Do you consider yourself a life-long learner? Most successful people are. Bill Gates famously reads more than 50 books per year and has stated that you don’t get old until you stop learning.
Better yet, lifelong learning leads to a healthier life, more financial success and even better social standing.
There are so many wonderful ways to learn in today’s world. We can attend the lectures of great professors via MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) or we can learn how to fix your faucet leak from a great plumber on YouTube.
Professionally, I doubt there’s a better resource overall than LinkedIn Learning. After acquiring Lynda.com a few years ago, LinkedIn Learning has courses on everything from graphic facilitation to playing the piano! (Really!)
As customer experience has gained traction in executive suites and small businesses, I’m thrilled to be an instructor for LinkedIn Learning for the fourth time. I can’t quite reveal what the next course will be, but…spoiler alert! It’s about a customer experience topic.
I thought it might be fun to share some of what I’ve learned about learning, thanks to the experts at LinkedIn Learning. The process of scripting, filming and developing a course with a group of professionals who know A LOT about how we all learn was pretty interesting to me.
Maybe it’ll intrigue you, too.
Learning is bite-sized today.
I’m sure this isn’t a shocker, but our attention spans are getting shorter. People are anxious to learn and eager to learn quickly.
This means they start taking a course on their lunch break and are looking for bite-size pieces of content to further their knowledge and understanding.
This short-form content helps learners take in just the right level of education at the time they need it.
Relevance and personalization aren’t just for Customer Experience.
These themes in customer experience apply to learning, too. Learners want to know you know who they are, and what path they’re on.
This means creating learning paths that are relevant to their goals, not just the one topic they are investigating.
Check out the learning path on how to Become a Customer Service Specialist, which includes courses from my friends Jeff Toister and Leslie O’Flahavan. This is a series of courses designed to prepare you as the learner for this step. This type of path helps you gain the specific knowledge needed for that goal.
LinkedIn Learning and other educational sites are full of these paths. Khan Academy, for example, has learning paths for everything from coding to world history!
Mobile-first is the learner’s path.
People are seeking knowledge while they’re on the go. This means they’re grabbing a few minutes while on the bus or in the waiting room. Mobile means smaller screens, less real estate and the need for more creative ways to tell a story.
So what does this have to do with customer experience leadership?
I’m seeing a lot of CX leaders struggle with getting their teams on board lately. There’s so much emphasis on basic metrics and not a lot of emphasis on learning, and teams are struggling with what to do and how to respond when numbers fall and leaders are pressed to improve things.
It’s not enough to announce your intentions to be focused on the customer experience. You have to reinforce that idea with real tools, tactics, and skills for your employees. This is where learning can be a powerful tool.
When was the last time you considered the learner’s journey for your employees? Using customer experience principles and techniques, you can incorporate an experience-focused lens to your learning experience.
By now we know that learning is a critical tool — but how can we facilitate continuing Customer Experience education?
A few ways to help your team’s continuing CX education:
1. Create a learner’s journey map for your key team members.
That’s right. Using the same journey mapping strategy and tactics as you would for a customer journey map, create a learner’s journey map.
Identify the challenges, barriers, and pain points to achieving their goals. Find ways to introduce bite-size content to help individuals do their jobs better by having the right guidance at the right time.
2. Leverage technology to find where your employees are struggling.
If you are tracking behaviors like how often your employees log in to the Learning Management System (LMS) at your organization, you’ll be able to identify ways to encourage the learning courses you want.
Don’t let excuses like “that course takes too long” or “customer experience doesn’t apply to me” derail your overall learning goals.
If learners see they are making progress from course one to course three, that helps them connect the dots between a little learning and a lot of rewards. Recognize the efforts they make, even if they feel small at the time.
3. Celebrate and reward those eager and consistent learners in your organization.
This means providing credits, certificates, or simple praise to those dedicated students who complete all you ask.
Help learners see themselves as CX champions, driving real change throughout the organization.
Invite those who have achieved a certain level in learning to exclusive events.
Ask your C-Suite executives to write notes of congratulations to those team members who have earned certificates.
Learning can be fun… if we let it be.
These small steps can go a long way towards helping diligent and hard-working students feel like all that effort was worth it!
Lifelong learning is actually fun…if we let it be. Don’t turn your learning programs into the rote and dreaded situations. If you hear your employee express dismay over learning, it’s a warning to heed. Learning should be fun, informative, and productive. If employees feel it is nothing more than standard or regulated training, they will be less likely to be engaged and ultimately educated.
Customer experience and learning go hand-in-hand. Your leadership depends on an informed and engaged team. Ask them to learn with you, and you’ll be able to go farther than you ever thought!