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Continuous Learning: Engaging Organizations With Their Clients
HM
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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Continuous Learning
It’s no secret that any organization’s greatest advantage lies with its employees and their ability to engage and earn the trust of clients. After all, the way organizations help set up their clients for success is crucial to the organization’s survival and credibility. With managers and employees leading the client relations charge, it’s important that they come up with innovative ways to keep the business relationship fresh. At the rate of which various industry landscapes are shifting and evolving, now may be the time to seriously consider establishing a two-way, continuous learning environment that fully engages with clients and solidifies a long-term partnership. 

Companies are beginning to realize the potential of an interconnected model of learning—one that empowers employees and managers to excel, as they marry expert knowledge and experience with client engagement and networking. In last year’s Human Capital Trends Report, Deloitte explains that executives and company leaders are “focused on understanding and creating a shared culture, designing a work environment that engages people.” This shared culture shouldn’t be confined within an organization’s own four walls. 

Collaborative and continuous learning environments that engage customers in the learning process is a model that is synergistic and authentic—exactly what is needed for your employees to help your customers achieve success. Another benefit? Clients will deepen their trust in your organization.

Breaking Down Walls

Platforms that support collaborative learning among organizations are not futuristic concepts. They exist and are widely used today, with leading technologies being those that combine expert content, a professional network, and collaborative tools. However, in order for the implementation of any type of collaborative learning platform to be successful, your team has to be willing to maximize the platform’s potential—and demonstrate that potential to clients. 

By leveraging industry knowledge and understanding of emerging trends to add context to shared content and resources, your team open doors for client feedback and the continuous exchange of ideas. In lieu of simply handing over packets of data and leaving customers to interpret the information, your employees customize the client learning experience by hyper-focusing broad concepts in ways that speak to your clients. By providing this foundation, your team establishes a learning environment that is conducive to developing new business ideas and strategies together with customers. 

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This more tailored approach to generating business ideas and strategies through collaborative and continuous learning breaks down barriers when it comes to communicating directly with clients. A true employee-client partnership is further solidified.   

Importance of Online Groups

The internet is often referred to as the information superhighway. The internet is referred to as such because it depends on a constant exchange of knowledge and information, moving at rapid speeds. The mechanics of learning are similar in that learning is not static. A well-equipped intellectual infrastructure should be able to match the needs of the learner pace for pace. Companies that can provide this type of infrastructure to their clients set the stage for even more profitable intercommunication. 

The best way to establish a continuous, collaborative learning infrastructure is to host groups within a learning platform that supports collaboration. Such groups ensure that information, ideas, concepts, and dialogue exchanged between your team and clients are easily searchable and stored long-term. Additionally, the online environment links your organization with clients in ways that enable employees and clients to remain connected, even between in-person meetings or after hours. I’m sure we’ve all had scenarios where we found a helpful resource or came up with an idea in the evening, but the next day, it completely slips our minds. Having anywhere, anytime access to groups makes it easy to share these spur-of-the-moment ideas. 

Overall, custom group environments connect your organization with your clients on another level, and allow your team to provide streamlined support and service when in-person meetings can’t take place. A collaborative environment empowers both your employees and clients to learn together for the betterment of both businesses. As much as your team will be providing an above-and-beyond customer experience, your clients will be expanding your employees’ knowledge at the same time. Again, the partnership becomes more synergistic, based on learning principles. 

Collaborative, continuous learning is beneficial within individual organizations, as well as when used to rope clients into the learning experience. When clients can rely not only on expert content, but also on your team to interpret the content and converse with clients about the direction of business plans, the world of learning expands tremendously. Establishing such an environment demonstrates your organization’s genuine investment in the interests and success of your clients. At the end of the day, that’s really all they want from you—to know you’re invested in their business and that you have their back.


 

HM
About the Author
Heather MacNeill began her career in sales, working heavily in the corporate software and technology space. She transitioned to a marketing role while working for InsightSoftware.com in London. MacNeill joined BlueBottleBiz, a collaborative learning platform for business professionals, as head of communications in April 2016. She is a technology-focused marketing executive with more than 15 years of international experience. Prior to BlueBottleBiz, MacNeill has worked as a director of marketing for Spark Analytics, Safari Books Online and InsightSoftware.com.Contact her through LinkedIn; www.linkedin.com/in/heathermacneill.
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