In the direct sales industry, we’ve always known that retention is the golden ticket to a successful business model, and recent research has proven that to be true. Sure, finding new customers can be both challenging and rewarding, but neglecting your company’s current distributor base and instead focusing just on recruiting efforts can be detrimental to your company’s growth. According to Annex Cloud, 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition, and happy and satisfied customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and new services . In addition, the Harvard Business Review said that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits up to 95%. Those statistics provide compelling encouragement to focus on cultivating your current relationships with customers and the field.
Retention Through Education
One easy way to improve retention is by providing distributors and customers with an effective onboarding and education platform. The more information your audience has about your company and products, the more likely they’ll develop loyalty to them. For example, a distributor who has received comprehensive training about your company’s duplicable training system will probably feel more confident about building their business than someone who hasn’t. Similarly, a customer who has been educated about all the benefits and uses of a product is more likely to continue to use that product—and share it with their friends.
A learning management system (or LMS) provides the education you need to make onboarding a breeze for your current audience, distributors, and customers alike. verbCRM’s LMS, verbLEARN, was designed to provide valuable education and in-depth training to both distributors and customers. As a result, one of our clients found that it doubled their retention rates in just six months! An LMS like verbLEARN can provide product education, introduce company lifestyle perks, train business builders, and boost sales. And it can do it all in a way that makes users WANT to learn. How? Through gamification.
What is Gamification?
When it comes to an LMS, gamification is the process of using games, or game elements, to promote learning. Gamification is an easy way to offer your audience something to look forward to, whether it’s fireworks on your screen when you complete a goal or a shareable badge for finishing a task. Gamification can be used for…
- Improving user engagement
- Increasing motivation
- Boosting creativity
- Creating a more interactive experience
- Increasing longevity of retained information
The idea of using game-formatted education has never been more popular. Most target audiences have constant access to a mobile device, and our social network-based society makes it easier than ever to share game progress and accomplishments . Additionally, the success of digital games in the marketing industry makes for a natural progression to the internal education sector.
As a leader in your organization, you need to find a way to present the necessary information to your customers and/or business builders in a way that encourages active, engaged learning. That’s where gamification comes in. A study by Traci Sitzmann, an assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, found that employees trained on video games learned more factual information, attained a higher skill level, and retained information longer than workers who learned in less interactive environments. “Utilizing an LMS with built-in gamification is a great way to take advantage of that phenomenon.” An assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver Business School found that “employees trained on video games learned more factual information, attained a higher skill level and retained information longer than workers who learned in less interactive environments.” Utilizing an LMS with built-in gamification is a great way to take advantage of that phenomenon.
How It Works
Learning management systems that utilize gamification usually do so in one of three ways:
- Badges: These awards are typically shareable via social media and are received by users who complete certain steps in their educational training. For example, a distributor might receive a digital trophy for completing an entire training module about a new product. They can share this trophy on Facebook to drum up interest in the product and company.
- Rewards: Rewards can be anything but are most likely to be a special discount code or exclusive access to swag or a new product or service. Our clients often choose to utilize a unique promo code at the end of every verbLEARN module to entice users to make a purchase.
- Progress Bars: Progress bars are a visual way for users to track the time and effort they’ve put into learning. (Tip: Be mindful of the length of each module. The point is to reinforce correct information. Still, today’s average employee has a shorter attention span than ever before, and seemingly endless progress bars can be more of a deterrent than a motivator. Focus your efforts on what you want users to know the most or break up modules into multiple sections.)
Using a combination of these elements is the most surefire way to ensure the effectiveness of your platform. For example, shareable badges can be used in conjunction with more tangible rewards if they aren’t typically enough of an incentive to motivate users to continue their educational journey.
Putting it All Together
Learning management systems like verbLEARN are the perfect tool for educating your sales force, introducing users to different courses covering your products, onboarding, systems, promotions, and more. Gamification makes the process fun, engaging the user by giving them awards and rewards for completing lessons. Additionally, allowing users to tout their accomplishments and share their knowledge on their social channels is a great way to get them excited and motivated to learn. If you’re looking for an easy way to enrich your distributor and customer relationships, increase retention, and boost sales, a gamified LMS like verbLEARN is the solution. Reach out for a demo if you want more information—we’d love to help you take your retention education strategy to the next level!