By Kevin Young
UK technology businesses are under huge pressure to differentiate themselves from competitors, and there’s a growing recognition among cloud service providers that innovative products and solutions are just part of the story when it comes to winning – and keeping – customers.
Standing out in a crowded marketplace depends on high-quality customer-facing capabilities that truly serve client needs. And that’s where competencies such as learning & development (L&D) can play a crucial role in nurturing a working culture that promotes the building of stronger, lasting relationships with customers.
Today’s increasingly tech-savvy workforce often finds getting to grips with the soft skills that build customer rapport somewhat overwhelming. From understanding the real-world commercial and workplace issues that confront customers, to handling the typical responsibilities and interactions involved in applying technology solutions to real-world customer business challenges, they’re not necessarily equipped with the insight or skills to perform.
That’s especially true for millennial tech employees. These people, who are aged between 20 and 40 years are armed with excellent computing skills, yet can find soft skills a stumbling block. Yet the delivery of successful projects and long-term customer satisfaction depends on the honing of these intangible skills and applying them in the workplace, especially when it comes to interacting with the customer stakeholders they encounter.
It’s a challenge that iomart, one of the UK’s leading providers of cloud and managed hosting services, tackled by fostering a new learning environment to give its employees access to the essential soft skills development and training they need as well as explaining why it’s important to acquire these often undervalued abilities.
Alongside boosting their customer facing capabilities, the innovative company-wide L&D programme enables iomart’s millennial workforce to fulfil important personal development ambitions that will help advance their future career aspirations.
Download the case study here to find out how iomart used L&D to create a win-win situation for everyone – its people, its customers and its brand reputation in the marketplace.
Kevin Young is General Manager, EMEA at Skillsoft.