How To Leverage Digital Certificates And Badges: The Recipient Experience
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Introduction: How The Recipient Experience Helps You Leverage Digital Certificates And Badges

Individuals invest non-trivial amounts of time (ranging from hours to years) preparing for some programs. Often times they also spend significant amounts of money (sometimes into the thousands) working towards finishing a program. It all culminates in one single moment when he or she finds out if all the hard work paid off. Take a moment and ask yourself what that experience looks and feels like for those enrolled in your program. Would you be excited to find out you passed? Would you be likely to share your achievement with others? Would you feel like it was worth it?

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We’ve worked with hundreds of organizations with online training or certification programs, and if you’re like most of them, this wasn’t even considered until after delivering the course content. That’s a shame, because it’s one of the most crucial moments of the entire process, and it’s one of the easiest ways to differentiate your program and maximize your Return On Investment in the process.

The idea of investing time into the Recipient Experience is neither novel nor new. When students graduate from college or university, they and their families take part in an entire ceremony dedicated to completing their degree. Students dress in formal gowns, line up, and then get their name called and experience a moment in the limelight as they walk cross the stage to receive a diploma. Granted, your program might not cost thousands of dollars or take years to achieve, but that doesn’t mean the moment isn’t just as crucial. It’s the culmination of an effort, an experience, and it deserves the same amount of attention you put into crafting the program itself.

Helping Your Learners Share Their Accomplishments

You should have one simple goal in this scenario: To delight your recipient and provide them with a way to share their success. What are your students receiving right now? An automated email that tells them their course “has been completed”? Perhaps they get sent a piece of paper in the mail 4-6 weeks long after they have completed the program, and they’ve forgotten they were supposed to receive a certificate, and their name has a typo. Imagine spending weeknights after working a full day—for months—on your coursework, only to receive a canned response or an unattractive paper certificate. You are not going to forward this email to anyone. You aren’t going to hang your certificate on a wall. You are going to be less likely to become a promoter for the organization you did your training with. You are less likely to share your accomplishment with similar individuals in person or over social media.

It’s not a delightful experience and it doesn’t provide any ROI for your program.

Implementing The Recipient Experience

In the next 3 articles (The Recipient Experience, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) we are going to focus on the culmination of your program where an individual gets to enjoy the moment when his or her hard work pays off and they receive their certificate or badge: This is far and away the most overlooked part of their process.

If you are limited by budget, human resources, or just plain, old time, don’t worry—most organizations are in the same boat. The good news is that implementing a great Recipient Experience is not as difficult nor time-consuming as you think it is, and there are lots of things you can do to incrementally improve your processes without spending a lot of time or money.

If you are interested in the best practices in establishing a strong Recipient Experience along with practical things you and your organization can do to successfully implement it, download the free eBook How To Leverage Digital Certificates And Badges To Differentiate Your Program And Generate More Referrals.

Related Articles:

  1. Free eBook: How To Leverage Digital Certificates And Badges To Differentiate Your Program And Generate More Referrals
  2. The Recipient Experience, Part 1 – Shareability
  3. The Recipient Experience, Part 2 – Timely Delivery
  4. The Recipient Experience, Part 3 – Verifiability And Ease Of Access
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