Coupled with the quality of the speakers and my interactions with attendees, this year’s theme was enough to make me a lifelong convert.
Learners are changing. Societal forces are triggering this change. And industry is reacting to it.As consumers, people have been conditioned to expect a certain caliber of experience when you want or need to learn something.
You go to YouTube to watch a video on how to do something. You Google the answers to your questions. You ask Waze to find the quickest route. You ask Alexa to complete a task. And you use Twitter or Facebook or any other social media tool to share your views and get the news as fast as it happens.
So why is it that people’s experience at work is so vastly different from their experience as consumers?
Even with the proliferation of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud-based applications, companies are struggling to offer employees learning experiences that remotely match consumer-driven expectations for speed, ease, and quality.
Concurrently, the digital age is transforming the role — and prominence — of HR and learning professionals within their organizations.Now, internal learning and development organizations not only have to meet new learner expectations, they also have to sort their way through the confusing world of digital technologies, experience platforms, and data analytics.
These are all areas that have traditionally fallen outside of HR.
While this makes your job harder, it also gives you a new opportunity to make a big impact on your organization’s success.
As Elliott Masie said during one of his roundtables:
“Vendors need to understand the landscape of L&D organizations and help them figure out what they can stop doing versus adding on more complexity . . . Be an optimizer and a multiplier to your customer.”
Right now, I believe every organization has an opportunity to re-think the user experience for internal and external customers.Having been on the customer side of the equation for most of my 25+ years in the business, I’ve lived the experience of feeling like a vendor was adding complexity to my professional plate, rather than helping me figure out how to streamline my business.
Only two companies ever became optimizers and multipliers to my business:
- The one I work for now, Mandel.
- Mandel’s learning technology partner, Intrepid Learning.
Both re-imagined and redefined what my user experience could be as a customer.
User experience (UX) — that’s a term you've probably heard a lot. It can mean different things to different people.
The best definition I’ve seen for user experience comes, unsurprisingly, from the Nielson Norman Group:
“User Experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.”
How can companies create extraordinary user experiences for customers? Adopt a new learning mindset.
Help people in customer-facing roles embrace continuous learning to become well-versed not just in your own offerings, but also in the areas below:
- Fundamentals of business
- Basics of digital technology
- Mechanics of measuring business impact
- Communication skills to talk credibly about those things with customers
Help your people develop the active listening skills, inquiry skills, and executive presence to demonstrate a deep level of curiosity about customers’ strategic initiatives and the financial demands of their current operating environment.
Only with this knowledge can sales professionals or account executives start to “connect-the-dots” on how your product or service can optimize a customer’s environment.
The notion of customer engagement isn’t new.Sales books abound with advice on how to be customer-centric. But the term “customer-centric” feels superficial in today’s digital environment.
Technology has fundamentally changed business models and learning environments.
If you want to be viewed by customers as an optimizer or multiplier, you have to develop a new level of understanding about how a customer’s internal business units are connected or work together and about the pressures your customer is facing.
Finally, it’s time to redefine how you view customers. Customers are end users too — not just buyers of your products and services.
As “end-users” they expect a dramatically different level of engagement with you.
The big question is, can your organization deliver?Does your workforce have the skills to create exemplary user experiences?
If they don’t, can you deliver training to your people in a way that meets their own consumer-level expectations for learning?
In my professional experience and in conversations with peers, these are two of the toughest challenges companies face today. If you’re struggling to solve them, you’re in good company.
While not an easy endeavor, I can personally vouch for the benefits you’ll reap when you start to do the work of redefining the user experience for customers.
You’ll create stronger, longer lasting relationships with customers who are not mere “buyers” of your products or services, but rather loyal and fierce advocates of your brand.
Learn MoreAre you ready to meet your learners’ expectations for convenience, relevance, speed, and quality?
Mandel has launched a brand new online program called The Breakthrough Communicator™. No more boring, out-of-the-box online training. This new anywhere, anytime semi-synchronous learning experience is hands-on, social, and gamified.
And, it can be tailored to support your company’s business initiatives. Plus, your users will have an AI-driven personal communications coach in their pocket to give them instant feedback via their mobile devices.
Launch The Breakthrough Communicator to thousands of employees around the world at once. No scheduling or administration hassles. Learn more here.
Conducting a hybrid meeting, one where some of those attending are in the room and others are virtual, is a lot harder than many think—and it’s quickly becoming the new norm.
Focusing on a few key aspects of your delivery can help you take advantage of this new meeting mode.
With remote jobs increasing in 71% in 2020, many leaders continue to manage remote workers as if they were managing a co-located team.
Yet, fifty three percent of leaders we surveyed at a recent webinar said that they had NOT received any training on leading a virtual team.
As we continue to work in remote environments, virtual video meetings are keeping us connected and business moving forward. They’re also leaving us exhausted. The extra mental processing required to navigate screen-based interactions means even those accustomed to frequent meetings are experiencing the burnout. To restore and productivity, consider four alternatives for business communication that eliminate the screentime.
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and promoting remote team collaboration.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for encouraging collaboration in your virtual meetings:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for improving virtual meeting experiences:
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually, and collaborating on virtual teams.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for engaging your teams in virtual meetings:
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
In an era of digital transformation, skill development is all the more critical to organizational success. In 2020, we’ll share best practices for skill-building and keep readers abreast of trends that will help transform teams and drive workplace performance.
- Welcome to the Future of Sales (Hint: It’s Virtual)
- Listen Closely: Your Company Culture Depends On It
- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.