Australia-based skincare company Ultraceuticals had plans to create the UltraAcademy, a scalable, blended learning hub for skincare technicians, nurses, and doctors. To complete the strategy, they needed a learning management system with intuitive, modern capabilities and a great support team. Ultraceuticals found what they were looking for in Spoke®, and the partnership led to Ultraceuticals winning a Platinum LearnX Impact Award for Best Blended Learning Model 2017.
Ultraceuticals is the leading Australian cosmeceutical skincare brand offering professional-grade products and in-clinic treatments, formulated to address major skin concerns such as aging, pigmentation and acne to give customers healthy, beautiful skin.
Before the launch of UltraAcademy, Ultraceuticals flew trainers all over the country to educate students about Ultraceuticals products. Unfortunately, the two-day in-person workshops didn’t always energize people about the brand. Global Education Innovator Heather Vounnou described the learning experience as “death by PowerPoint.”
For Ultraceuticals, training engagement and retention of the material is critical. “If someone doesn’t know what they’re doing, they could really damage someone’s skin,” Vounnou explained.
Stakes were high, and she knew they could do better.
So, how could Ultraceuticals engage, certify, and reward skincare technicians, nurses, and doctors in a way that accommodated their busy schedules?
The blended approach Vounnou recommended began with baseline training that could be completed online in short bursts at medical clinics between client visits. Only after baseline training would Ultraceuticals’ students complete the two-day in-person workshops to apply what they learned from their online modules. And no more death by PowerPoint.
After their baseline training and initial in-person workshops, students would be able to unlock intermediate workshops and certify to become Ultraceuticals Experts.
To facilitate Ultraceuticals’ desired learning experience, Vounnou needed a learning platform that would be easy to navigate. “I couldn’t have one of these clunky, unattractive learning management systems that are out there,” she said.
“I couldn’t have one of these clunky, unattractive learning management systems that are out there,” she said.
So, a lynchpin of Vounnou’s strategy was identifying the right LMS for the UltraAcademy—the one-stop-shop to complete online training, participate in ongoing professional development, and hear about medical advances and Ultraceuticals product updates. It would be the place UltraAcademy administrators like Vounnou could track engagement and get learner feedback.
Vounnou learned about Spoke® through online research. She was impressed with Spoke’s consistent innovation and upgrades based on client feedback, and features such as prerequisites, Spoke Rewards, and Spoke News.
After her research phase, Vounnou met the Spoke support team. She knew she’d found the right technology partner, one that could provide exceptional customer service and support UltraAcademy’s launch. “Out of all the companies I talked to [Spoke Account Manager] Kiersten never made me feel like I was just a number.”
“Out of all the companies I talked to [Spoke Account Manager] Kiersten never made me feel like I was just a number.”
Throughout each phase of UltraAcademy’s implementation—early analysis, data migration, configuration, testing, and launch—the Spoke support team collaborated with Ultraceuticals and guided Vounnou through the process.
“My Spoke Account Manager was amazing. I never felt like she was telling me ‘Here’s the template, give us what we need.’ Her customer service was extraordinary,” said Vounnou.
UltraAcademy launched in September 2016 and has over 1700 students across Australia and New Zealand. Plans to expand the availability of Ultraceuticals into other countries are underway.
Thanks to the blended learning strategy behind UltraAcademy and Spoke’s intuitive LMS platform, engagement has increased exponentially. “In the online space, you can meet students where they are. They can complete training in between client appointments. You can do more with your budget. It’s also a better brand experience,” said Vounnou.
One learner, Kayla Gilligan of Katrina Skinworks, shared this feedback:
“Can I just say I love UltraAcademy? As a therapist working with Ultraceuticals [for nearly three years], you’d think you have the knowledge, and you do, to a degree, but the online learning just explains it in such a different way. Listening to something again and seeing it visually, you learn so much more from it.”
Vounnou loves the ability to measure training results with Spoke Reports. “The reporting is wonderful, particularly being able to pull transcripts for individual users,” she said. “I also love the monthly progress reports.”
Ultraceuticals regularly launches new microlearning videos and podcasts in Spoke to drive continuous learning and keep skincare technicians, nurses, and doctors engaged.
They also use Spoke’s rewards and recognition capabilities. For example, when a student becomes certified as an Ultraceuticals Expert, the team takes photos and publishes a Spoke news post with the student’s testimonial to celebrate their achievement.
“The feedback has been overwhelming,” said Vounnou. “The student body as a whole has really embraced it.”
At the LearnX Live 2017 Award Show in Sydney, UltraAcademy was awarded the prestigious Platinum LearnX Impact Award for Best Blended Learning Model 2017. The LearnX Impact Awards recognize and reward individuals, teams, and organizations who have used learning and supporting technologies to deliver value and significantly impact employee performance and business results. Previous winners of the Best Blended Learning Model category include Harvard Business School, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Medibank.
“It’s a delight to have this kind of success,” Vounnou said. “My passion was to use this LMS and the content inside of it to empower people to get better at what they do and help businesses thrive as a result.”
“Working with Heather [Vounnou] has been a joy because of her intelligent feedback on our platform. Ultraceuticals has helped us continue to innovate by challenging us to improve the way Spoke delivers training and ultimately helps people learn,” Spoke Account Manager Kiersten Hoffman said.
Spoke is the modern social learning management system that combines training, communication, collaboration, and gamification to help you train, engage, and reward your teams. To learn more, watch our Meet Spoke video or request a demo.