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For any business, it’s extremely important to make sure you are offering the best service possible, not only to your actual customers, but to anyone you deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Training companies are no different. It’s important to consider how your training company is working on several different levels. You want ensure your students are receiving excellent training, that your tutors are doing the best job possible and are happy in their work, and that you have a great relationship with your vendors. You may even want to look at things like potential customers, or those who decided not to buy with you at a certain time. It’s important to get a clear picture of how your entire business is running.
So how do you give yourself a better idea of how well your business is doing? It’s important to measure yourself and see how well you’re stacking up against how well you think you should be doing. Let’s take a look at some ways you can approach this!
Sometimes the easiest way to see how something is working is to simply observe it! This may not work for measuring all aspects of your business, but if you want to simply see how your training courses are being run, or observe what your teaching staff are like ‘in the field’, then why not attend a few classes so you can see?
This can quickly give you an overview of the content being taught, how your teachers interact with their classes or even simple things like how suitable a venue actually is for a particular class. Sometimes it can be hard to see problems until you’re actually immersed in that situation, so a little observation can give you a totally different view of your training business.
Observation can also be very easy to slot into your workday as you will already have a clear idea of when all your training is scheduled, so will be able to attend at a time that suits you.
Measuring your training business based on what you observe is a great way to pick up on obvious problems, as they will be things that jump out at you right away as things you should be working to fix, such as venue changes or upgrading classroom equipment. To measure how your training is running on a larger scale, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper.
One good way to measure your training business is to follow up with people your business has interacted with. This will probably mainly be students who have been to one of your classes, but you may also want to consider talking to staff, vendors, and even students who decided not to purchase any training from you.
All these different groups of people can give you an insight into different parts of your business, so it’s important to incorporate as many different groups of people as possible into your measurement.
There are several different ways you can follow up with the groups your business has interacted with.
A really simple way to see if people enjoyed your training courses is to see if they are repeat customers. If people have signed up for multiple courses with you, they clearly think you’re doing something right! However, if you have students signing up for a course, and never signing up for related courses, perhaps they took their business elsewhere? Keep reading for tips on how to find out what went wrong!
If you’re keen to measure you training content and your tutors, it’s always worth looking at the average final grades of the courses you run. Whether it’s a pass/fail class, or one where students receive a grade or score at the end, you will want to consider this in your measurement.
Do you have a really high number of students all failing one question? Is there one section of the course that people seem to consistently be struggling with? This gives you great insight into sections of your course materials that may require some tweaking. Maybe the course materials don’t give a good enough explanation to give students the knowledge they need to successfully answer a certain question in the exam. Or perhaps the tutor of this class is having trouble explaining a certain concept in an effective way.
If you have certain results jumping out at you, it’s worth going over your course content with your tutors and making sure you’re giving your students the best chance possible to learn and understand the information being taught to them.
It may be that you asses an area that students are having trouble with and find that you’re totally happy with how that section of the course is being taught, and that’s fine as well! You may just want to do something simple like assign extra homework or suggest extra reading chapters for this particular section, as it’s clearly quite challenging.
Another great source of information to tap into is students who were interested in your classes or courses but ultimately didn’t buy with you. Finding out the reasons students chose to go elsewhere could be a great insight into how to improve your business in the future.
These may be students who have contacted you with a query via email or on social media, or even signed up to your website but not taken it any further.
It would be hugely valuable if you could find out why they decided to stop the buying process, so why not reach out to them and see why they went a different way? If you have a way to get in contact with them, why not ask them if they’re still interested in your services, and if not, why not?
It could be a really simple fix, such as your website copy doesn’t give a clear enough picture of what a particular training course covers, so it’s worth asking!
You could get in touch with all these potential customers individually, but it might make more sense to send them a survey to find out why they didn’t buy their training from you, which we’ll talk more about in the next section!
The easiest way to get a good idea of how well your training business is doing, from across a number of different areas of the business, is to use surveys. Surveys allow you to ask exactly the questions you want answers to so you can get a clear idea of how well you are performing.
