The Benefits Of Using Customer Personas In Online Training
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How To Use Customer Personas In Online Training

Does your sales staff know how to find the perfect product for everyone who walks through the door? Do your employees know how to handle dissatisfied customers and address their concerns? Mastering the fine art of customer service takes experience and online training. And you can make this online training even more effective with the help of customer personas. Here are the basics and benefits of using customer personas in online training.

What Are Customer Personas?

eLearning professionals already use learner personas to create personalized online training. They're able to use the traits, backgrounds, and experience level of online learner groups to develop targeted online training materials. Customer personas follow the same principle. Employees have the opportunity to learn as much as possible about their customer's behaviors and motivations. The goal is to enhance customer service by matching customers with the right products and addressing their concerns.

Customer personas are distinct groups that reflect common attributes and demographics. For instance, customers in a specific age range who share the same background and tend to purchase the same products. Your organization uses this information to create an online training character (persona) who displays all these traits. They typically appear in branching scenarios, online training simulations, and real world examples. The number of personas greatly depends on your online training strategy and market reach. Larger organizations may even create different customer personas for different departments. For instance, a set of 5 to 10 customer personas for their customer service associates.

4 Benefits Of Using Customer Personas In Online Training

1. Helps You Identify And Meet Customer Needs

Developing customer personas involves extensive research. As such, your organization learns as much as possible about the needs and spending habits of your customers. You also have the opportunity to delve into their decision-making process. For example, what draws them to one product over another? What problems are they trying to solve? Are there everyday challenges your services can address? Once you identify these customer needs and preferences, you have the power to integrate them into your online training program. As a result, your employees know what customers are looking for and how they can provide the best service.

2. Prepares Employees For Every Eventuality

Ideally, your employees need to be prepared for anything. This includes customers who are difficult to please. Customer personas expose them to a diverse range of customer traits, which gets them ready for the sales floor. They don't have to deal with a steep learning curve and get the experience they need more rapidly. This translates into less online training time and company resources.

3. Makes Online Training More Realistic And Relatable

Employees are going to encounter a broad range of customers in the workplace. And all of these customers have unique interests, needs, and priorities. Customer personas make your online training more relevant and realistic by personifying consumer groups. They are no longer just numbers and characteristics, but memorable online training characters. Each has a name, history, and back story that makes them relatable.

4. Improves Customer Loyalty

Customer personas make your online training more effective. As a result, your employees improve their workplace performance and build customer service skills. This all leads to happier and more satisfied customers who return to your business time after time. Customer personas help you provide more personalized care to your customers, which improves loyalty and expands your market reach. After all, loyal customers are more likely to spread the word about your brand.

4 Tips For Creating Customer Personas

1. Conduct Surveys To Learn More About Your Buyers

Customer personas offer a detailed overview of customer's behaviors, habits, and interests. But how do you delve into the backgrounds of your customers without being too intrusive? The solution is online surveys and polls. Encourage them to visit your website and share their valuable feedback. Many organizations even offer an incentive, such as a chance to win a free gift card.

2. Get Input From Your Employees

Your employees interact with customers on a daily basis. As such, they can offer a unique glimpse into the minds of your customers and their behaviors. For example, a customer may strike up a conversation with one of your sales associates. They reveal that they are looking for a specific product because it will help them solve an everyday challenge. This employee now has insight into the customer's thought process. They know their "pain points," preferences, and purchasing needs.

3. Leave Room For Interpretation

Creating a customer persona is about striking a balance. You need to include as much information as possible, but the description shouldn't be overly specific. Customer personas that are too generalized don't offer employees the complete picture. On the other hand, customer personas that are too detailed may exclude customers who actually belong in the group. For example, it's unnecessary to include distinct personality traits or physical attributes.

4. Choose The Best Delivery Method

The secret to using customer personas is camouflaging them. Avoid simple descriptions or bulleted-list that highlight all of their traits. Instead, integrate them into your online training activities, such as serious games and simulations. This gives your employees the chance to interact with virtual characters who accurately represent your customer base. You might also consider just-in-time online training activities that employees can access the sales floor. For instance, microlearning demos that involve customer personas in real world situations.

Customer personas are not set in stone. In fact, your customer base may change over time, which requires new and improved customer personas. As such, it's wise to conduct research on a regular basis to ensure that your online training is still relevant. Your employees must have the latest data in order to provide superior service to your loyal customers.

Are you looking for ways to connect with your online learners on a more personal level? Read the article Developing eLearning Characters: A Quick Guide For eLearning Professionals to discover the top benefits of using characters in eLearning, as well as some additional tips to create dynamic and emotionally-centered eLearning courses.

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