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The Beast from the East is causing hacov for training providers

How to Deal With Last-Minute Training Course Cancellations

What do you do when you have to cancel a training course or learning event last minute? Coordinating trainers, delegates and your course calendar can be a daunting task. With blizzards, six-inch snow and temperatures below freezing across the UK it seems appropriate to explore what you can do to address last-minute cancellations without upsetting your delegates.   

As the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma violently sweeps across the country, you’re likely inundated with cancellations from trainers who can’t make it in, calls and emails from delegates checking whether their course is still on, and a few hardy souls who trample through the snow only to find their training has been cancelled. And it’s all playing havoc with all your carefully scheduled plans.

Checklist: 6 ways to deal with last-minute cancellations 

Last-minute cancellations have a serious impact on your course offerings. One harsh cold snap and before you know it, you’re counting your lost earnings, and soothing the concerns of delegates annoyed at your organisation for not informing them of any cancellations.

Your revenue takes a hit; your reputation takes a hit. And to make matters worse, you’re still wearing a scarf in the office!

You’re forced to cancel a course at the last second. What do you do next?

1. Keep delegates, trainers and venues instantly informed

No more running through each email or text message just to personalise it; or worse, sending a generic and vague cancellation notification that covers all bases. With the right training software, you can trigger fully branded, personalised emails and SMS to be sent directly to delegates - the moment you know a course is off, so does everyone else. And that keeps your customers content.

2. Notify trainers and venues of cancellations and rescheduling

It's not just delegates who need to know that plans have changed. If you're keen on properly managing your resources, you'll also want to  keep your trainers and training venues fully informed too. This, in turns, allows them to manage their resources too (win-win), Just like communicating important notifications to your delegates, when you use course management software, contacting venues and trainers can be triggered automatically, so while you reschedule your cancelled courses, the software takes care of the rest. 

3. Issue refunds to course delegates

Unfortunately, when the cold weather starts, it’s inevitable that you’ll be forced to can your training courses – and that means, if you can’t reschedule or offer alternative sessions date, issuing refunds is a must. The best way to deal with this is to offer money back promptly and easily (it’s good customer service, and it really boosts your company’s reputation). Thankfully, with simple finance integration, you can use a training management system to instantly issue refunds and discount codes to keep your delegates happy.

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4. Or, transfer delegates to another session

So, your trainer has cancelled because the weather’s awful – but you’ve still got delegates waiting to start their training. You don’t want to halt the training, especially if you’re offering compliant-critical courses, but what option do you have?

Well, you could always see what other sessions are available to your delegates, and instantly switch them to the relevant course. Once you’ve done this, simply automate your communications to ensure everyone’s kept in the loop.  

5. View trainer availability and rescheduling at will

It’s an incredibly useful tool for training providers: The ability to see, at a glance, the full schedule and availability of all your trainers via Outlook Calendar synchronisation. Better yet, with such a detailed overview, when you’re dealing with the fallout from last-minute cancellations, you can quickly view when trainers are free, and quickly reschedule accordingly without fuss (or risking the dreaded double-bookings).

6. Access everything anytime, anywhere

You’re snug at home – but as the chill wind whips up another tedious snowstorm, you can still access all vital contact details for delegates, trainers and venues. So long as you’re connected to the internet, you don’t need to worry about traipsing into work in order to get in touch with everyone who needs to know the course is off; you can do all that from the comfort of your blanket-clad sofa.

Manage your training courses – whatever the weather

Ok, you don’t have to imagine this any longer: Just because the ‘Beast from the East’ whips up a snow-laden frenzy, it doesn’t mean your training has to be disrupted. 

We’ve developed dedicated course management software designed just for the training industry that’s able to manage all aspects of your training, come sun, rain, sleet or snow (so much snow!). With full online capabilities, you can access to your course management system on any kind of device, so you can keep everyone, from delegates to trainers to venues automatically informed at all times. That’s good for delegates, good for trainers and good for your business. All you’ll need to do is remember to wrap up warm!

Having to cancel training events and issue refunds can be costlty. Download the 5 Costliest Mistakes In The Training Industry eBook to discover how to avoid 5 other traps!

The 5 costliest mistakes in training

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