The first stage is designing your survey. This will depend greatly on the audience you are planning on sending it to, and you’ll probably want to make several different surveys for each group you’ll be sending it to, to make sure you get the answers specifically relevant to them.
You also want to make sure that you’re only getting information that will be useful to you in measuring your training business, so take some time to think about the questions you want to include.
Finally, think about how you want people to answer. You may just want a tick box system, or even a 1-10 rating system, but for more complex questions you may wish to include a text box, so participants can write very detailed answers.
If you need more advice on designing a survey, check out our free 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Survey download at the end of this post!
Running a survey once may give you the answers you need right at that moment, but what about a few months down the line? Your students may be encountering a whole new set of problems that weren’t apparent the last time you surveyed them, so the results won’t be of any use now!
You want to make sure you regularly survey the relevant people involved in your business, whether that’s students, staff or vendors, to make sure you are constantly producing results that you can actually use.
Repeating surveys is really important because you don’t just want to measure your business once, and then move on. You will always want to make sure you are at the top of your game and providing the best service possible, so ensure you are constantly reflecting on the data you’ve collected.
When is the best time to send out a survey? Well really it depends on what you’re trying to find out. If you want to ask your students to review a class, its content or their tutor, you may wish to send this survey out a few sessions in to the class schedule. This means if any glaring problems crop up, you’ll have the time to fix them before the class is completed or before that class runs again at least. If you want a full review of a course, you could send this a week or so after the class has finished, as this will give students the chance to give you an accurate review of their whole experience. Or if you want to find out how students or vendors found it interacting with you as a business, you may wish to send this survey out just after the interaction has taken place, so it is still fresh in their minds.
The key to timing is to give yourself the best opportunity to fix problems as quickly as possible before customers, staff or vendors have to face that problem again. If something really isn’t working, you don’t want to continue repeating that mistake again and again, or that could be really bad for business!
You’ve sent out your survey and got back loads of results. Great! Now what? Your job is far from done! It’s really important to keep comparing the results over time and take them into account when you make decisions in the future.
Constantly comparing past and present results will allow you to look for patterns in the data and also mean you can always be looking for things to change to make sure you are always improving as a business.
This is why it’s important to make sure you ask exactly the questions you need in order to get the results that will be useful to your business in the future, so think about the analysis stage right back at the start when you’re designing your survey. You want to give yourself the best data to compare in the future, so plan your questions around that.
Analysis can seem a little bit daunting if you have a lot of data to compare, so you need to make sure you store all the results in a smart way. The best way to make sure your data is easy to find and compare is by using an online survey database. Keeping hard copies of all the results could mean having to find somewhere to store years’ worth of data in your office, as well as having to trawl through it all manually every time you need to analyse it. Even emailing surveys to people as things like Word documents could mean having to store a lot of data on your computer and this can make comparison challenging.
Using an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey will make the analysis of your survey data so much easier and less time consuming. Here at Administrate we have a SurveyMonkey integration, meaning Administrate users can easily send customised surveys to their students directly from Administrate, which will save you even more time and help keep things organised.
Whatever online survey tool you use, here are some of the benefits that tool could offer you:
All these features are available through SurveyMonkey, and don’t forget Administrate’s SurveyMonkey integration will make the job even easier!
While there are lots of different ways to help you measure how successful your training business is performing, we believe the most important tool at your disposal is surveys!
Not only can you design them to analyse exactly the data you want to focus on, but you can then reuse that data for as long as it’s relevant, giving you an invaluable catalogue of information to help you make important business decisions.
In addition, using an online survey database will only make the whole process simpler. Not only will it save you a huge amount of time in the long run, but it will also allow you to have all the data you’ve ever collected to create a comparison of how you’re business is doing at different points in time, which will give you a more realistic picture of how your training business is performing.
Measuring your training business is an on-going task that you should consider whenever you make important decisions, so never forget how vital it can be to your success as a business.
Now you know how important surveys are for your training measurement, our 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Survey is designed to help you create the best surveys possible! Simply enter your details below to receive your copy of our free guide!
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