Huntington Learning Center declared 2019 the “Year of EP” (Exam Prep) company-wide. Senior management, Operations, and the Training department decided that the focus for training in 2019 would be on one business line: the Exam Prep Business. This was the first time all departments were aligned on a single Learning and Development (L&D) objective.
The Exam Prep product line mainly focuses on increasing students’ SAT and ACT scores. These programs get dramatic and proven results for Huntington Learning Center students (5.4 points in ACT and 229 points in SAT). By increasing the product knowledge across all areas—marketing, sales processes, and delivery of service—the organization sought to increase Exam Prep revenue in 2019 by 5 percent.
The program was a full year of focused training, including:
- Franchise Convention: An annual multi-day event for franchisees, their staff, and franchisor staff, including marketing, operations, training, curriculum development, finance, IT, etc.
- Regional Meetings: Semi-annual two-day events held in three locations across the country for franchisees and staff for training and an update on the system.
- LAMs (Local Area Meetings): Single-day events in local markets where trainers traveled to conduct small group training.
- Instructor-Led Virtual LAMs: Half-day meetings held virtually for local markets where trainers conducted training via Zoom.
- Instructor-Led Classroom Training: For franchisees, their staff, and corporate center staff in the local market with role-play and individual feedback.
- Instructor-Led Virtual Training: On individual topics for one hour. The calls were offered by self-registration through the learning management system (LMS), “HLC University.” The calls were offered multiple days and times to accommodate centers from across the country. They were considered a 101 or basic-level training.
- Topic-Specific Webinars: Related to college admissions, for additional exposure in the virtual marketing.
Reinforcement of these trainings included:
- Additional follow-up virtual LAMs focused on the EP product line.
- Continued offerings on various aspects of the business, at a 201 and 301 (more advanced) level, via virtual instructor-led trainings. These calls were offered through self-registration on HLC University at various times and days to accommodate centers across the country. These calls were offered by both the Training and the Coaching departments.
- Upgrade to the initial training modules on the LMS to train tutors.
- Center-specific one-on-one virtual training was offered as a package of hours, paid for by the franchisee.
As a result of the training and improved product knowledge, directors had more confidence to conduct school visits and explain Huntington Learning Center’s Exam Prep services to school counselors. Some 1,476 more Exam Prep school visits were conducted in 2019 than 2018, an increase of 13.4 percent.
Overall Exam Prep revenue increased 10 percent from 2018 to 2019, exceeding the goal of 5 percent. Centers that took advantage of all the trainings—including the virtual instructor-led training—saw an increase in enrollment from 64 percent to 70 percent. Overall customer satisfaction also improved, and length of stay increased from 39 to 41 hours.