A fan recently wrote to express admiration for our training materials. It was indeed wonderful to be recognized for our work. But he made an observation about other training materials that made us laugh, and it also rings true: “It really is a pity people prefer crap over quality.”
No one goes into buying decisions thinking that they prefer crap over quality. They start out wanting to get the best product out there. Then they collect information and they see that this vendor is priced at this point, that vendor has that many titles, and so on. Unfortunately, quality isn’t a quantifiable number you can attach to a product. It requires time and effort to assess. But because no one has much time, decisions are often based solely on hard numbers, and the goal of getting the best training out there is forgotten. And thus, they end up with crap.
At CustomGuide, quality has always been our first concern. Instead of producing many titles at a lower quality, we produce fewer titles at a higher quality. We really want people to get something from their training. We want people to improve their skills and be better at their jobs. It has come at a price, having lost many sales to competitors for not having the quantity of titles that others do. But those who do choose CustomGuide us are those who have remembered to get the best training they can. They’re also the ones who, in the end, get the best return on their investment.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a way to quantify our quality as it compares to competitors. But we do have the word of our fans:
“I am a big fan of your brilliant Personal Trainer by CustomGuide books for the various Office 2003 programs. Unfortunately, I will not be able to use Office 2003 forever and now would like to learn the awful Office 2010 properly. To my very great regret, there are no Personal Trainer books for Office 2010 available and the Microsoft Step by Step guides are as bad as ever.
It is really a pity that people prefer crap over quality. I own Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Project and they are all in very poor condition because they are heavily used. My other not-so-few computer books are also in a very poor condition. That is because they were thrown against the wall, trampled upon and torn in parts by a frustrated reader (me). And that is exactly what most of them deserved.
CustomGuide has an excellent teaching methodology that enables the user to quickly get a very solid foundation of all practically important functionalities of the Office programs. What is not in there is of little relevance and can be looked up elsewhere when needed.
Like most people I have learned Office by doing with all the flaws that this approach has: inefficiency and not using 60% of the software’s potential. After having studied these guides, that changed completely because not only I was more productive but the software, now fully used, was much more productive too.”
We’re so glad to hear it, Jiri. Thanks for your feedback!
I love hearing success stories, whether it is my 10-year-old niece advancing to the next level in math, our community raising $70,000 for the American Cancer Society, or a CustomGuide client who has successfully updated an Excel spreadsheet because of our self-paced Online Learning. For me, hearing how CustomGuide’s Online Learning is successfully being used means that productivity, efficiency, and work ethic is improving throughout an organization’s workforce, and that makes me proud.
I recently had the chance to touch base with a couple CustomGuide clients about their successes with our interactive Online Learning and Assessment platform. Both clients commented on the importance of education and continuing to promote and encourage usage in their workforce.
Ellen Owens of Crouse Hospital stated, “In our hospital setting, it’s often difficult for staff to attend instructor-led classes. CustomGuide’s eLearning offers right-sized learning that can be accessed whenever and wherever there’s a ‘need to know now’ question.”
She went on to discuss what solutions they’ve been using over the years and how they continue to see an amazing return on investment. “The CustomGuide tutorials are demonstrated at each New Employee Orientation and an announcement appears on our intranet’s home page. Additionally, our library sends an e-mail to each user with their account information”.
According to Carol Schwartz, who administers the CustomGuide Online training for employees at AtlantiCare Health System, online training is a valuable asset to employees. “Our self-paced online training is deployed to all new employees and its value is showcased through our orientation process.” Today, AtlantiCare Health System has registered over 4000 users the past six years and Carol continually gets requests for Microsoft Office training.
It is encouraging to hear stories of companies who use our Online Learning because it shows that our product is making a difference. Not only is our product educating users around the world today, it is also improving communication, proficiency, and boosting morale in organizations like Crouse Hospital and AtlantiCare Health System.
Hallie is a sales rep at CustomGuide.
It’s the end of the year, a time when people are rushing about to prepare for holiday celebrations. It’s also a time to stop and take stock of where you’re going. Are you meeting your goals? Are you doing what you set out to do? What are your plans for the next year?
As we tie up end of the year projects, we are mulling this question at CustomGuide. What are our plans for the upcoming year? Have we done what we set out to do?
Looking back on 2010, we met and exceeded our goals coming into the year:
Looking ahead to 2011, we are excited to set goals that improve and change how the training industry uses training. What would you like to see from CustomGuide in 2011? This is your chance: let us know in the comments below!
We recently received some great comments from a client regarding our 3rd generation courseware design which we first introduced in our Office 2007 training:
I know we’re a little behind the times (still using Windows XP and Office 2003), but as I’m sure you’re aware budget constraints in a tight economy (especially for local governments) always causes somewhat of a lag. But today, in preparation for a planned upgrade to Windows 7 and Office 2010 in the coming months, I finally downloaded the standard library for Office 2007 so I could at least familiarize myself with this whole “ribbon concept.” I was pleasantly surprised.
I absolutely LOVE the new layout for the curriculum and can see that it is going to make my job so much easier – and I’m so glad CustomGuide has stopped using Comic Sans! This new layout looks very professional and very easy to follow. Just the first few chapters in Word alone have helped me find my way around the new UI and made the whole transition less intimidating than I expected. I’m quite sure our end users will more readily adapt to the changes coming their way with such well-organized training materials. Please pass on my compliments to whoever is responsible for the re-designed and update material. It’s fantastic!
Needless to say, we were equally ecstatic to get this feedback. When we redesigned the courseware, we were concerned that our clients would be resistant to such dramatic change, but we also knew that the old design left a lot to be desired (perhaps most notably the Comic Sans!). We wanted to improve the look and feel to be more professional, and also make the courseware more user-friendly. There certainly are ways we can improve the design (larger font size, for example), but it’s great to hear that the improvements we tried to make on the new courseware design are a success.
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