Customer Training: The Opportunities of a Virtual World

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Online customer training

(Photo Credit: Online Training by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images)

Prior to Covid-19, Signature Rail’s new client installation training always took place at customers’ premises. While the past year’s restrictions have presented some significant challenges, they have also provided an opportunity to explore the potential for approaching such activities in a different way.

While trainers naturally tend to prefer being in the same room as their trainees, we have discovered that virtual training actually presents some advantages. For example, we can break lengthy courses into smaller, more palatable learning sessions that can be delivered at convenient times to the customer, and eliminate travel time and expenses altogether.

Virtual trainer-led courses are not merely a matter of putting a product expert on a screen in front of customer delegates. Our training courses have been redesigned to encourage active customer engagement and discussion through interaction and Q&A sessions, thereby ensuring we consolidate customers’ understanding of the topic.

As an illustration, one of our Australian customers, V/Line recently took part in our online training course on TrainPlan, our timetable planning product. Our trainers worked alongside V/Line to structure the timing and content of the sessions to identify and cover gaps in existing knowledge, as well as train staff on recently bought features.

David Austin, Senior Change Manager, attended along with other members of his team.

He said: “TrainPlan is a comprehensive product with many modules which can be configured individually for many businesses, and so one of the biggest benefits of formal training has been understanding how to combine features to reduce the time it takes to complete comparison and validation work. We’ve also been able to understand and integrate new features in ways not possible if we were self-learning alone.”

While we are keen to return to more on-site training, we don’t intend to lose the many learnings from the past year. We look forward to a future where we can combine the best of both approaches in order to meet our customers’ training needs as effectively as possible.

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