Kelly Eisel
Marketing Copywriter
Industry Weapon

Tuesday, 03 March 2015

It’s an outlandish commitment to make in the software world, where the great portion of billing comes from lengthy support phone calls and training sessions. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. At first, we considered the risks involved and wondered if the lack of training and support revenue would result in bankruptcy. But we knew the only way to provide the best software out there was to offer the services for free. How? Because our software would be built around easing common training questions and support issues, while welcoming the opinions of our customers.

Picture it: You’ve just purchased a software solution to power your digital signage. Excellent. But you have no idea how to create and schedule content to the players. Not so excellent. No one enjoys going through training. It’s a time-consuming, sometimes confusing, necessary evil. So when software providers charge their users a fee for training, they’re only adding insult to injury.

For most digital signage software providers, the costs of training can be over $1,000 a day. These companies usually limit the number of trainees allowed in each session; a one-time training is all you get. After that, you have to pay for another session. Some also require trainees to travel and attend their designated training sessions. Others give users the option to sign up for specialty training courses and charge them via an A La Carte menu. Talk about inconvenient!

If a user wants to better understand how to use a particular integration, they should be able to receive specific training on that subject, not a boiler plate “one size fits all” program. At Industry Weapon, we understand that not all trainees entail the same level of instruction. Some trainees can quickly grasp user-platforms, while others need to start at the basics. Forcing these two parties to attend the same training session is inefficient. We offer training in all levels at each stage of the digital signage deployment.

How do we do this? We call it ‘chunking.’ Chunking is one of the most effective training methods out there.  It breaks up the information into easy to understand pieces so that short term memory information is converted into long-term. By breaking up the steps needed to create and deploy content into sections, users can more quickly grasp the basics of CommandCenterHD.

We’ve applied the best educational practices to ensure the highest level of knowledge retention. Plus, if a user only wants to review a shorter step, they can go back and do so at any time. Our software, CommandCenterHD, houses an extensive library of video tutorials created by our training team. We also provide PDFs for users who prefer text instructions. Our customers can always speak directly to our trainers and support team when they wanted additional guided help.

If the software is giving you issues, why should you have to pay extra money to fix it? Software providers should strive to keep their solution error free. They shouldn’t punish customers for issues they can’t control! A free-of-charge support system works in favor of the software developers; customers are more inclined to call about tiny issues. Customers who feel they can call in at any time promotes an open dialogue and eleveates frustrations felt by the customer. Also, support should be available to customers 24/7. When difficulty strikes, nothing is more annoying than submitting a ticket via email and waiting two business days for a response.

Charging for training and support is a common for SaaS providers, even after they already pay fees for the service. We went a different path by offering the two for free. This model forces us to provide the easiest-to-use, bug-free software on the market. We do spend more time and money on training resources, but our multiple training options give users the most intricate understanding of our software. We have found ways to provide live support for all of our customers around the clock.  The result is a successful digital signage deployment for our customers.

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