Enhancing Self-Service Portals with Online Learning Content

By Winnie Giang October 11, 2016 Articles and Editorials

Web portals offer a broad spectrum of valuable services to different groups of people your organization interacts with including:

  • Customers and prospects
  • Employees and prospective employees
  • Investors
  • Partners
  • Members
  • Volunteers
  • And more!

Each of these groups have different reasons to learn about your products, services, and company history. It’s great to train these people so they are more knowledgeable about what you do and who you are. Self-service CRM portals have the added value of delivering context-specific training content, while keeping track of their progress, and the effectiveness of the content itself.

Here are some effective ways your company could be getting more value out of your web presence, while educating the members of your stakeholder communities.

Product Training

It would be great if you could deliver every customer training session in person, but the realities of availability and travel logistics makes that nearly impossible.

Online training is available 24/7, ensures consistent, current content and costs are limited to the time and resources related to building the content. Having a common training platform between your customer portal and your learning management system makes authentication easier, and helps you extend your brand into your learning content. If you have a subscription-based service, product training can ensure adoption of your offering, and help to grow your customer relationship.

If you integrate your LMS and your self-service portal site into CRM, you can keep track of the courses your customers have completed, collect feedback on the content, and create certification programs on your site. Gamification is a great incentive to make online training more engaging, and you can keep track of training points for digital or physical incentives.

Employee Onboarding and Ongoing Certification

For new employees, getting up to speed on workplace culture, organizational hierarchy and policies can be difficult to take in all at once. Having the content available for an employee to complete on their own time is a great use of your intranet! For HR matters, acceptable use policies, or standard operating procedures, online training is a great way to make sure training content is available in the office, to mobile employees and for access outside of working hours.

Just as with customer product training, deploying an online learning program on your portal is a great way to deliver a repeatable curriculum to your employees. If you’ve set up HR processes in your CRM system, you can track course completion, have employees sign off on required training courses, and generate reports on which parts of your organization have completed their required training. Further, you can set up role-based training access based on job types, seniority and other criteria. If your company has to comply with industry standards for safety training courses like WHMIS, a CRM self-service employee intranet is a powerful way to do it.

Learning Communities and Portals

Online learning is a great way to help employees prepare for in-class training, conference training, and to receive follow-up materials after learning in the “physical realm”.

Let’s say you are a medical association with a group of specialists that want to keep in touch with each other, and share ideas on the topics related to your association’s products and services. An online learning community, with news feeds, forums and other collaboration opportunities is a great way to maintain relationships with your members, and help to cultivate relationships among members who meet each other at your association’s meetups.

A social eLearning platform is a great way to extend collaboration and information sharing beyond the parameters of a course and related testing.

Maintaining Digital Assets and Protecting Intellectual Capital

If training is an important part of your company’s revenue stream, you can ensure customers always have access to the latest content as long as they are entitled to it as a paid member. A self-service CRM portal helps you send out targeted e-mail blasts with landing pages related to the training. Tracking web content performance on courses can help to monitor which topics are most popular, and what courses may not be worth keeping in your course catalog.

A secure CRM web portal with e-commerce functionality allows customers to register and pay online, and you can track transactions online with relative ease. If a member or customer should no longer be entitled to certain materials, it’s simple to change a user’s permissions by role or status.

Winnie Giang

Winnie Giang Author

Winnie Giang is the Content Marketing Specialist at Magentrix, a company that provides collaboration solutions for your business partners, customers, and employees. She is passionate about writing and sharing marketing strategies, in addition to building a community through her social media presence. You can find her at @winniegiang.

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