2017 will soon be upon us.
With the turn of the new year, online teaching businesses will increasingly focus on prioritizing customer needs.
If you jump on this trend, you will improve your online teaching business. A fully engaged customer can bring you 23% higher share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth than the average customer (Gallup).
So here’s your New Year’s Resolution: follow these five steps to crank up customer communication and boost the success of your online teaching business.
All decent customer communication starts with audience research. You need a strong grasp of your learners’ interests and pain points, so you can design online classes that resonate with them. This will improve learner engagement, retention and memory, which will likely boost your return on investment (ROI).
Why? Because you’re more likely to meet and exceed their expectations. They will stay onboard as a customer and sign up to more of your online courses. They may even recommend you to other potential customers. Ineffective communication, however, lowers learners’ satisfaction and makes them more likely to drop out (Aragon & Johnson; Bunn)
We asked Connie Malamed, The eLearning Coach, which trends and techniques she will focus on in 2017. “Design Thinking strategies” tops her list.
Conversations might involve discovering problems that may not be obvious to course sponsors.
The next step is to ideate with responsive audience members to get their feedback on prototypes, before a final design and the development cycle begins.
Ryan Robinson does this well in his email series, Finding a profitable business idea. He asks his students how they’re progressing through his course, if they have an idea for their business and what they would like to focus on. He encourages his subscribers to take a survey and reply to his emails with any questions. He responds personally and builds a relationship.
Run your elearning course prototypes by your learners to make sure they’ll find it valuable.
Designing with the audience rather than for the audience should result in more effective learning experiences.
Put together a prototype course based on the requests you’ve gathered and once you’re happy with it, send them your plan, a few lesson snippets and even a full class to test if your audience likes them.
Gather as much feedback as possible and use it to put together a final course. Testing your course plan will definitely be worth the time. It will prevent you from spending even more time and money creating a full course that your learners don’t like and launching it only for it to bomb.
Spending a little bit of time running prototypes by your customers and gathering their feedback will also help you maximize the value of your course, ensure customer satisfaction and therefore boost your ROI.
Ask learners to share their own knowledge. Include student content in your course and make sure to give them an attribution and shout-out, plus a personal email letting them know when their work will be featured. This will encourage active learning, which improves learner engagement and memory (Psych Central).
Collaboration will also create a sense of community and strengthen your relationship with your course members.
Expert software users can record short tutorials and post them on an organization’s intranet.
Experienced field workers can record instructional videos of incidents and events to newer employees.
Departments and teams can create wikis that hold important documents, policies and resources from which the rest of the organization can benefit.
Set up video or podcast interviews with course members as a way to show your website visitors how you interact with course customers, friends and experts.
Natalie MacNeil includes lots of interviews with course members, friends and experts on her website, She Takes On The World.
In showing her smiling face and support for her learners, she builds trust in website visitors and thus makes them more likely to sign up to her email list and paid course, The Conquer Club.
The interviews also provide more value to your course members, as they show another person’s insight into your course topic and may even add tips that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. Thus including video interviews can increase your ROI by attracting new customers and raising customer satisfaction at the same time.
Top tip: you can use vzaar to securely upload podcasts and videos to your course site and reap the benefits of reliable streaming.
Research has shown that a one percent rise in customer satisfaction can increase customer loyalty by 10% (National Business Research Institute).
It’s critical to your success to gather as much feedback from your course members as possible. It will enable you to verify whether you’re meeting their expectations and what you can do to exceed them. You can find your flaws and play to your strengths.
Gather quick, quantitative feedback by popping polls and multiple choice quizzes onto your website at the end of every class. Encourage learners to email you with any feedback, comments or questions they have and send out more in-depth surveys to get to the why behind the what.
This will improve your ROI as it will ensure you only invest time and money creating and launching valuable courses, rather than investing in courses that fail. It will help you to understand why your online teaching business succeeds or not, so you can work out how to improve it to keep subscribers from dropping out. You can also note your course strengths and use them as a selling point to attract new customers.
Top tip: You can use brand text in vzaar to direct learners seamlessly to a feedback and comments page whenever they finish watching a video.
By communicating with your learners and gathering as much feedback as possible, you can constantly improve your online teaching and ensure your business becomes a success.
Here’s another New Year’s Resolution for you: start 2017 strong and download your free guide: Your Ultimate eLearning Action Plan For 2017