eLearning Can Be A Key Tool In ConqueringeLearning Can Be A Key Tool In Conquering The Customer Journey The Customer Journey
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Ways eLearning Can Conquer The Customer Journey

In the past ten or twenty years, the process of considering to purchase any good or service has undergone major changes. If we look at the customer journey (Inbound Marketing methodology by Hubspot), the 'consideration' stage refers to the moment in which the consumer has discovered a need ('awareness' stage), understand the problem and is willing to evaluate alternatives to acquire a good or service that attends to it. At this point, he may not know exactly whose product or service he will buy ('decision' stage). This particular stage has turned more complex than ever.

This process of consideration has increasing relevance since consumers are now holding more and more information every time they need to evaluate an option. Previously, it was enough using advertising, along with traditional marketing variables, such as price, promotions or placement of the product. According to Nielsen research, 80% of American consumers based their purchasing decisions on the opinion of other consumers, friends or relatives (reviews, influencers and ratings) and on information available online in platforms such as Google, Youtube (tutorials) and Instagram, to name a few (the reality of the 2017 online consumers. KPMG).

Does This Mean That Companies Have Lost Control Of Their Sales Process?

Not necessarily, although it is true that they have had to give up part of that control, companies now have more means to be present in all those spaces where consumers are gathering information, for example, through social networks, after sale support, etc. but that may not be enough. There are options that firms may not be seeing, and that´s where eLearning tools can be decisive.

Information is scattered all over the internet, it is massive, and it is more difficult to get trustworthy sources than before. The paradox is that consumers need to spend more time in this stage not because they want to, but because they have to dedicate more attention to get the right information they really need. It sounds a lot like an eLearning strategy of organized knowledge can play a role in this situation.

Let´s Look At An Example

A travel agency wants to sell its vacation packages. A few years ago, consumers would meet with an agent and then make their decision; now they compare prices online and visit travel sites for reviews and recommendations, go on search engines looking for information about places, budgets, visas, exchange, and travel insurance, among other things. This information is atomized on the internet beyond the control of the travel agency and requires valuable time from the consumer.

But applying the same structure used in online courses, using video as the primary resource, the agency can facilitate the entire process by providing all the information in one place in an organized manner, saving the customer time and effort. Micro courses on how to prepare a budget; ways to select travel insurance; evaluate travel packages; how to handle visas; traveler tips; even how to overcome post-trip depression, can be resources that keep the consumer within the scope of the agency while reinforcing loyalty and the relationship with end users.

Here the difference lies in the organized structure of a course as compared to the linear configuration of a Youtube tutorial, as well as the fact that all important information is located in one place. The travel agency reclaims its main role as a space where consumers find the information they need to make a decision.

eLearning Platforms Should Focus Also On Customer Learning

The amount of information, the variety of sources, and the time necessary to consider options open an opportunity for eLearning platforms to play a role in the customer journey by helping companies present information in an organized way and maintaining their presence in all stages of the purchasing decision. eLearning platforms should start to look at customer learning as well as employee learning, while marketing teams should start considering eLearning platforms as tools to reach out to consumers.

It all depends on how proactive and creative a company chooses to be in its quest for relevance among all the possibilities open for consumers. The pressure is on for companies to create new and innovative ways to keeps their presence throughout the consumer journey.