, making them expert users. And you know that expert users are more likely to remain loyal customers and be valuable brand ambassadors. On the other hand, by sharing high-quality industry-related content you are adding significant value to your brand and positioning your company in the market, attracting more leads, and generating more sales.
But how do you choose the content you want to share with your audience? What criteria must you follow to take the most out of your academy and to ensure its effectiveness?
In this article, we are going to walk you through the 3 main angles you should consider when designing your academy’s course production pipeline: setting the goals and scope, educational strategy and project management. These will help you keep you organized, make a better use of budget and resources distribution, and ensure content adequacy.
Setting the goals and scope
This is the first input you want to gather for your customer academy’s outline. Ask questions like: “What is my business strategy? What is my company all about? Which are my short, medium and long-term business goals?”. And then: “How can I help my customers thrive in the next few years?”, and “How can I help my customers find success using my product or service?”. Getting these answers will help you define your academy’s strategy.
The second step is to analyse the range: “Who is my audience? How many are they?”.
Then, identify your target: “Who are my clients exactly? What do they value? How do they use my product? Are there different types or levels of usage?”.
Fourth, analyse your audience needs: “What are they struggling with? Onboarding? Product knowledge? Skills training?”
Finally, set priorities. Within these different areas, which are urgent, and which are “nice to have”.
Following these steps you will guarantee your academy is relevant, engaging, and helpful to your customers.
In order to define an educational strategy, you must understand the previous goals and scope analysis and gather information that allows you to understand the exact project needs. Let’s divide these needs into 2 types of information: project development and desired output.
For project development ask the following questions: “Which are the subjects? What are the courses all about?”; “Who is my audience and what will they gain by taking these courses?”, “Are there different segments of customers with different needs?”. Knowing this you can define your training goals and KPIs, that are key for your pedagogical approach.
Then ask “How can I deliver the information? Which formats best suit my training goals? And how can I access results?”. Answering these questions will help you later on to define your project management needs.
Now, let’s focus on the desired output. What does this mean? This means that you have to go back to your audience analysis and think about the output, project wise, that will have a bigger impact on your target. What do you think? Would your audience prefer a long and academic course or a short bite of information that they can digest on the go? Do they want to relate with a presenter, or do they only need infographics?
The answers to all these questions will show you the path to your educational strategy definition. Before moving on, keep in mind that your academy must meet your customer needs as well as their expectations.
Finally, once you have outlined the goals and scope and defined the educational strategy, it’s time for project management. What should you consider when creating the course creation pipeline for your customer academy?
First, draw a calendar with the courses you want to launch. Then, analyse each course, one at the time, and identify each project needs: budget, time, and people. This “triple constraint” is very important, and you must ensure that the three elements are balanced, or you will risk the success of your project. This means that, you will have to make compromises between these elements and accept that there may always something left behind. Thirdly, analyse project needs in terms of your pipeline, meaning, what resources do you need for your academy to deliver the desired outcome.
Designing a course production pipeline for a customer academy can be daunting. But we hope that this article has made it easier for you, giving you guidelines for structuring your project and encouraging you to embrace this enticing challenge.
You may also find interesting:
How to create a video training course: the step by step guide (eBook)
The big eBook of Customer Onboarding (eBook)
How to prioritize your academy’s course production pipeline (article)
How to make the case for a Customer Academy (article)
How to reduce Time to Value with an online Customer Academy (article)
How your customer academy provides insights about customer needs (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you offer great customer training?