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Simplilearn - Customer Service Success

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: Simplilearn, San Francisco, CA
Company Description: Simplilearn provides blended elearning and live online/onsite training courses for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and other skills. Since 2009, we’ve helped train, upskill and certify over 500,000 professionals and corporate employees in 150+ countries. Simplilearn was named a “2017 Top 20 IT Training Company” by Training Industry.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Awards Success Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Success - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: Transforming Customer Service into Customer Success, Creating Lifetime Value

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

In 2010, when Simplilearn began providing online self-paced and instructor-led training for digital economy technology skills, we made 24/7 customer service a pillar of our business. Since then, having trained and helped certify more than 500,000 professionals in 150+ countries, we realized that “customer service” doesn’t go far enough. Instead, ensuring complete “customer success” (before, during, and after the training) became our mission.

The results of dedicating our focus to the full-spectrum satisfaction of our customers included these significant achievements:

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 77+ across all customer touch points, including end of consumption of our long delivery cycle (improving our NPS by more than 380% over the previous two years)
Course completion rate of 72%, compared to the elearning industry average rate of 10%
Company revenue increase by 40%, from $20 million in 2016 to $28 million in 2017
9 students placed into positions through company’s JobAssist program (India only) within the program’s first month
Named a “2017 Top 20 IT Training Company” by Training Industry Magazine
Named a “2017 Top 20 Online Learning Library” by Training Industry Magazine
Awarded “Education Company of the Year” by VCCircle 2017

Rather than selling vast subscriptions for training courses, we committed ourselves to providing outcome-based training programs: the outcomes being course completions, certifications achieved, and jobs acquired by students. That approach itself centers on customer success.

The key outcome-focused customer success strategies we have deployed include:

#1. Adopting NPS with a top-down approach. From the CEO to the front-line learning consultants, we started looking at Net Promoter Scores on a daily basis and connected every business decision and problem to customer experience.

#2. World-class instructors and content. To ensure the quality, currency, and real-world applicability of our training content, we instilled the requirement that our instructors be selected from actual working practitioners in their fields. We redefined the evaluation process of instructors, raising the bar to create what is now an elite group of professionals.

#3. Learning Management System (LMS). An intuitive learning management system now enables managers (of corporate teams undergoing training) to monitor the progress of learners. Simplilearn’s own Customer Success representatives also actively monitor learner progress, reaching out in person to offer assistance to participants who are progressing slowly or have stalled in their training. This proactive learner support is provided through 24/7 global teaching assistants, also available through one-click access.

We also integrated simulated labs (CloudLabs) into our LMS, to provide applied practical exercise in new technology and programming skills, which helps learners avoid paying for 3rd-party online tools or turning to potentially-risky external freeware.

#4. Flexi-pass hybrid online instructor-led classes. Enabling learners to attend live, online instructor-led classes from anywhere across the globe, Flexi-pass eliminates the geographical challenges and enables students to connect with renowned instructors and fosters a social learning culture where students across the globe can connect with each other through WebEx.

#5. Adopting a culture of not saying “Sorry,” but instead, “We will make it work.” Our interface now includes one-click easy access to our Customer Delight team who go out of their way to put a smile on the customer’s face. Customers experiencing a failed process are allowed to enjoy our courses for 30 days, even after refund.

#6. Simplilearn’s JobAssist Program. Simplilearn initiated a trial (India only) student career placement service. During its initial month, the program placed more than nine candidates into technology jobs based on the skills and certifications they had gained. (See attachments for their names and stories.)

#7. Bounce Back Scholarships for unemployed IT professionals displaced by automation. From July-August 2017, Simplilearn launched a scholarship program for qualified candidates to receive free access to relevant Simplilearn courses and training.

In summary of the philosophy that Simplilearn has adopted: customer experience cannot be redefined only through technical support or hiring better people. It demands a culture that touches all aspects of the business.