How Conway Corp built a company-wide learning environment with TalentLMS
Conway Corp, located in Conway, Arkansas, US, operates the city-owned utility and telecommunications company. Started in 1929 as an electric light provider, today the company provides electric, water, wastewater, security, voice, internet, and video services for the Conway community.
Employee training has always been important to the company. But with more than 250 employees in very diverse roles, there were challenges in making training available to everyone. Kyndall Brown, Customer Experience Coordinator at Conway Corp, talked to us about how they managed to transition from inconsistent, offline customer service training to consistent eLearning courses, on a variety of needed topics.
When Kyndall joined the company, her main focus was to redesign the training plan for the customer service team. Not a minor task, as delivering a stellar experience for their customers is one of the company’s core values.
Previously, employees from the customer service and marketing departments would attend a monthly in-person workshop. During that one-hour workshop, they had to absorb and retain skills and information.
But it didn’t seem to be enough.
“We had some employees who might remember a process being done one way, but that had changed within a few months. And so, they didn't necessarily all give the same experience to the customers.”
Conway Corp offers a wide range of products and services, and customer service representatives need to be ready to troubleshoot whatever issue arises. This means they need to have resources in place so they know how to approach each problem.
This was often a struggle as training material lived in employees’ computers or personal notes, and not in one place everyone could access.
Once she identified those training challenges and needs, Kyndall knew she had to implement an online learning management system to streamline and standardize employee training.
Kyndall had worked with other LMSs in her past roles, so she wanted to find a platform that was easy to use.
“I went through and looked at a lot of different LMS options and TalentLMS was the one I felt was easiest to use. Very user friendly, both from a learner and from the administrator perspective.”
In a company where not everyone is tech-savvy, this can make a difference. Kyndall noticed employees have responded very well to TalentLMS.
“They talk about how easy it is to just log in and know if they have training that needs to be done.”
Budget-wise, TalentLMS was also a good fit for Conway Corp. And still is, despite the fact the team — and the training program — grew. In the beginning, there were 30-40 users, all in the customer service team.
“I knew once we started using it, if it went well, a lot of other parts of the company would want to start using it too. And that's exactly what happened. Within a few months, we had other customer-facing roles that wanted to come to customer service training.”
Today every employee at Conway uses TalentLMS for portions of their training, that’s about 260 people.
“We needed to have an LMS that could grow with us. And we wanted something that was reasonably priced. It was just a perfect solution.”
Conway Corp and TalentLMS in action
As Kyndall implemented TalentLMS to the company, her goal wasn’t just to replicate the offline training. She designed a whole new learning environment for the employees.
The customer service team still has monthly workshops, only now they’re part of a blended learning plan that also includes skills-based training inside TalentLMS and follow-up assessments.
And training isn’t limited to mandatory courses.
As Kyndall said, Conway Corp has added an online eLearning library in TalentLMS that employees can access at any time, pick a course that interests them, and learn something new at their own pace.
The access from anywhere at any time offered by TalentLMS, was another benefit for employees, especially those who don’t have the regular, day-to-day desk jobs, according to Kyndall.
“One of the things we really love about TalentLMS is it has an app. Lots of our employees (e.g., electric linemen, cable installers) don't have desktop computers. They just download the app and pull up the training anywhere they are.”
With TalentLMS, Conway Corp now delivers more frequent and better-organized training programs. More importantly, they’ve managed to improve the quality of customer service they provide.
“We're seeing more consistent experiences, no matter who the customer is talking to.”
That’s because all employees now have access to the same information. They can simply go in the portal, figure out what they need, and give timely and accurate answers to clients.
“We’ve seen a reduced number of errors.”
In addition to customer service training, employees now use TalentLMS to complete courses on a wide range of topics, such as technical skills, safety, cybersecurity, and human resources.
What has been really impressive is how employees have embraced this new learning experience. Not as something they need to do, but as something they seek out on their own. Conway Corp employees are benefiting from the system, but also enjoying the learning opportunities.
In 2019, according to Kyndall, 18 employees had completed 210 optional courses from the eLearning library the company has built inside TalentLMS. In the first six months of 2020, the number of active users has increased by more than 6 times and the number of courses completed using TalentLMS has increased nearly 10 fold.
“Seeing the growth in how many courses are being taken and how many people are actively using the platform, it just blew my mind.”
And there’s more growth moving forward, as Kyndall says.
“TalentLMS has done so much for our company and I know it’s going to continue being a really great tool for us. We’re excited to have it.”
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