The BigChange University: how our learning platform changed everything
We have a problem at BigChange. How do we show our customers the breadth of our software capability when there are an extraordinary number of features and possibilities to consider?
This problem only gets bigger as our platform becomes more comprehensive and we create more layers of detail and personalisation. If you try and explain too much at once, you create a kind of technological snow blindness.
This is why, a couple of years ago, we embarked on a plan to create the BigChange University. We created a live webinar series, which unpacked each feature in detail and helped customers to really get under the bonnet of the software. We were running a webinar almost every day at one point.
This was a runaway success, but the approach had its limitations. We could only host webinars during “office” hours, and each session lasted between 30 minutes and one hour. Our customers are busy people: they can’t always spare an hour in the middle of the day to complete a training module.
That’s when we asked Will Nixon to come in and help us create a more sustainable, powerful solution. He is the man who helped take training digital for the NHS, creating a platform where staff could complete modules in their own time from anywhere. He agreed to join us as Customer Learning Manager and has taken us on an epic journey to build BigChange University 2.0.
Today, the university is a massive resource, packed with online videos and tutorials that customers can access whenever and wherever they want. We have shaken up the format, creating bitesize learning modules that are up to 10 minutes long. We have organised the training into levels: core, advanced and expert. All new customers complete the core training as part of their onboarding and existing customers can enhance their knowledge with the more sophisticated modules.
Right now, we are looking to get this training externally accredited, so that our customers can use this learning towards their individual Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Will has worked tirelessly over the past six months to broaden out the original training platform into a more holistic and robust resource.
“The response from customers has been amazing,” he tells me. “The training element of the onboarding process used to take routinely six to eight weeks. Now, it takes just 14 days. This has a massive impact on customers because the time we would previously spend on core training is now used for bespoke consultancy. Because customers already understand the platform, they can ask thoughtful questions and help us drive value much more quickly. We have seen a lot of early successes in that area.
“Our training modules aren’t passive; there are learnings at the end to put into action in the live environment, which means we are driving more self-service when it comes to the basics and allowing the BigChange team to focus their attention on the real value drivers for customers. As we grow, we don’t have infinite resources so it’s important to use our one-to-one support in the most effective and powerful way.
“Over time, we can use the data we glean about how and when customers consume which modules to help shape future developments. We’ll know which modules are most popular in what industries. These kinds of learnings are gold dust. By being responsive to customer needs, we have moved away from rigid processes and discovered a world of opportunity.”Will Nixon, Customer Learning Manager
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
I’m sharing our journey with the BigChange University today to help any entrepreneurs grappling with similar problems. Sometimes, a bit of creative thinking gives you a solution that not only makes the initial challenge disappear, it also helps steer you into an even more sustainable and successful future.