Do you subscribe to subscribe?
1) to feel favorably disposed
2) to receive a periodical or service regularly on order (e.g. e-Learning)
These two definitions of “subscribe” fit perfectly for Tuesday afternoon’s Education Services sessions at Technology Services World; Training Subscriptions: Crafting a “Win/Win,” presented by Jesse Finn, VP , Global Education Services, Taleo and Best Practices in e-Learning Retention Rates: The Four Year Journey of Knowledge Pass, presented by Peter Broderick, VP, Education And Service Business Development and LeAnne Gaudio, Manager, Education Operations and Programs, Kronos. Both sessions were action packed with lots of questions, lively discussion and open sharing of subscription-based practices.
While the subscription model is applicable to most forms of training, it is most popularly used for e-Learning. The recently conducted Education Services Global Pricing Survey reveals that 75% of education services organizations use some type of subscription model for e-Learning, with the two most common subscription types being; 1) an individual subscription to all e-Learning content and 2) a company subscription to a single e-Learning course/module.
A key theme in both presentations was the easy buy-easy sell concept. Keep the subscription offering and process simple so that it’s a “no-brainer” for the customer to buy and probably more importantly, a “no-brainer” for the sales rep to sell. Some key considerations that Jesse spoke about for establishing a subscription offering are:
1) Who benefits from the offering, an individual or a group?
2) What content will be available, accessed or used by the individual or group?
3) What is the term of the subscription, six months, a year, two years?
4) How is the subscription paid?
A best practice that Peter talked about was tying the renewal of the e-Learning subscription to the renewal of the support maintenance contract. Prior to implementing this practice, Kronos’s e-Learning subscription renewal rates were running about 50% and now they are at about 78%. Not bad!! It wasn’t as simple as that though. When there was a downturn in the economy, the Education Services (ES) organization noticed that the e-Learning portion of the renewal was starting to be pulled from the maintenance contract so that the overall cost to the customer could be lowered. ES wasted no time in taking control and quickly assigned a dedicated resource to manage the renewal program. Now, if e-Learning is removed from the maintenance contract renewal, or if a customer asks for it to be removed, a call is made to the customer to position the value and benefit of maintaining the e-Learning subscription.
As more product offerings move to the cloud and customers subscribe to subscribe, it only make sense that education services organizations do the same.