Early this year, we rolled out a complete training solution for Sonos, the manufacturer of smart wireless speakers. Built with our Academy Point LMS, the multilingual courses give retailers the tools they needed to demonstrate and recommend the perfect Sonos products for any potential customer.

Three months later, we are putting the finishing touches on the latest iteration. Building on the success of its forerunner, it’s set to go live in the next few weeks, with more content, enhanced functionality and additional languages.

 

An in-house project from end to end

“We produced most of the content ourselves,” says Managing Director Andy Candler. “Even the ten percent or so that came from Sonos got a make-over from The Creative Engine. We animated some of its static assets, and transformed them into interactive modules. In this respect, it was much like work we’ve done for HotelPlan, and the two share the common goal of helping third-party staff sell the company’s products more effectively.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean promoting the most expensive option. Sonos wants its customers to fall in love with its products, so it was important that anyone who completed the training would be comfortable recommending an entry-level speaker over a top-of-the-range £550 unit if it better suited the customer.

 

Instruction and gamification: the perfect mix

The interactive modules feed staff the questions they need to ask their customers, such as the size of the room and where the speaker will live, along with where they’ll place it, what they like to listen to, and so on. Once they know this, they can start making recommendations, backed up with relevant details.

As well as showing what the products can do, the modules outline their USPs, the way they work with streaming services, and how the companion apps let users control several speakers at once. Some are entirely video-based, showing people using the products at home, while in others they’ll need to complete common tasks by clicking on-screen hot-spots.

“We are also using quizzes to provide proof of learning,” Andy says. “They test the user on what they have learned, and if they do well enough they are awarded virtual trophies and can print out a certificate to show what they’ve achieved.”

 

Intelligent iteration

The team working on the new Learning Management System (LMS) and its content was guided by data gathered passively from users who used version one.

“This helped us determine which browsers could be ignored,” Andy says. “But we went beyond that. Version one looked great: it was more like an interactive video than a web site, but for version two we needed more quizzes and a fleshed-out user journey. We’ve also made it possible to add new features, like social media, blog posts and forums. We also re-filmed a lot of the video content to better fit Sonos’ aspirational style.”

The result is a modular LMS that will grow over time. Sonos licences the system, as do all The Creative Engine’s clients. Any other customers on the same LMS will benefit from the same enhancements, and Sonos itself will see features produced for other projects rolling into its own system over time.

 

Trust and cooperation

As well as a fresh new look and extended set of languages, the version two content introduces the Sonos Playbase and other new products. This was only possible because of the close working relationship and ongoing trust between the two companies.

After several years’ cooperation, Sonos was happy to supply The Creative Engine with pre-production units for testing and photography.

“Trust and teamwork is essential when working on a product like this,” says Andy. “Not only does it mean we’re familiar with the speakers themselves, it also guarantees that when the system rolls out, it’s going to be bang up to date.”

You can share the benefits of the fresh new LMS powering Sonos’ revamped training portal. To find out how, call The Creative Engine today on 01483 799 200 or email hello@creative-engine.co.uk

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