April 28, 2020

Has COVID-19 Affected Your Onsite Training?

Has COVID-19 Affected Your Onsite Training?

Like you, we've noticed an impact on face-to-face training due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In reality, it's been a real booger.  Obviously, any face to face training is a health risk, but what about businesses whose work thrives on classroom or onsite training? Here, we'll recap some of the challenges created by social distancing and how to mitigate them.

Our current situation pushes us to create new ways to find solutions that will satisfy our customer’s needs. An Education Services Benchmark Survey, run by Technology Services Industry Association, shows 38% of businesses that provide a training program has revenue come from onsite training; making it the largest source of revenue for many technology companies.  Losing this revenue source could really do some damage. Face-to-face training needs to be converted to other learning options, like virtual training or online training, but convincing customers the training is imperative to complete now instead of waiting for some unknown future to reschedule a face-to-face option can be tricky.

One major obstacle of virtual training is the content presented online may not be perceived as effective in comparison. Meaning, people see value in the one-on-one time the would receive versus getting the same content sent to several other users.  In short, they don't feel special. If you can get to the bottom line and learn what's holding your customer's back from making a decision, then you can offer one of the following solutions:

  1. A trial run, with a short 1-2 segment of the over-all training can be delivered. Make sure to include any aspect that you think the customer might feel would be lost in translation such as translation, (ex. hands-on lab exercise and debrief with Q&A). When the customer finds that the users are learning and retaining as they would with a face-to-face visit, you’ll have won them over! 
  2. Record (with permission) segments of a virtual training course with one of your customers. You can then distribute this to other customers that are more apprehensive about virtual education. This will reassure your customers there are no major differences between the two, putting their worries to bed.  
  3. Money can be a motivator! Offer to include a small discount to the online or virtual training. Add in a deadline for the discount to apply. This will ensure that the forecasted revenue for training, even if it does slightly decrease, is still reasonably similar for this quarter. Plainly set the time limit for this discount and make it known that this offer will not be offered after social distancing mandates have been removed. 

COVID-19 and social distancing mandates are rapidly bringing virtual and online learning/training to the forefront of the training industry and have presented an opportunity to use these tools to capitalize on the training revenue.  Being flexible in these times is your best bet. In order to retain your training revenue stream, you may need to work with your customers to determine what works best for both parties. This might mean thinking outside of the box and doing things differently than “normal”. Many customers schedule onsite training because they want to bring together a team of people and foster camaraderie within that team, in addition to training. As a result, team-building activities are part of the onsite experience. Some customers like to add post-training support or do a road mapping session afterward. These elements can become diluted or even lost when transferring over from onsite to virtual training. It is up to you, the business, to creatively find ways to still incorporate these elements. 

Businesses have been trying for years to move customers to engage in more virtual training. By circumstances beyond anyone’s control, the pandemic has created an opportunity for businesses to prove to their customers that the virtual experience is just as rewarding as a face-to-face event. We understand that our customers are impacted by COVID-19. Whether you are prepared to invigorate your business's response to the obstacles that have sprouted or are looking for new tools to help forecast what lies ahead, we’re here to help.


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