You’ve spent weeks framing the course, writing the course notes, building PowerPoint slides, booking just the right venue.
Now the course is over you want to know what the attendees thought of it.
Was it any good? Would they buy another course from you? Do you need to re-write parts of it?
Without the right training course evaluation questions, you’ll never know.
Over the years I’ve analyzed literally tens of thousands of responses from hundreds of such questionnaires. In that analysis, I found that there are only 5 training survey questions that are really important to ask.
These questions are important drivers of customer loyalty and will tell you where you need to improve your course.
In this post I cover each question, the training evaluation questions you should exclude and when to run your survey.
1. Net Promoter Score or Customer Satisfaction
The first question you need is an Outcome question. This question tells you overall how happy your customer was with the training that you delivered. It should also tell you how loyal that customer will be for future training.
This question has been proven to predict future customer loyalty in many settings and has a great track record.
How likely would you be to recommend this training course to a friend or colleague?
2. Is the content what was promised?
Over the last 15 years we’ve discovered that “do what you say you will do” is one of the three most important drivers of customer loyalty. When it comes to training it’s no different – you need to deliver what you promised.
When you don’t deliver what is promised, customers feel short-changed. You really need to understand how good that match is.
You can do that with this question:
How well did the content that was delivered match what you were promised when you registered?
3. Did you learn something new?
Part of evaluating training is understanding how much new information the person received. If everything in the course was already known to them, then the value of the course will be quite low.
To evaluate this aspect, use a question like this:
How much new information did you receive in the training course?
4. How actionable is the information?
People don’t attend training sessions for the great food and personality of the course leader. They want to learn new things they can use in their life after the course.
So, while new information is important it also needs to be usable by the attendee after the course.
How actionable was the information you received in the training?
5. Rating the Presenter
In single presenter training courses, the attendee’s perception of the course will be heavily influenced by the presenter and how they deliver the content.
Great content delivered in a dull monotone will give the low training evaluation scores. On the other hand, average content delivered well, will increase ratings.
Thus rating the presenter is important but is a little difficult. We have tried several versions of the question over the years, and this version has worked the best.
How engaging was the main presenter?
What you can exclude
Some of the things you probably stress over in your training are much less important than you think.
The following areas are service hygiene factors. That means, as long as you provide an adequate service in these areas, it will not affect customer loyalty one way or the other.
- Customer service before and during the course
- Ability to see presentations clearly
- Ability to hear presentation clearly
- The overall venue
- Food and refreshments
- Room and table layout.
Here are a couple of examples of what I mean by hygiene factors:
- Food and refreshments: Providing silver service dining at lunch will not give you great customer loyalty but not proving a vegetarian option when you know you have vegetarians attending will be an issue.
- The overall venue: Delivering your training in a room with no heating in the middle of winter will depress loyalty but delivering it in a 5 Star hotel will not give you great loyalty.
However, you will definitely find customers complaining about these areas:
…the coffee was terrible…
…the decor in the room was boring…
But this is only because they are easiest things to pick on when they make comments. They are not real drivers of customer loyalty.
When to survey
The customer’s memory of any transaction or training course fades quickly, so you want to make sure you capture the information as soon as possible after the training course.
Often the simplest approach is to send all attendees an email invite to a web-based survey immediately after the course, but no later than 24 hours later.
That way the information will be fresh in their mind, and you will get the most accurate feedback.