In 2019, learning and development have become an integral part of any comprehensive business growth strategy. While businesses have realised the value of training their workforce, most have limited their learning and development efforts to the confinements of their business.
After all, training is an expensive undertaking. Offering training to non-employees can, on the surface, seem like a waste of money and valuable resources.
However, by training stakeholders and customers outside the umbrella of your employment, you can begin to create an “extended enterprise”.
Before we start talking about the benefits of training an extended enterprise, let us first understand what it exactly is.
Who is Your Extended Enterprise?
Here’s the simplest definition of extended enterprise we could come up with:
Any non-employee individuals that purchase or sell your product/service fall under the umbrella of extended enterprise.
This includes your customers, suppliers, resellers, franchise owners, vendors, and even their employees.
As you can imagine, the concept of an extended enterprise (unlike what the name suggests) is not limited to large organisations. This means, businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from extended enterprise training.
But what are these benefits? Let’s find out:
The Benefits Of Training Your Extended Enterprise
- Consistency In Customer Experience: If your business works with external partners or resellers, extended enterprise training will ensure they provide your customers with a standardised and consistent experience.
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: When customers get a delightful and consistent experience, they are more satisfied. However, this satisfaction can be taken a step further by offering training to your customers to help them take full advantage of your product or service.
- Reinforced Brand Image: With extended enterprise training, you can ensure anyone associated with your brand is able to reflect your business’ vision and values.
- Reduced Need For Support: When customers receive training to use your product or service to its full potential, support requirements will naturally go down. As a result, with extended enterprise training, organisations can cut down on the cost of providing support.
- Receive Valuable Feedback: When a business offers product training to their partners and customers, the interactions usually end up providing them with valuable feedback on how their product/service can be made more intuitive and user friendly. Sure, this can be achieved with a feedback process as well. However, the feedback process will depend on the willingness of customers to provide feedback. On the other hand, most customers would be motivated to learn how to use your product/service to their advantage, and will provide their feedback during the training process.
As mentioned earlier, organisations of all shapes and sizes should embrace extended enterprise training. However, the additional cost of providing training can discourage smaller businesses from reaping the above-mentioned benefits.
The good news is, with eLearning technology, delivering training is cheaper and more feasible than ever before.
Authoring tools for extended enterprise training enable businesses to create and deliver effective training material on their own, eliminating the need to hire professionals for the job.
This is especially advantageous because many businesses feel that they know their product best and thus, can design effective training material relevant to their products.
What’s even better is that the best eLearning authoring software offer free trials to potential customers. This means, business owners can weigh their options before they invest in developing extended enterprise training material.
Similarly, there are several pocket-friendly learning management systems that enable small businesses to deliver training without having to worry about training costs messing with their budget.
Bottom line, extended enterprise training is an absolutely accessible undertaking that offers invaluable benefits to your organisation.
Still have doubts? Share them in the comment section below!
Featured Image by GTLOnline on Flickr.