One of the first things that we normally do when we need some information these days is to go online and Google! This is a good starting point when you are looking for an eLearning outsourcing partner as well. However, websites can be confusing and distracting at times, and you can get lost in the ocean of information that is there. To make it simple for you, I will list 7 things you should look for, when you come across the website of a potential eLearning partner.
1. Years of Experience:
Check out when the company was established, and if eLearning was their core domain focus right from the beginning. E-learning has been an evolving domain and it pays to have someone who has been through the journey. They are better equipped to suggest the best possible solution for your eLearning requirements.
2. Profile of Key Team Members:
What is the profile of the leadership of the organization? Are they hardcore business personnel or do they have learning and training background? A management that has a good training and learning background is more likely to appreciate your needs. They are better placed to offer best possible solutions.
3. Thought Leadership with Resources:
Check out their contribution to the larger community – sharing their knowledge, expertise and vision. Do they have blogs, where they share their experiences and thoughts about developments in the domain? Do they share resources that help clients address their training and learning needs through webinars, eBooks etc? How engaged are they with social media? Do they have an active group on LinkedIn, where they collaborate and facilitate conversations among people in the domain?
4. Profile of Clients Serviced:
Who are their current clients? Are the profiles of their clients similar to that of yours? Have they worked with clients in your location? This will enable you to judge their infrastructure, competence and ability to service your needs. It would be a good idea for you to ask for referrals – this will enable you to get an independent feedback about their customer service.
5. Willingness to Provide Samples/Prototype:
Check out if they offer free samples or prototypes that will enable you to judge their suitability to handle your project. Typically, you will see a simple form on the website that you need to fill, and someone would respond to that with a call or email. Their response time will also enable you to judge how much they value their clients.
6. Case Studies:
Check out the website for case studies that provide examples of how they have provided solutions to their clients. Often, due to confidentiality agreements, they may not be in a position to reveal the names of their clients. One, nevertheless, gets a fair idea of the body of work that they developed. You can also evaluate their approach to various learning situations and how they have addressed them.
Some companies might post feedback they received from their clients, in response to a project that has been successfully completed. Again you may not have the names of individuals on the website, but you would get the profile of the organization and individual. If you are really serious about your relationship with them, you could ask for names in private and they are sure to oblige if they have nothing to hide.
I hope that these clues will help you evaluate your prospective eLearning service provider.