Canity is an online staff training platform for businesses looking to improve their customer service

- January 14, 2016 3 MIN READ

It’s clear from personal experiences receiving customer service from different companies that some are better at training their staff than others. Those on the low end of the scale may have hired great people, but that means little without adequate training. However, training new and upskilling existing staff can be a difficult, costly exercise.

Canity, a new online staff training platform, wants to make it as simple as possible. Forget taking staff away from the desks to sit in a stuffy room for an entire day in the hopes of teaching them something new. Canity’s platform is focused on flexibility, allowing staff to watch short training videos, take quizzes, and participate in discussions online when they have a spare moment in order to learn skills across areas such as sales, phones, retail, and email. The online dashboard allows staff to track their own progress, while employers are also given access to detailed reports and breakdowns of what their staff are up to and how they’re performing on quizzes.

Each module comprises 20 to 30 video segments – for example, the phone skills module teaches staff how to make a good first impression, how to transfer a call, and how to calm an angry customer – while there are also ‘Masters Series’ modules for business owners and managers looking to change up the way they work.

The business was founded by Australian entrepreneur Kym Illman, a marketing expert who launched phone marketing company Messages on Hold in 1988, after he saw that the way staff training is conducted hasn’t changed much in several decades.

Illman said, “Canity is low cost, easily accessible, essential training in business fundamentals for business owners, managers and staff. It’s about getting the basics right…the business environment many of us find ourselves in doesn’t allow time for days away from the office and we know that to really grasp and implement an idea, it needs to be regularly reinforced. That’s why Canity training features a library of bite-size videos designed for regular, repeat training.”

Spun out of and funded by The Message Group, the platform was in development for a year. With funding not an issue, Illman said the main challenge the team had to overcome its own preconceived ideas of what would and wouldn’t work, and how customers would use the platform.

“It was important to us to drop our assumptions and focus on what the actual data was telling us so that we could focus our resources more effectively. We also knew that the recurring model was the one we wanted but we would need to take mini steps towards achieving that goal and that process took us about a year.”

There are a number of global competitors working in the online staff training space, though their approaches vary. Mindflash, which counts among its clients Uber, Microsoft, and Kellogg’s, has created a platform that simply allows employers to create, import, and distribute their own training content among staff. Grovo is perhaps more similar to Canity in that it is focused on videos, working with the concept of ‘microlearning’ through 60 second videos to ensure that staff are highly engaged.

However, Grovo has gone broad in the types of training it conducts, while Canity is targeting customer service-centric businesses specifically – a niche perhaps, but a huge one.

“Canity isn’t for those looking for a get rich quick scheme, it’s for businesses who are really focused on their customers as the number one factor in their success. They understand the need to provide their team with the necessary skill set to keep customers thrilled at every touch point,” Illman said.

Tiered pricing plans increase according to the number of employees being trained, with a licence for up to 10 employees costing $288 per year while a licence for up to 100 employees costs $468. A licence gives users access to all modules, and businesses that already have their own Learning Management System are able to embed Canity videos into their system. Canity plans to keep adding videos to modules as well as creating new modules to ensure that staff can keep developing.

With the platform only recently opened up to international markets, Illman said 80 percent of Canity’s clients are Australian, with 10 percent from the US, and 5 percent from the UK and Asia each; the US is currently the fastest growing market. The company’s immediate focus is on building on this growth in the US and fully establishing its presence in the UK, with growing in Asia a longer term goal.

Image: Kym Illman. Source: LushDigitalMedia.