Sales training at DER

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With DIY and Blended Learning to trained Sales employees

Data integrity and security are the most important factors in the tourism industry. When 7.7 million vacationers travel with DER Touristik every year, high security standards must be met. Not only the company’s own data, but above all the customers’ data must be protected. DER Deutsche Reisebüros, as part of the large German tourism group DER Touristik, therefore attach great importance to ensuring that all systems used meet the specified IT security requirements. Naturally, this also applies to e-learning for DER travel agencies and their affiliated franchises and cooperation offices. After intensive project work and testing, they rely on the provider Coursepath for staff and sales partner training.

With Coursepath, the travel agencies of DER Touristik have found a provider that meets their security requirements and enables efficient knowledge transfer. The numerous employees in the travel agencies are trained with centrally self-developed e-learning courses. This enables them to put the newly learned knowledge directly into practice. What is unique about it: The DIY approach, which empowers the employees in the head offices to create the training courses themselves.

Communicate new guidelines to 8,000 people

Changes in the law are often accompanied by new foundations. For example, DER Touristik travel agencies must implement the European travel guidelines that will came into force on 1 July 2018. New regulations must be communicated to all sales staff. The challenge: In addition to 2,000 employees of DER travel agencies, the entire sales colleagues of the cooperation and franchise agencies must be trained – a total of around 8,000 training participants will come together across Germany.

In a decentralised organisation, training cannot be provided on site everywhere; a new and flexible solution is needed. Therefore, an e-learning solution was chosen in order to communicate the new legal basis for sales to all travel agency employees. With online training, all employees, regardless of their location, can be reached. Webinars support the training process. In this way, the new travel guidelines can directly be put into practice in the travel agencies. With this solution, DER Touristik’s travel agencies save the effort and costs that would have been incurred for numerous on-site training courses.

Practical side effect: since DER now has implemented an effective e-learning solution, the offered trainings were directly expanded to include a cruise area, data protection, and product training. For example, in a separate e-learning academy, the salespersons are specifically trained in the sale of cruises or the use of the new 15-inch tablets at each workstation of the DER travel agencies. Here, too, the online training courses are created centrally and Coursepath enables efficient knowledge transfer.

Course overview DER academy

Course overview within the DER academy

Implementation, do-it-yourself style

In their training strategy, DER travel agencies rely on blended learning and a staged approach to further training on the subject of travel law. While the approximately 120 executives of DER travel agencies are trained live according to the “train the trainer” principle, DER relies on online training courses and webinars for training of the remaining sales staff. With the help of the e-learning software Coursepath, the basics of the new travel guidelines are communicated promptly and efficiently.

And how do they create the e-learnings for the training? According to the do-it-yourself principle! No problem at all for Alexander Breitkreutz, Vice President IT & Process Management and responsible for quality management and strategic IT purchasing. Existing presentations and enriching information, e.g. contents from law or videos, become e-learning courses in the twinkling of an eye with Coursepath. Once created, courses are copied into other academies, allowing partner organizations to manage their own academies. All sales organizations benefit from the centrally created e-learning courses and can still make changes if necessary. Also, they manage their members themselves.

By the way, DER relies on teamwork when it comes to the topic of cruises: the courses are created with the support of an external trainer and supported by internal know-how. The flexible role system of Coursepath is an advantage here. The cruise trainer supports the course creation in their area of expertise and is thus assigned author and trainer for these courses. However, they can complete other courses, such as travel law or data protection, as participant like all employees.

The implementation of the staged training concept with Coursepath brings further advantages, as the e-learning courses can be enriched with practical case studies. These help DER employees to practice and consolidate what they have learned. In addition, handouts are available for download on the platform, which can be printed if required. This way, the blended learning concept is rounded off satisfactorily.

Infographic staged training concept DER

Online training simple and safe

With Coursepath, DER Touristik has found an adequate e-learning software that also meets its safety standards. Data is hosted within the EU and is therefore protected in accordance with GDPR. In addition to general security requirements, specifics such as data backup and IT infrastructure are also covered. A data processing agreement regulates the contractual obligations for data security and integrity.

In addition, Coursepath offers a flexible role system for maintaining content, which regulates the required permissions for access and, thus, allows to distinguish between administrators, authors, trainers, and assistants. At the same time, the complexity of the system is not increased unnecessarily.

Results

Coursepath supports the travel agencies of DER Touristik with the e-learning part of their training strategy. Alexander Breitkreutz explains:

“We believe in blended learning as the combination of live training with online pre- and/or post-study via Coursepath offers the most successful learning experience”.

Content is created in-house following the do-it-yourself principle. In this context, Coursepath offers a flexible role system for maintaining content. Administrators, trainers, and authors can be distinguished without increasing the complexity; thus, the security standards regarding data protection are easily adhered to.