How Technology is Changing the Way We Do Product Training

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For many organizations — especially financial institutions — the role of frontline staff is changing. Customers expect your frontline to be product experts, able to help with whatever question or issue they have. As a result, product training is quickly becoming one of the most important programs you can run for frontline staff.

However traditional learning technology isn’t well-suited to the challenges and goals of modern product training. To be effective, product training needs to:

  1. Increase product knowledge

  2. Build confidence using products

  3. Increase confidence recommending, selling, and/or supporting products

Traditional learning technology, like the LMS, isn’t agile or compelling enough to meet any of these challenges — and it doesn’t support the kind of programs necessary for building employee confidence.

New learning technology is making product training easier (and less time consuming) than ever, but there are a ton of options available — from software that tackles one aspect, to all-in-one platforms that let you completely overhaul your training programs.

Let’s break down the various tools and technologies available for improving product training.

Microlearning Platforms

The first part of effective product training is improving product knowledge.  We know from 100 years of psychological studies that the best way to increase knowledge comprehension and retention is with short learning sessions spread out over time — in other words, microlearning.

Modern learning tools like microlearning platforms are designed to take advantage of microlearning.  They make learning basic product information quick and easy — which has the added benefit of reducing overall training time and making it simple to fit training into employees’ workflows.

Some common microlearning platforms: Grovo, Axonify, TalentCards, mLevel

Digital Adoption Platforms

When you’re training your staff on digital products, you need to do more than educate them on the basics — you have to build their confidence using the products so they’re able to recommend and support them.

Digital adoption platforms use product simulations or guided tours to address this aspect of product training. Product simulations are a great way to teach staff how to use products because they can learn by doing — which helps ingrain the knowledge so they can confidently support tech in interactions with customers.

Examples of digital adoption platforms: WalkMe, Horizn, Whatfix

Role-Play Scenarios

Role-plays are a classic training tool for sales and customer service reps. They are typically done in-person, but some vendors are starting to offer video or “virtual” role-play software that lets employees practice applying product knowledge in a risk-free environment.

Online or virtual role-play scenarios take some of the pressure off of employees who may be uncomfortable participating in live role-play scenarios. This can make them more comfortable participating, and more comfortable making mistakes or trying new tactics.

Feeling comfortable participating in role-plays is especially important for employees in non-sales roles. Many financial institutions are training their frontline staff to become digital ambassadors — but recommending products is a new role for a lot of these employees. Taking the pressure off while employees are learning new skills can increase their participation and build their confidence before they hit the retail floor.

Some examples of role-play providers include: Rehearsal VRP, Virtual Speak

All-in-one platforms

If you’re starting to think “this sounds like a lot of tools” don’t worry. There are some all-in-one solutions available that can upgrade your product training and avoid tool proliferation.

All-in-one platforms, like Lemonade, have all of these features (microlearning, product simulations, and role-plays) built in.  This makes it easy for employees to find what they’re looking for without switching between platforms. It also makes it easier for administrators to measure employee progress and update course content as technology and products change.

The Bottom Line

Effective product training has three main goals:

  1. Increase product knowledge

  2. Build confidence using products

  3. Increase confidence recommending, selling and/or supporting products

Whether you purchase separate tools to tackle each of these goals individually or use an all-in-one solution like Lemonade, technology has made increasing the efficacy of your product training easier than ever.