If you have ever been part of a company, then you must know how important it is to invest in employee development. Employee training expands your employees’ skillset, gives them confidence, and propels your company forward.
But as the competition grows more fierce, companies offering high-tech solutions or nuanced products should consider training people who aren’t part of their workforce. This type of training is known as extended enterprise.
What do we mean by extended enterprise training?
What is extended enterprise training, exactly? Extended enterprise is training anyone who uses or sells your product or services. The training focuses on product knowledge, but it does include an introduction to the company goals and vision, as well.
Extended enterprise training is divided into two broad categories: customer training and partner training.
Clients fall into the first category. Customer training helps customers understand how your product works and how they can use it.
Partner training includes all your external business partners, like vendors, resellers, franchisees, contractors, and consultants. By training your business partners on your product, you enable them to identify all possible use cases and make targeted suggestions.
What are the benefits of extended enterprise training?
The benefits of extended enterprise learning for your business will have you convinced that it’s worth the investment. Let’s take a look at what extended enterprise training helps you accomplish:
1. Improve customer satisfaction
Customers should always be happy with a product. Customer happiness increases when customers can use the product with ease, and when this product brings value to their lives.
With extended enterprise training, customers discover all the benefits of using your product and the problems it solves. They also have their own digital how-to guides in the form of an online course, so they won’t need to call your customer support as much. All in all — customer satisfaction, guaranteed.
2. Improve customer loyalty
Whether you’re selling a smartwatch or a time management app, you don’t want your product to end up lie forgotten in a drawer or make it to the “unused apps” list of a smartphone.
It’s not (only) a matter of pride. Low user adoption is bad news for a business. If customers don’t use your product enough, your brand — just like your product — will fade from memory. Common reasons why customers won’t use a product is because they don’t understand how it works or haven’t found a use case for it. Extended enterprise learning can help with both issues.
The most loyal customers see your product as part of their daily routine. Extended enterprise training shows customers the ways your product fits into their lives, so they can get the most out of it. By using it more often, customers remember your brand and are more likely to return to you for their next purchase or when it’s time to renew their subscription.
3. Increase your sales
Both your business partners and your customers can help you drive more sales. In the case of business partners, extended enterprise training offers them a deep understanding of your product or services and their benefits. This means that vendors sell your product more convincingly because they can provide the most suitable solution for your customer needs.
Customers are also top-notch salespeople. Like we explained, customer training increases customer satisfaction. In more good news, satisfied customers will be eager to advertise your product to their friends and business associates. This increases your credibility and brings quality leads your way. Happy customers also leave positive reviews online, raising your average rating and giving you a competitive advantage over similar products.
4. Build a strong brand
Training your customers is cool. It shows confidence in your product. It means you know your product is awesome and useful, so you want your customers to enjoy it to the fullest.
Offering training also shows that your brand is different because you go the extra mile to connect with customers in a way that few companies do. So, another benefit of extended enterprise training? It is a brilliant way to establish your brand and show everyone you’re unique!
5. Create a consistent brand image
Brand image and customer experience are two sides of the same coin. Everyone involved in selling your product directly or indirectly should be consistent with your brand image and contribute to offering a positive customer experience. This level of brand consistency can’t be achieved only with product knowledge, which is already a given in extended enterprise training.
Business partners need to know all about your company’s vision and goals. They must understand why you’ve created this product and what problems you want to solve. They also need to know where you want your company to be five years from now. Knowing about your goals, they’re better equipped to offer a consistent customer experience that aligns with your brand image.
6. Improve your product
Through extended enterprise learning, your business partners and customers will know your product inside-out. As customers start using your product to its maximum capability, they might notice things that your QA team missed.
Business partners, too, can make insightful comments as they learn more about what you’re trying to accomplish. By training third parties, you have an excellent opportunity to get feedback early on and fix things that aren’t working, whether they’re product features, your advertising strategy, or even your market positioning.
7. Reach company goals
There are many examples of extended enterprise learning where training is used as a part of a company’s broader strategy. Do you want to increase sales? Or to pump up your customer satisfaction scores and reduce complaint tickets? Make your product more popular among a specific audience?
You can include extended enterprise training in your marketing strategy or your employee training program to help reach business objectives.
8. Higher revenue
In business, there’s one benefit that overshadows all the other — profit. Your profit increases as your sales increase, and you’ve already seen how extended enterprise training does that. Sales partners sell more, consultants push your product in the right situations, and customers bring new business and deals.
Revenue also increases gradually and in less direct ways. An improvement in the customer experience as a result of customer training, for example, will sooner or later translate into more sales from existing customers and new ones who will be pulled in.
Extended enterprise training will help you reach your company goals and achieve long-term financial stability. But, just like any other type of training, it must hold your audience’s attention.
eFront is the extended enterprise LMS that will help you craft a branded training experience for customers and partners. Separate learning environments and customized reports allow you to build, manage, and track different courses for each audience without losing sight of your training.
Improve your employee, partner and customer training with our enterprise-ready learning management system. Book a demo now and see why our diverse portfolio of customers consistently give us 5 stars (out of 5!)