When it comes to the learning industry, there are many articles out there who will list off all of the skills that you should have in order to be successful. Most of the advice out there is worth listening too, and can certainly help your career.
I could go on with a similar admirable list of qualities that we should all strive to implement in our elearning endeavors, but believe me there is already a lot out there.
Instead, I figured I would share what is the most important component to any elearning developer, designer, or business person’s success. It is something that is very easily within our control, and it doesn’t require any kind of special training or education.
In fact, you can practice this skill absolutely free: customer service.
We are All Customers at some Point
Truth is, we are all customers at some point in a given week (heck, even daily). The one thing that we share in common with every person is our exposure to service. When it’s good, we tell other people – and when it’s bad, we tell five other people!
Customer service spans across every industry. In regards to elearning, it could be the way that you interact with your clients who have questions about the elearning that you have developed. Or, maybe it involves listening to your target audience to find out where weaknesses exist within your courses.
In the end, people want to be heard, and there is probably some point in your day where you are in the position to not only listen, but to do something about it.
The important thing to remember is that good customer service is a choice. You choose the experience you want the other person to have. Even if they are being rude, you as the recipient dictate their takeaway from the exchange depending on your response.
Note that I am using “customer service” as a general concept. The individual you are working with doesn’t necessarily have to be your customer (as in they didn’t have to purchase something from you). They become the “customer” when they are asking something of you – sometimes without anything in return.
Your reaction to these requests will often dictate your own personal success. The better service you provide to people, the more people will speak fondly of you and your work. It’s just the way it is, and it’s the way it has always been.
So, no matter what area of the elearning industry you work in (heck, even if you don’t work in the elearning industry), you will be doing yourself a favor by providing excellent customer service. Go above and beyond and good things will come back to you ten-fold.