Extended Enterprise – An Overview
In today’s competitive ecosystem, businesses cannot just rely on their internal employees to drive business growth. They also need the support of their extended enterprise teams to realize their business goals. Extended expertise consists of non-employees that extend outside of the business such as partners, dealers, customers, franchises, external distribution teams, and so on. Equipping them with the knowledge about your services and products will assist them to sell your offerings in a better way thus driving revenue. By educating customers, they get the most value from your solutions which in turn reduces customer turnover. According to the Extended Enterprise 2017 survey by Brandon Hall Group, 55% of businesses say extended enterprise learning “improves customer relations”. Extended enterprise training is a vital piece of the training and development strategy for businesses to remain competitive. Many organizations have realized this and have already commenced with incorporating it in their training plan.
With an extended enterprise LMS in place, you have the opportunity to reach multiple audiences with the same platform while providing them with specific training pertaining to the product or services of their use. It serves as a different training platform, from the one used for corporate training of internal employees, to familiarize your extended enterprise teams with your offerings and bring about the required behavioural change in them.
Types of Extended Enterprise Training
Customer training: Customer training refers to training a company’s customer base on the information they need to use your services or products more efficiently. For example, a software company provides how-to courses and FAQs on how to use their products.
Partner training: Partner training is the process of training your retailers, franchises, resellers, contractors, suppliers, and consultants to educate them about your offerings to drive and add to your revenue stream. For example, a parent company would offer relevant training on sales and marketing, soft skills, and so on to the employees of its franchises to maintain the brand persona and also to get accustomed to the products that they will be selling.
Benefits of an Extended Enterprise LMS
1. Boost in Organization’s Revenue: When you educate your extended enterprise workforce, they become more knowledgeable about the benefits of your services, products, and processes. By training them well, you get to have a better control over what type of experience your extended workforce provides to your customers. With consistently good experience, customer satisfaction levels increase which in turn result into more sales and generate more revenue.
2. Improve Customer Loyalty and Retention: Not providing the necessary training about your products or services to your customers can prove to be costly. If your customers are not able to understand and use your product to its full potential, there might be a chance of losing them. Providing the training about using your products efficiently can enable you to increase customer satisfaction and ensure long-term retention of your clients. Besides, happy customers can act as excellent brand advocates.
3. Eliminate Redundancy: Having sub platforms under one parent platform can enable you to share training content easily to your dispersed extended enterprise workforce. Additionally, you can update the content in a synchronous manner across all the sub platforms thus reducing the efforts of manual repetitive tasks.
Supporting Extended Enterprise Training with Your LMS
Centralizing training resources: An LMS acts as a central point for your extended enterprise workforce to access specific training material. Having multiple and diverse dealers, partners, and customers may warrant creating specific training material as per their needs. With an extended enterprise LMS, you can create multiple sub-platforms that cater to specific training for different audiences.
Tracking and Reporting Learner Progress: One of the key benefits of an LMS is the option to fetch the metrics on learning activity and performance. An extended enterprise LMS can allow you to generate reports of all the sub-platforms from a master platform to track the learner progress. It can also give you the option to automate the reports so that you gather the insights quickly to monitor the performance of each audience.
Customizing Sub-Platforms to Your Needs: With an extended enterprise LMS, you can customize the look and feel of the sub-platforms to align to the corresponding audience and branding. You can provide your learners with a more personalized learning experience by leveraging the customization options available in an LMS such as custom logos and colours for login pages, white labelling, and many more.
In order to stay competitive in the market, companies are adopting the concept of training their extended enterprise workforce. However, training a diverse and large audience through a single learning platform can pose certain challenges. An extended enterprise LMS can be a valuable asset to your learning tech stack to help you educate your dealers, customers, and partners about your offerings. It can boost your business revenue while minimizing the risk of losing your customers.