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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

How training is like marketing: e-learning and the customer experience


How training is like marketing: e-learning and the customer experience

Ryan O'Neill

The CEO of Mercedes Benz USA, Steve Cannon, recently stated that “customer experience is the new marketing.” What does he mean by this? He is saying that there are so many opportunities for interaction between employees and customers that they far outweigh the small amount of time that a customer spends with any sort of marketing material.


Think about it: A customer may read an advertisement on a train or on a website that takes all of 20 seconds. It may raise awareness or remind the customer what a brand means to them. But that same customer may reach out to your company directly in a myriad of ways through social media.

Email, texts, online chat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. The list goes on and will continue to grow. These are all interaction points that did not exist until recently. What Cannon is calling for is consistency in service and communication through these touch points. Additionally, customers use these same channels to relay their experiences to all of their contacts.


These dispersed opportunities for customers to sound off about a brand raise many issues for marketing departments trying to shape the public's perception about the brand. It's actually not unlike instructor-led training or shoulder-to-shoulder coaching models for training a dispersed employee base. Think about it. Every trainer will have his or her own ways of doing things. Even with a standardized curriculum, you can't control the trainer's relative mood on any given day.

Social media is just as much of a presence in the training world as the consumer space (social learning, anyone?). Thankfully, there is a standardized way to deliver training across a diverse, geographically dispersed audience. Custom e-learning is an effective vehicle to deliver the same content and unique message to all of your employees. When all employees take the same e-learning course, there is less room for misinterpretation of the learning experience. It’s also more engaging than typical corporate training.

In the same speech, Cannon said that he learned over 70% of Mercedes Benz employees had never driven one of the company’s cars. He explained, “you never get to a great Customer Experience unless you deal with your employees first.” Mercedes Benz put 750 cars on the road for their employees to test drive, learn about, and have an experience that was “tangible and worth something.” An effort of this scale might not be realistic for all companies, though.


NogginLabs’ client Delta Air Lines realized this was true as well. Delta has an entire staff of customer service representatives that handle calls, chats, and messages from customers looking to book travel around the world. Most of these representatives have not visited all of the cities that Delta flies to, yet these same employees are the people expected to speak enthusiastically about international destinations with millions of customers.

We created a course to give Delta customer service employees some useful information about all of the cities Delta flies to in a simulated environment that was familiar to them.

Oh, and we made it fun. After the first two months, Delta call center representatives had voluntarily logged more than 16.2 million minutes of game time. “From knowledge about our products and services, to improving customer service and selling, this game will undoubtedly improve the reservations experience for our customers,” reported Delta.

NogginLabs has proved again and again that our custom e-learning delivers effective and consistent messages to learners. We engage your employees, so they, in turn, can engage your customers through meaningful interactions. You don't have to take it from us, but from one of the car industry's leading brands—it’s worth something.