What is a Learning Consultant?
(Note: Since this blog was posted, HSI has changed the title of our "Learning Consultants" to "Customer Success Managers". This does not change their function.)
And How Are They the Key to Corporate Learning?
Sometimes I am amazed at (and proud of!) the loyalty our clients show us. We have a 95% client retention rate, and several of our clients have been with us since Day 1—meaning they have been clients for 14 years and running.
What inspires that loyalty? I’m sure part of it is the fresh, updated content on topics that organizations actually want and need. Part of it is the creative and engaging way we present that content. And part is the technology we use to deliver it.
But if I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would say customers love working with us because they get their own HSI learning consultant.
So what is a learning consultant? In a nutshell, a learning consultant is the bridge between you, your corporate training products and content, and your audience. Here at HSI, our learning consultants are a dedicated resource that help you at every phase, from product demo to implementation to ongoing support.
Busting Some Myths Around Learning Consultants
When we speak with a prospective client and tell them about learning consultants, they sometimes think we’re trying to upsell them or repackage the same support that others offer. Nothing could be further from the truth. To understand what learning consultants are, it helps to contrast with what they are not.
Learning consultants are not just customer service reps.
Many companies that offer training courses have a customer service department. Unfortunately, the rep you speak with doesn’t know you from Adam, or which products you have. And if you call more than once, you will never have the same service rep twice.
Learning consultants are part of a more personal, consultative approach. We create our own content, we know the content, and we know our clients. When you sign on with HSI, you’ll have a learning consultant assigned to you. (This assignment is usually based on industry and location, so you’ll get a learning consultant aware of your specific needs.) He or she knows your name and what products you have, and they get to know you and your organization. When you call, you’ll always get the same learning consultant—they are yours, and they stay with you as you grow your business. This isn’t like buying a copier. This is a living breathing resource that needs to be nurtured.
Learning consultants are not a help desk.
Sure, our learning consultants help our clients all the time. But when I think “help desk,” I think of a large pool of technical support folks who troubleshoot bugs or walk someone through a particular feature. Many times, they use an online ticketing system and charge extra for that support. You are treated like a ticket, not a person.
Our learning consultants are much more than that. They don’t simply want the LMS or online video to work, they want it to work for you. This means understanding what you are using, what you are not, and why. They don’t just react when there is a problem but set you up for success from the outset. In fact, our learning consultants will proactively and frequently check in with you, just to see how things are going and how they can help you further!
They can troubleshoot with you because they know the system and use it every day. They can hold your hand and talk you through any technical challenge, whether you are tech savvy or not. They provide this help during your trial, during implementation, and throughout your entire contract.
They are not another line item in the budget.
Many of our competitors charge additional fees for support during or after implementation. So when they mention their service reps, they are, indeed, trying to sell you on a line of support as an upsell.
We don’t do that here. Simply by becoming an HSI customer, you are assigned a learning consultant. Their help is already included in the price. Their goal is not to rack up “solved” tickets but to make sure you get up and running, and stay up and running.
What Does a Learning Consultant Do?
OK, so I’ve said what a learning consultant is not, but that still might not make clear who they are, and what they do. I like to think of learning consultants as…
Best practice advice.
A learning consultant’s support starts even before a contract is signed, during the sales process. They often attend meetings and conference calls and participate in demos, to make sure everyone understands what they are getting, and why.
Your implementation experts.
Learning consultants also help with LMS implementation. We often find that our newer clients worry about having everything ready at launch: Have the right groups been created and assigned? Is everything being tracked and reported as it should? Will it work on the very first day? It is the learning consultant’s job to get to know your organization and help you answer these questions.
Their experience here helps a lot. Over the years, our learning consultants have developed a checklist for ensuring that the transition to our LMS goes as smoothly as possible while still bringing maximum benefit to your organization. So yes, it will work on the very first day
Product and technology experts, on tap.
When you are assigned a learning consultant, he or she will know exactly which HSI products you have, and why. They also know which libraries you are using and not using (business skills, compliance, software, financial, etc.). That way, you don’t waste time getting them up to speed when you have a specific need: They are primed and ready to help.
What do they help with? Sometimes it’s just assisting you in getting to know the various features of our LMS. For example, you might have questions about how to generate a specific report or get a specific group started on a competency-based learning track. Our learning consultants help with all of that.
Sometimes, learning consultants help with more pressing issues. They can run reports, troubleshoot bugs or issues, and even make suggestions for new features, based on your needs.
Content and training experts.
Of course, technology is not the only thing our learning consultants know. They often make course recommendations based on the goals of our clients and the problems they identify as needing a solution. For example, one client of ours is a large bottling company with a large number of employees making deliveries in trucks over the summer. Their learning consultant recommended the course “Working in Hot Weather,” which had just launched that August and had some important tips for those employees.
When clients come to us with a new problem, our learning consultants can easily curate a training curriculum from the courses in our library. A new employee needs help with time management, or a supervisor needs to solve the negativity of their team, or someone in procurement needs to have a difficult conversation with a problematic supplier. Your LC can recommend a variety of courses to address these situations.
We’re Proud of Our Learning Consultants
Do you get the feeling that I’m duly impressed with our learning consultants? In fact, I think they are one of the main things that sets us apart from other eLearning providers. If you would like to schedule a demo so you can check out our LMS, request a free trial of our HSI LMS.
- If you are comparing training providers' technology, you will find this feature checklist helpful "Buying an LMS: The Complete Feature Checklist to Make the Right Choice."
- If you are looking for a training content provider, you should take a look at one of our most popular articles "How to Buy eLearning Content for Your LMS (And Not Regret It Later)."