Outsourcing scenario-based learning strategies allows you to tap into the talents, experience, and expertise of third-party content providers. But how do you find the ideal scenario-based learning vendor if you’re on a tight budget? One of the most common misconceptions regarding outsourcing companies is that they’re reserved for large organizations with large bank accounts. However, many vendors offer services with a smaller scope, which allows SMBs to boost learner engagement without having to hire an internal team. This ultimate guide features tips and tricks to find the right outsourcing vendor at the right price, including traits to look for in eLearning content providers and secrets to draft the perfect RFP. But first, I highlight some of the most common mistakes to avoid so that you can maximize value for money.
What’s Inside This Guide…
1. Common Scenario-Based Learning Outsourcing Mistakes And Tips To Avoid
Reaping scenario-based learning rewards requires a solid plan of action, namely one that steers clear of the common pitfalls. So, which mistakes should you keep on your radar? Here are some crucial errors to avoid when developing scenario-based learning strategies, whether you’re outsourcing or creating content in-house:
Of course, pricing is always a consideration. However, it shouldn’t be a top priority when looking for an outsourcing partner. Their specialization areas, industry experience, and solutions list are just as crucial, as all these factors contribute to the overall ROI. Simply looking for the least expensive scenario-based learning company may require fewer resources now. But what if you have to hire another outsourcing partner to revise the content or offer their insider expertise? Low cost doesn’t always mean the best value.
Not Using Free Research Tools
There are numerous free research tools online that can help you find the right scenario-based learning strategies provider for your SMB. Exclusive directories, ratings and reviews, and social media pages are all at your disposal, as well as user communities that feature insider tips and recommendations based on their past experiences with the vendor. That said, you must consider the source. For example, avoid review sites that are sponsored or biased.
Choosing A Vendor Who Doesn’t Specialize In Your Niche
The outsourcing company you choose should know your industry inside out to boost learner engagement. At the very least, they must have collaborators or consultants who can help them achieve the best outcomes, such as SMEs they call on for certain projects. These vendors also have all the tools and resources they need to create meaningful eLearning scenario training experiences for your staffers.
Narrowing Your Outsourcing Scope
Your current list of outsourcing deliverables is limited. You’re focusing solely on scenario-based learning strategies this time around, which makes perfect sense. However, you must also consider future projects. Broaden your outsourcing scope so that you can find an eLearning company that offers everything on your to-do list. You don’t have to tackle all the activities at once. Focus on scenario training for now but let them know that there are other projects in the works. That way, you avoid another round of vendor vetting when it’s time to expand your training library.
Submitting Incomplete RFPs
The RFP (request for proposal) is your statement of intent. It tells vendors what you’re looking for, how much you have to spend, and how you’ll evaluate proposals. It also clarifies the project scope, list of deliverables, and implementation timelines. You must include all the essential info to get accurate estimates. There should even be follow-up protocols so that vendors know what to expect.
Signing Without A Second Opinion
Take time to finalize the contract and clarify all the terms. You might even get a second opinion from legal counsel to make certain everything is spelled out to avoid hidden fees. Are there any stipulations for future revisions? What happens if the quality of service isn’t what you expect? When in doubt, set up a meeting with the vendor to discuss sticking points, like communication guidelines and delivery milestones. You can also hire them for a test scenario before you contract them for long-term projects. For example, they must create a branching scenario for your customer service team to showcase their design skills and CX.
2. Scenario-Based Learning Activities To Add To Your Outsourcing List
Scenario-based learning strategies encourage employees to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe setting. They’re able to build self-confidence, perfect performance behaviors, and bridge crucial skill gaps. It’s all thanks to real-world application, immersive storytelling, and immediate feedback. However, transforming your entire training library into interactive scenarios to boost engagement and retention isn’t an option. You must determine which training tools are worth the investment to stretch your budget and maximize resource allocation. Then, it’s time to whittle the list down even further to pick the perfect activities for outsourcing, such as simulations, branching scenarios, and videos you should entrust to experienced third-party pros. Add these 7 scenario-based learning activities to your outsourcing list to boost ROI:
Simulations are one of the most effective ways to foster practical application in remote training. Develop skill-boosting simulations that focus on core competencies and highlight existing gaps. These should also feature decision points that test employees’ ability to translate theoretical knowledge into real-world behaviors. For example, can they apply their communication skills training to keep the customer content and achieve the best outcome?
Task Tutorial Sequence Of Events
This scenario-based training activity starts with the usual task tutorial. A step-by-step guide to complete the process and avoid common mistakes. However, halfway through the task, employees must step into the driver’s seat. The tutorial segues into a series of decision paths and employees must choose the correct next step. Making the wrong decision leads to real-world repercussions. For instance, they miss out on a sale or breach compliance regulations.
Sales Pitch Scenarios
Trainees must navigate through challenging sales scenarios to build relevant skills and assess product know-how. This covers everything from greeting the customer and actively listening to their needs to wrapping up the sale and offering product add-ons. Employees must tackle each step with tact and overcome consumer apprehensions to seal the deal. Sales pitch scenarios can also include difficult personality traits so that staffers are prepared for every eventuality. Just make sure you keep it realistic to improve immersion and real-world applicability. And, keep stress to a minimum so that employees aren’t overwhelmed by the experience.
Interactive Customer Service Stories
This customer service storyline kicks off with a brief intro to set the scene. For example, the customer calls in with an IT issue. Thus, they must use all their interpersonal skills to help them overcome the problem or file a report with the tech support department. Every chapter in the story involves another decision point to test their customer service expertise and related competencies. This activity is ideal for organizations on a tight budget because you can adjust the level of interactivity to reduce costs. For instance, a budget-friendly version might contain static images and dialogue boxes. But you can also spring for a fully immersive VR scenario that features video clips, voice acting, and interactive hotspots.
Compliance Do’s And Don’ts
Compliance scenario-based learning strategies can combine demos with decision paths. First, the employee watches a brief video clip that features a compliance breach. Then they must determine if this was the best course of action and how they would address the problem. As an example, the COI video clip showcases a client meeting gone wrong. The client offers the employee a “gift,” which they gladly accept. This is followed by a mini-branching scenario that follows the same storyline. Trainees must use their knowledge of policies and local regulations to avoid making the same mistakes and achieve the best results.
Cliffhanger Company Policy Demos
The company policy scenario is another video demo approach, with a twist. Every clip features a step-by-step outline of how to apply the policy in the workplace. The end is purposefully omitted to see how trainees react in the stressful situatio