The telecom industry is arguably the most vibrant sector of the economy. According to the Market Research Report (2011), there are more than 5 billion users of mobile subscribers worldwide. The revenue of the global satellite industry grew from 74 billion USD in 2003 to 168 billion USD in 2011.
This phenomenal growth of the telecommunications industry has brought with it several opportunities as well as challenges. Training could provide solutions to some of the major challenges faced by this sector.
Many global telecom giants such as Toshiba, AT&T, BT and so on have adopted blended learning strategies to efficiently cater to their training requirements. Let me share more on how blended learning helps these organizations impart effective training to overcome these challenges.
Challenge 1: “Rapid time to market” with shorter development and life cycles
The telecom industry is characterized by fierce competition and companies release new products every now and then. These products have short life spans and firms need to effectively train their personnel on these latest offerings.
Blended learning is the ideal format to impart training on new telecom products. A brief introduction to the product could be provided through online courses. The main content and hands-on training on the product could then be provided through short ILT sessions. Thereafter, eLearning could be used to efficiently reinforce the knowledge gained in classrooms and workshops.
Challenge 2: A large number of customers with little or no knowledge of the product or technology
This is a common problem faced by many companies. The rapid release of new products and technologies makes it necessary to impart effective training on these products and technologies to customers.
E-learning could be used to impart effective training to customers spread across the world at low cost. Videos or animations could be used to demonstrate the working of a product and simulations can be used to enable the customer gain mastery over its usage.
Challenge 3: Retain and increase customer loyalty
Good customer service helps retain and enhance loyalty of customers. A blend of ILT and on-the-job training (OJT) could be used to develop the necessary skills in customer service personnel.
The necessary softskills needed to deal with customers could be effectively imparted through ILT, while the knowledge gained could be practiced and honed in real-life situations, that is, in on-the-job trainings.
Challenge 4: Maintaining a strong authorized dealer chain
Dealers play a key role in the success of a modern business organization. As the experience of Toshiba telecommunications shows, blended learning could be used to efficiently train dealers on various aspects.
The CEM (classroom, eLearning and mLearning) approach which combines the best of all the three training delivery formats could be used to deliver excellent training. The advantages of online courses are retained while the much desired ‘human touch’ helps build better relationships with the dealers.
Challenge 5: Efficiently maintain and manage information
Telecom companies deal with huge amounts of information. It is necessary to train the employees on protecting confidential data. E-learning could be used to impart highly effective information security training.
Scenarios could be effectively presented in an online course that helps workers understand the information security challenges better and deal with them more effectively. Hands on activities revolving round the best information security practices could be included in e-courses that make learners reiterate the major takeaways, while brain teasers emphasize the do’s and don’ts of information security.
Thus, we see that blended learning could be used to provide efficient solutions to the major problems faced by the telecommunications industry. How do you impart effective training for telecom industry? We would be glad to learn from your experiences.