Customer education – what is it?
Customer education is the process of educating your customers regarding your product and services, it starts prior to they buy and continues throughout their client journey. This procedure can take lots of types, consisting of online programs, blog sites, or expertise bases. Client education and learning both sustain your clients in making an educated buying choice and also allow them to obtain the most value out of the product after they choose to get it.
As a company or service provider, customer education is your chance to reinforce your brand name’s value proposal while relocating leads down the sales channel. The even more a lead finds out about your product and also sees its worth, the most likely they will convert into a triggered consumer.
The importance of customer education
Online consumer education offers a budget-friendly choice for growing companies to scale their customer success efforts without hiring even more individuals.
Educating your consumers will significantly enhance your income as well as dramatically minimize your client assistance prices. When customers are trained on your service tools and market, they are far more likely to adopt your product and end up being power users. Their support tickets will reduce and also their lifetime worth will certainly rise!
For example, Later on, an Instagram scheduling device, boosted its customer retention by 320% after transforming its onboarding webinar into an online course with Thinkific Plus.
By investing in customer education and learning, services can bring in qualified leads, enhance product fostering, as well as drive consumer success. Many companies also see a considerable decrease in 1-on-1 support inquiries when they make use of online programs to train their consumers upfront. This aggressive 1-to-many training design permits companies to build academic explainer content as soon as and use it to train their users at range– which decreases client irritation, spin, as well as expensive assistance expenses.
The impact of customer education on customer journey success
A real customer education and learning method start with the first interaction as well as proceeds throughout the client trip. Whether that initial touch is a blog post, an online course, or a person-to-person communication, each factor of contact forms your customer’s relationship with your brand and item.
By using each of these communications as a chance to educate your clients on the truth worth of your product, you’ll have the ability to straighten assumptions, increase fostering, and also lower churn.
These consumer communications can be bucketed right into three stages of the customer trip: 1) presale, 2) product adoption, and also 3) constant learning. As with any kind of customer touchpoint, there are both possibilities as well as challenges faced within each phase which can have a long-lasting influence on consumer success. Allow’s to take a look at each phase in detail.
Phase One: Presale
The presale phase is the very first factor of get in touch with the customer will certainly have with your services or product, which is largely driven by advertising and marketing efforts. At this stage, advertising and marketing works to generate material that educates and educates the customer on not only the value of your product and services yet additionally on your industry all at once (and also how you compare versus the competition).
The challenges: Supplying vague details or sources at the start can create the risk of drawing in leads that are not the appropriate fit for your item. This can ultimately lead to customers who require considerable consumer assistance, feeling like they have actually been oversold, as well as increase your spin as the consumer leaves after a couple of months.
Pro-tip # 1: Develop a consumer journey map! Straighten your interactions with the customer trip of each client type. Then, make certain that throughout every stage of that journey you recognize who you are informing, what their function is, and how you can best meet their needs.
Phase Two: Product Adoption
After a sale closes, the product adoption phase of the journey begins.
This stage is usually led by your customer success management team. The goal here is to onboard customers, effectively build and manage the relationships, and reduce churn by meeting expectations established at the onset.
When customers don’t have a full understanding of your product or service from the start (due to a lack of education), they need extra support, which means extra tickets for the customer success team. Instead of troubleshooting unique issues and accelerating your customer’s path to success, they instead spend hours and hours showing them how to use every part of the platform.
1 to 1 onboarding is simply not scalable. It’s obviously not cost-effective but it’s also not good for customer experience, as this high touch approach will lead to onboarding backlogs, implementation delays, slow responses to inquiries, and when you are eventually forced to reduce support, an increase in churn.
Pro-tip #2 Leverage online customer education to reach customers, at the right time and in an engaging format. Hootsuite, the world’s most widely used social media management platform, has done just that through Hootsuite Academy. The Academy began as a way to teach customers about the Hootsuite Dashboard but quickly evolved into educating customers on how to use social media generally. Their team understood that it was crucial to help people build knowledge and confidence about social media first before they could fully understand the value of their platform.
Phase Three: Ongoing Education
The final step of the customer journey is ongoing education– keeping your customers up to date with product or industry changes and to increase their abilities with and usage of the product.
In this stage, your customer support team is your first line of defense to customer inquiries. They are there to answer questions, resolve issues quickly, and explain new features. The goal is to provide quick support to customers and collect data to continue to improve your product or support documentation.
For customer support, a lack of customer understanding of the product means answering the same questions over and over again. The ticket volume can become unsustainable, leading to longer wait times and frustrated customers. If you don’t address these concerns, you could see increased turnover.
Pro-tip # 3: Create proactive online courses based on customer data to address ongoing customer support and continuing education. 80% of the questions companies receive in this stage could be answered by 20% of the courses they are creating. Make your academy the first place they go to ask questions.
For example, Sendable, a social media management tool, put their most common customer inquiries into an academy and they’ve seen a huge decrease in the number of questions they were receiving through support.
Pro-tip # 4: Repurpose customer education for onboarding new employees. You’re creating great customer support content, why not share it with your internal team and partners? Repurpose that customer education as much as possible and increase your return on your investment.
Actionable Steps to Amplify customer Education and Increase Customer Success
Now that you have an understanding of the value of customer education and how it impacts your customers at every stage of their journey, it is time to start building your own process. The following six steps will help you develop and launch your customer education strategy.
- Map out your customer journey
Start by drawing out your customers’ journey. How do they learn about your company? Where do they first interact with your team? When do they make their buying decision?
- Listen to your customers and record the data
Understand the questions that are being asked throughout their journey. Don’t create content that answers questions no one is asking.
- Start with one course
It is easy to overthink your strategy when getting started. Begin with one course addressing your most common question and go from there.
- Create courses around outcomes, not features
While your courses are meant to help your customers understand your product, they should be centered around helping your customers achieve success. Think about why they bought your product in the first place. What were their goals? How could your course help you get them closer to them?
- Create interesting content
In stating the obvious, no one likes boring content. Utilize multiple lesson types, incorporate quizzes, and build a community that engages your customers and helps achieve mutual success.
- Find the right customer education platform
Starting your search for a learning management system (LMS) can be overwhelming, especially if you’re looking to launch an online academy for the first time. Look for a platform that is easy to set up and maintain, that integrates with your existing software, and that is customizable for your brand needs. Thinkific Plus gives you an opportunity to get your hands dirty and try our software. Schedule a call here to try it for free.