10 ways a training business can increase profit and create resource

Written by Stuart Banbery on 9 November 2015

What if I told you that almost every admin task in your training business could be automated – saving money, creating resource and delivering exceptional learner experiences? Well, it can.

You don’t need me to tell you that when you run a training organisation much of your resource is swallowed up by teams of people repeating the same no-value, time-consuming tasks over and over each day.

Each week, thousands of marketing and confirmation emails must be issued…enquiries must be manually routed and responded to…trainers and resources have to be co-ordinated and managed…instructions and materials issued…attendance records…feedback surveys….certificates….on and on the list is endless.

Although mundane and time-consuming, these tasks are the bread and butter of a Training Provider’s operations and keep the wheels turning. These tasks must be executed precisely if a business is to run profitably, learners are to have a positive experience and key accounts retained and grown.

Traditionally, training providers have put their faith in mountains of spreadsheets, calendar reminders, the old faithful post-it note and whiteboards on office walls. Unbelievable as it is, our experience has shown us that some large National and even International providers are often just about hanging together by unsophisticated and archaic office techniques.

However, in recent years the more ambitious, progressive and fastest growing providers are now migrating to specifically developed training management software, which joins up all of their critical business systems and information, automating almost all of the weekly and sometimes daily tasks.

The benefit of this to the organisation is that running costs are dramatically reduced, teams of individuals are freed up and extra resource created to focus on high-value activities, plus the customer experiences a seamless and high-quality learner journey.

Still sceptical as to what extent your business can be automated? Tell me you’re not impressed when you browse for something on Amazon, find it, order it, receive an instant invoice and confirmation from the seller saying thanks for the order – then boom, your parcel is on your doorstep the next morning. Every one of these steps is an automated action performed by their computer system. It’s now the way of the World and expected by increasingly savvy and demanding consumers in a competitive marketplace.

So, with this in mind I’ve put together 10 quick ideas for costly daily processes in your training business which can be quickly automated by investing in training management software which will take the strain for you.

1.Marketing your courses

Build targeted and engaging email marketing campaigns and schedule these to be sent at specific times and dates. Then track the success of your campaigns through powerful clicks and opens reporting which can be used to inform your next campaign.

2.Responding to enquiries

Automatically route enquiries to the correct department and alert employees that they need responding to within a given SLA timeframe. If an email is not responded to, it can be automatically escalated to a senior member of staff. Notifications and alerts can also be automated so that they appear in people’s diaries.

3.Taking bookings

Allow prospects to search and view courses on your website, then take bookings through your website 24/7 while capturing their details for course communications and future marketing campaigns. Customers can also manage their own details and course schedule in their own user profile area, so that you don’t have to.

4.Sending confirmations

As soon as a booking is taken, your training management software can immediately send confirmation of that booking to the individual, along with any other necessary information that will enhance the customer experience.

5.Managing courses and resources

Courses can be built in your training management software and published live to your website in real time, these can then be edited and maintained. Trigger warnings can be sent to your staff if a course is under or over-occupied by specific dates. This allows staff to get on with their job without the need to constantly check. If delegate levels are low you can do some more marketing, relocate to a smaller venue or even pull the course.

Conversely, if you have the nice problem of a courses being oversubscribed, an automated waiting list can be set up which then automatically converts into a second entry of the course once a certain number of delegates has been reached….clever eh?! Advanced courses can even be made available to specific customers for up-sell and progression opportunities.

6.Instructions and directions

Your system can automatically send out course instructions, directions to training centres and any other relevant information on a defined date leading up to the course.

7.Reminding Trainers

You can now remind both delegates and trainers regarding courses, locations and any last minute instructions using automated email and SMS functionality in modern training management software.

8.Issue course materials

Course packs, background reading, badges, QR codes etc. can be automatically sent out in the days leading up to a course. These materials can be download from links on your website or from each customers unique profile area.

9.Sending certificates

Delegates successfully completing a course can receive their certificates on the very same day, which they can print off straightaway and put in their portfolio or hang on their office wall while the beam with pride.

10.Capturing feedback

The only way to stay ahead of the curve in such a competitive market is to constantly evolve – making feedback so important. Never forget to issue survey sheets again with automated post-course feedback forms that tell you exactly what your delegates are thinking and provide valuable insights into how you can constantly improve your offering.

Automation isn’t a silver bullet for all of the pains and problems within your organisation. But used in the most effective areas, and there are many of them, it can save a hell of a lot of time, money and promote better business - which delivering a market leading learner experience to your customers new and old.

Automation provides a safety net to your staff and costly human error, it gives you a heads up as to what’s going on in your business and gives ample warning if something needs actioning. Because sure enough, if employees repeat the same task enough times, their attention levels will drop – opening the door to mistakes.

So, I guess the morale of this blog is remove duplicated and repetitive tasks so that you can dedicate more of your, and your teams time and attention to the stuff that really matters, or that can’t be automated. The question is, what will your business do with all the extra time?

 

About the author

Stuart Banbery is part of the marketing team at Training Management Software. He can be contacted via stuart.banbery@achiever.co.uk.

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