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Three steps to pump up service partner learning

Up your service partners’ game with the right extended enterprise learning solution

Manufacturing is on the precipice of huge change and you need to bring your entire ecosystem of stakeholders along for the ride. Building a high-quality product is now merely a first step. Products must also continuously innovate and be supported by reliable, customer-centric service and support – whether in-house or delivered via a partner network.

At the same time, manufacturing organizations face significant external headwinds – an overextended supply chain, inflation pressures, talent shortage – that make product and service delivery both more challenging and more vital than ever.

Despite these complexities, it’s possible to improve your service and support partners’ performance and service delivery without adding more to your own plate. In this post, we’ll explore how you can educate and empower your service partners through an extended enterprise learning solution to deliver a more consistent, compelling customer experience.

What is Extended Enterprise Learning?

Your extended enterprise includes all the non-employee groups who sell, support, and use your products. Think resellers, customers, and – you guessed it – service partners. An extended enterprise learning program encompasses the training you provide to these non-employee stakeholders to continually build their knowledge of how to maximize the use of your products.

If an extended enterprise learning program would be new for your organization, you’re not alone. According to the Brandon Hall Group, just 56% of organizations currently provide training to non-employees, and most are spending less than 25% of their total L&D budget on non-employee learning.

The great news is you’re still right on time to build out your extended enterprise program and leverage it as a competitive advantage. Here are three things to keep in mind as you think about implementing an extended enterprise learning solution to improve service delivery.

Treat your partners like true extensions of your brand

Your service and support partner learning should reflect your organization’s branding, vernacular, and culture. After all, you want the experiences your partners provide to customers to feel like a seamless extension of your brand.

As you explore extended enterprise learning solutions to educate, inspire, and empower your partners, dig in to see how easy it is to tailor the solution to be an accurate reflection of your brand. We don’t mean customizing in a you’ll-need-a-full-time-developer-to-do-it sort of way. Seek out platforms that are easily configurable, responsive for desktop and mobile, and can be easily branded by anyone in your organization. Your service and support partner learning should feel like all your other brand touchpoints, as if it were built in-house.

Meet your partners where they are

Your service and support partners may have differing levels of knowledge about your products, but ultimately all need to become experts. And last we checked, your partners are all humans who likely have different learning needs and styles. This places a huge demand on you to develop learning content for a variety of learning modalities while also addressing the depth of information necessary to help them support your products.

When it comes to finding the right learning content, look at both quality and quantity and how it can build upon the training you’ve already created yourself. Ensure content meets the rigorous compliance standards for your industry. Look for providers that deliver on-demand, view anywhere multimedia content to appeal to visual and audio learners. And find out how frequently new content becomes available that will help you build out your existing library.

Remember partner learning never stops

Your partners can always learn more about how to better serve and support your customers. Create certifications partners can attain through continuous learning. Develop content that builds upon prior learning to deepen technical knowledge. And don’t forget about building soft skills as well.

“Education and training isn’t a destination. Education and training is lifelong now .” This new reality was recently shared by Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute, as she underscored the need for manufacturing organizations to evolve.

We couldn’t agree more. And even if you’re partners aren’t telling you, they would probably agree too.

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