We frequently get requests from prospects inquiring about the pricing of our employee training videos, as if we are selling widgets. When we explain that we are not like other training companies and we customize our pricing based on your needs, they push back and many say their boss just wants the cheapest option.
What if I was a doctor, and you walked into my office explaining that you had stomach pain, and demanded to know what I would charge you for my services without ever giving me an opportunity to determine whether you needed surgery or whether a couple of Tums would suffice? Would the “doctor” that hands you the antacids along with a smaller bill get your business?
Weeks or months later, you not only don’t feel better, you feel worse as more medical issues have been caused, and you realize you wasted your money paying that smaller bill.
Obviously, in a real-world scenario, you would be questioning each doctor about their experience, their education, their bed-side manner, and their support staff instead of only considering the costs before you would make your decision. Likewise, when trying to choose an eLearning solution provider, I would think you would consider many facets of your options instead of merely considering how much each would cost. Yet, many times we have prospective clients that only look at the expenses when considering their training options. They aren’t considering the potential outcomes of the training and whether or not what they are buying will be effective.
“Check the Box” on Employee Training
Consider the very common corporate need for anti-sexual harassment training. As of today, there are six American states with state-specific anti-harassment training requirements. These requirements include presenting the correct topics in the training, examinations, interactivity, and minimum lengths of running time of the video content.
Many companies are looking to add anti-harassment training for the sole reason of not being found out of compliance with state law. They have not experienced any issues with harassment, so they just need to show that they have “some” training in place, and they look for the least expensive solution. We call this the “check the box” mentality and you can read more about it in our whitepaper “Why Compliance Training is More Than a Checkbox.”
This blog post will break down the components of our training solution in a way that will allow you to compare the costs with other employee training providers.
Compare the Training Videos
If you are considering adding a library of off-the-shelf videos to complement your internal employee training efforts, there are few things to consider that will affect your pricing. It is important to consider the expertise that goes into scriptwriting and the production value of the videos. Some videos simply cost more to produce and will likely be more engaging and effective at changing behaviors. We have a full blog post on the topic of “How to Compare Corporate Training Videos” for more detail but here are the basics:
- Do a side-by-side comparison: Choose a topic you plan to assign to a large group of employees. Watch the videos from your short-list of providers and see whose you like the best. Whose videos do you think your employees will prefer? Did you learn anything?
- Consider the video styles: This is where you will see a difference in production value. Do the videos include a live presenter, graphics, music, voice-over, etc.? Are there special effects or animations? Is there one single camera angle with a simple, generic set? All of these elements can contribute to higher or lower costs. They also affect learning outcomes.
- Compare the approach to microlearning: What is the average length? Ask the vendors about the strategy behind the length of their courses. Does each video have a beginning, middle, and end so it makes sense to the viewer?
- Evaluate the age of the videos: Is it important for your learners to view current and relevant training? Outdated training content reflects poorly on your organization. It also affects the amount of learning your employees can accomplish. Ask your potential partners how often they update their videos. Are they still selling the same old videos from the early 2000’s? The pricing they offer will take that into consideration.
Compare the Technology
It’s tough to compare technology offerings “apples to apples” when there are so many providers with a variety of different features. With a list of acronyms like LMS, LRS, HRIS, SCORM, etc. it sounds more like alphabet soup.
You and your team of internal stakeholders need to make your list of the problems you are trying to solve through employee training and the features (and content) you require to solve them so you can try to compare pricing. Why buy the Ford Mustang Shelby when the Ford Fusion or Fiesta will do?
- Is there tiered pricing depending on the features you turn on or off?
- What happens when new features are launched?
- What about social learning technology?
- Does it include an authoring tool?
- Storage space for your own content?
- Competency mapping?
- Training reinforcement?
- Classroom management?
- Are all of these included or at an additional charge?
If you happen to be considering LMS providers, you might find our blog helpful “Buying an LMS: The Complete Feature Checklist to Make the Right Choice.” We explain the features you might consider and give you a free checklist to download.
It’s important to note, that when you buy our off-the-shelf training content, you get Thinkzoom, our LMS, for free!
Compare the Support
It’s also important for you to ask about support during your vendor review process. Ask about implementation, training, technical support, content consultation, etc. Many of our competitors charge for all of this in the four and five-figure dollar range.
- What is the average length of time for implementation? Days? Weeks? Months?
- Will you and your team of admins be trained? Or is it all self-guided via videos and PDFs?
- Will you be assigned a personal learning consultant? Or will you be calling into a call center?
- Will you get to speak to a human? Or will you be required to submit a ticket into a ticketing system and only receive support via email and online?
- As new features are added, will you and your team receive additional training and support?
- What about bug fixes or reporting questions or course recommendations? Are all of these included?
- How are they handled?
- Will you receive help in launching and promoting the content to your learners? Does the vendor offer a client marketing toolkit (like ej4 does!)?
And, not to sound cliche, we aren’t just a vendor, we want to be a partner. We want to change behaviors. That is why:
- Our content is engaging, creative, and regularly updated.
- You get our LMS for free when you buy our off-the-shelf training content.
- Thinkzoom, our LMS, comes fully loaded with robust reporting, authoring tool, training reinforcement, classroom management, social learning, etc.
- Support is included from implementation, training and throughout your contract.
- We offer a client marketing toolkit with email templates and flyers to promote the training to your learners.
We want the learning to happen. We want employees to engage, improve their skills, and change their behaviors. And ultimately, for your company to be more successful.
Additional Resources to Compare Employee Training Pricing
If you need more tips on how to compare employee training pricing, here is a list of helpful blog posts and checklists so you can make the best choice for your company:
- Use our handy checklist to help you compare the training content in our article "How to Buy eLearning Content for Your LMS (And Not Regret It Later)"
- We offer you another helpful feature checklist in "Buying an LMS: The Complete Feature Checklist to Make the Right Choice."
- Learn more about what may or may not be included in support in our blog post "What is a Learning Consultant?"
- Another aspect about the support you should compare is the implementation process. "LMS Implementation: A Concrete and Tactical Guide."