Improve Customer Service for the Virtual Classroom
By Jennifer McCall, Contract Training Coordinator, Corporate College
Virtual learning has become our new normal. It has changed the way we build learning environments and interact with learners. However, what remains unchanged is that learners are still our customers, and now more than ever they need to feel comfortable, confident and supported in the virtual classroom. We can meet these needs and exceed their expectations by making it our intent to build trust, confidence and community the following tips enhance their experience before, during and after a training session.
Before Virtual Classroom Training
- To establish trust, find out who your learners are and determine their familiarity with learning virtually. Collect their personal email addresses and phone number in case they have any issues accessing the virtual classroom or utilizing the tools needed for the training session. Ask how they’ll connect to the meeting (personal computer, phone or tablet) and inquire about their comfort level navigating the virtual learning platform you will be using.
- Build their confidence in using the virtual classroom communication features, such as chat boxes and feedback buttons, and engagement tools, such as annotations and breakout rooms, by introducing these features prior to the session. Providing step-by-step guides or instructional videos offered by the virtual platform will give the learner confidence, and some experience with the tools and features, prior to the training session.
- Create community with learners by asking them a pre-course questions, e.g. “What do you hope to achieve by completing this course?” Prompt them to complete an online questionnaire or assessment, or watch a video related to the content for the training session. Once the training session is launched, you can discuss their responses and feedback from the pre-course activity, sharing similarities and differences.
During Virtual Classroom Training
- Build trust by creating a safe learning environment and establishing rules for learning together. Assure learners there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer, or bad questions. Let them know that it’s OK to make mistakes.
- Ensure learners are confidently prepared to participate in the training session by reviewing the materials they should have on-hand, and the tools and features they should be prepared to use. If needed, provide a snapshot of the materials that should be accessible to them, or guide them through an exercise with the tools and features they’ll use during the training session.
- Encourage community by prompting learners to respond to the topics discussed, thoughts and ideas from other learners, or provide additional information or resources in the chat box throughout the training session. Create breakout groups in which topics can be discussed in more depth. Assign homework that prompts them to work with another learner for further discussion or to refine a skill.
After Virtual Classroom Training
- At the completion of the course, determine their confidence level using newly learned skills by conducting a debrief of the principles, activities and exercises that were the most impactful during the training. Follow up the debrief by sending a survey or evaluation requesting their feedback and reactions to the course.
- Continue building the trust established early on by sending a follow-up message thanking the learner for their participation in the course. Share a brief summary of the principles or topics discussed and any additional actions they can use to refine what they’ve learned outside of the virtual classroom. Provide post-training resources, tools and any relative reading materials to reinforce the skills taught.
- Build community by encouraging learners to share their email addresses or LinkedIn profiles in the chat box, to stay connected to the facilitator and other learners in the virtual classroom.
Using these tips before, during and after training practices will enhance the learner experience and may attract repeat customers to your virtual classroom.
Are you considering a virtual training for your company? Corporate College, a division of Cuyahoga Community College, can help you train and develop your employees.