As a Customer Success manager, being at home for this amount of time and not being able to visit clients – except through a computer screen – is a little dispiriting. I currently have clients from both ends of the spectrum; some are completely closed because of the situation but others are saying it’s business as usual, which is fantastic for them and their learners.
Everyone’s switched to remote working, of course. At the beginning, some of our clients hadn’t used the remote assessment link before, so we’ve provided support here to ensure they are still able to assess and support learners in this way. Cognassist is busier than ever because of how many learners are sitting the assessments. Some clients, like YMCA, have had more enrolments than ever last month and others, like West Suffolk College, are maintaining the same rates as usual. Engagement seems to be a lot higher than it usually is as well, and I’m wondering if that’s down to the fact that learners and tutors are free to spend more time using our platform.
With Cognassist, we’re completely remote-enabled, so many of our client’s learners can still learn in their own time. Learners can still complete their assessment and, if identified as needing support, can access their tailored strategies whenever they want. We are continuing to positively impact learners, and hopefully support their mental health as well as their identified needs. Many of our learning resources are relevant to everybody, so I often encourage tutors to share them with other learners, not just those who require support.
We’ve tried to go above and beyond to support our clients during this time, offering text reminders for learners at various stages and we’ve seen a 5% increase in engagement for clients who have made use of this service. We’ve also had a number of new clients recently, which I didn’t expect, but they’re onboarding well and are already pleased with what we offer.
What stands out to me is the fact that colleges and training providers, whether they’re open or not, still have the learner at the centre of what they do, supporting their learners even though they have so many new pressures. Unfortunately, I have also seen some clients have to furlough the majority of their staff due to them being in sectors such as hairdressing and catering.
I’ve been speaking the project manager at Nottingham College, and she said, “What has really worked well for us during remote working is to utilise our LSAs (Learning Support Assistants), who would normally be supporting learners in the classroom. They have been supporting assessors by keeping in touch with apprentices, reminding them to engage with their strategies, chase up those who need to undertake the assessment and, in some cases, undertaking the 1-1 reviews. By sustaining this momentum, particularly for those apprentices who may have been furloughed but who can still access support and training, we have found this additional level of contact to have great results.”
It seems like we’ve settled into a new normal and a lot of clients have realised that staff still do perform even when they’re working from home. In some cases, learners and staff are able to do more than they previously could manage at work. I’m not travelling the length and breadth of the country to meet clients face-to-face, so I’m able to spend a bit more time with each of them. However, now I hear the Teams advert on TV in the evening and immediately scramble for my laptop because I think someone’s calling me!
I usually work from home anyway, but having the children and husband at home can be challenging, as I’m sure the majority of the parents can relate. Taking half an hour or so each day to be on my own to reflect on things works really well for me. We’re still supporting our clients, which in turn is supporting learners across the country and I applaud that. Learners are taking more time, as we all are, to catch up with normal day-to-day things because we don’t usually have that time to reflect in our busy lives.
All in all, I think this whole situation will definitely change how we work as a nation. We will be more flexible because we’ve had to be, and we’ll build stronger relationships in the process. It’s been wonderful to see so many of our clients continuing their support, and it’s my pleasure to support them in doing so!
Author: Carrin Rothwell, Customer Success Manager, Cognassist
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Posted on June 8th, 2020