The motoring masters unite their trainee driving instructors on one central platform, encouraging social learning and achieving 75% customer growth with Thrive
With over one hundred years in operation, the AA is arguably the most recognisable name in the UK when it comes to breakdown cover. Since their founding in 1905, the motoring masters have extended their portfolio to include finance, leisure and lifestyle services, along with their very own driving school. At the heart of the school, the trainee instructors are guided by the AA’s expert courses - allowing them to eventually become franchisees, and pass that knowledge on to students.
Customer service training
Ready for anything
The AA Driving Instructor Training Academy had thousands of trainee instructors on the books, with account managers handling hundreds of people each. Their aim was to give each of their learners the best, most consistent experience and opportunities for success, no matter where and when they chose to learn. And with so many trainees to keep track of, they had their work cut out for them.
While trainees were enthusiastic about becoming franchised instructors, the process itself had a few issues. Firstly, the task of obtaining each trainee’s information proved too lengthy. Next, to become a franchisee could take anywhere between 18 months and 2 years to complete.
All of this combined led to uninspired trainees, and the team observed a lot of people beginning the course but not finishing it. Or worse still, some would register but never even start.
The abundance of useful information provided by the AA was not best served in the long, text-based handouts it took the form of, across multiple channels. This medium hardly inspired the sense of fun, ease and engagement that the AA wanted to instil in their trainees.
Mark Born (Head of the AA Driving Instructor Training Academy) knew there was a better way to deliver their important information, and actually make it land. Something needed to change in order for the AA Driving Instructor Training Academy to fully embody the company’s motto, and truly be “ready for anything.”
75% customer growth achieved in last 12 months with Thrive
With a desire to shift their communication from various Facebook groups to one central and internal platform, the need for social learning, and a commitment to giving their driving students the very best instruction possible, Thrive was the obvious choice for AA’s next steps.
In launching the platform, the AA Driving School had clear goals they wanted to achieve. They could plainly see the issues that needed fixing in their current processes to help their course material shine through in the way it deserved: trainees could not identify what was expected of them, or easily navigate the courses themselves. On top of this, a lack of interaction with the brand left trainees feeling relatively disconnected. The AA wanted to see an uptick in instructors completing the courses to a higher level, provide a clearer structure, and encourage communication.
In order to give their instructors the very best start possible, the AA needed to harness Thrive’s functionality and bring their courses into the future.
"[Thrive] works so hard for our trainees to make sure that they can get the best resources, the best updated videos, the best updated information that they need throughout their journey."
- Farideh Sarvari, Driving Instructor Trainer
Thrive has been instrumental in helping the AA bring their Driving School up to the same standard as the rest of their impressive portfolio.
Transferring the training materials onto the digital platform, Thrive and AA worked together to make every step as engaging and effective as possible. Hosting a range of videos, quizzes and PDF’s, the platform provides flexibility for every individual learner - no matter their needs or learning preferences.
Trainees are now regularly interacting with AA-branded content, meaning they feel more connected to the business than ever before.
For every solution the Driving School sought, Thrive had features to suit.
The AA has left the struggle of keeping track of their trainee instructors in the past. With Thrive’s Manager’s Dashboard feature, they can follow along with their progress and offer them any extra help when needed.
Communication and social learning
Gone are the disparate Facebook groups the AA was using to communicate with their trainees. All communication has now shifted to Thrive, meaning everything is in one central place. The platform has provided a clear course structure, in a concise and easy-to-understand way.
The platform’s social-media-like functionality means that not only is it easy to use, but the trainees actively want to. It seamlessly mimics the effortlessness of platforms that people are already used to in their personal lives, encouraging trainees to like, share and comment on the learning materials that matter most to them.
The move has helped to foster the sense of community the AA was aiming for: now, the team has created individual communities within the platform to support trainees at each stage in their journey towards gaining the qualification. Whether it’s to celebrate success, seek support, connect with peers going through the same process, or share best practices from those who have already succeeded, the platform has successfully brought trainees together.
2,222 training resources are now hosted on the platform, with a total of 501,592 content views and counting. The sense of social learning and knowledge sharing the AA set out for has been achieved, with the platform boasting 2,687 likes, 2,851 shares and 8,014 comments since launch.
Altogether, this has resulted in the AA succeeding in their goal of helping trainees achieve a higher level than before the launch of Thrive.
How does learning directly lead to customer success?
Since AA has been using Thrive to deliver their valuable learning material in the best possible way, their instructors can then provide the best and most consistent customer service to their students. As a result, the AA has achieved 75% customer growth in just 12 months, and gained a Platinum Feefo Award for outstanding customer service.
Mark believes this achievement to be thanks in part to Thrive:
"We're really proud of the fact that we've earned a Platinum Feefo Award, which means we've had gold-trusted service for the last three years. The fact that we've got the learning platform really helps us with that, because the engagement is always there. We can always have those conversations, and give everyone that visibility. Thrive has absolutely helped us with those Feefo awards."
- Mark Born, Head of the AA Driving Instructor Training Academy
As the customer base grows, so does the team. The AA has hired their first ever Community Manager to own all communication through Thrive, and help achieve their goal of strengthening the driver community.
Thrive’s ongoing customer support means that the AA can feel safe in the knowledge that they always have someone in their corner. Working together, they have plenty of ideas about how to continue getting the most out of their platform.
Next on the agenda: the AA hopes to shorten the amount of time between sign-up and course completion. Using Thrive’s comms tools and with the help of their new Community Manager, they want to develop their community even further - uniting their budding instructors from all over the country.
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Head of the AA Driving Instructor Training Academy
"We would absolutely recommend using Thrive. It's not just about the platform, it's also the people behind it."
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