The top three business priorities for 2023 are improving customer experience, gaining market share, and developing new products and services as reported in Brandon Hall Group’s 2022 Human Capital Management Outlook survey. Given these three corporate drivers, it’s no wonder that more and more organizations are turning toward extended enterprise learning as a critical step in meeting these needs. In fact, our 2022 Learning for the Extended Enterprise survey found that nearly two-thirds of companies were already providing learning content to external audiences including customers, partners, resellers and distributors, among others.
Extended enterprise learning offers L&D organizations a prime opportunity to impact business bottom lines directly and positively. In Brandon Hall Group’s 2022 study on Extended Enterprise Learning, organizations said well-targeted learning content can improve customer experience (71%), generate satisfied, more loyal customers and higher retention (41%), and boost sales (41%) and lead generation (27%). Similarly, well-trained partners can help drive sales, enhance customer support and provide tighter integration between your business and its partners.
It’s not unusual for organizations to start out with an LMS targeted solely at internal employees and then branch out to extended enterprise learning. When they do so, they often find externally-targeted learning offers some unique challenges as compared to internally-directed employee learning. Most notably, customers and partners are not employees and aren’t beholden to corporate directives.
Customer audiences must be attracted by highly engaging content that is suitable to their needs and easily accessible. Partner audiences seek learning content that is relevant, useful, and concise. Both audiences expect to access learning on a wide variety of devices, ranging from work computers to personal smartphones. Companies must be prepared to provide content that works across multiple delivery platforms and often in multiple languages as well. For these reasons, content development capabilities can become a key consideration when looking for a learning management system well-suited for extended enterprise learning.
Having the right technology is critical to making customer and partner training work effectively. One key component is a Learning Management System (LMS) which enables the delivery of content to multiple audiences outside of the employee base, can accommodate multiple delivery modalities, and is able to track access, completions and assessments. Delivering content outside of the company provides complexities that only some LMS providers are positioned to handle and administer well.
Brandon Hall Group SmartChoice® Gold Preferred Provider Absorb offers a full-featured LMS solution specifically designed to handle the complexities of extended enterprise learning. They have a client base that includes large, global organizations that rely on extended enterprise learning to train both customers and partners. Absorb offers robust reporting and analytics dashboards, meets international privacy, security and accessibility standards, and has eCommerce capabilities for those organizations wishing to charge for extended enterprise content.