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Your sales team spends time getting a customer to buy your product or service. They develop the relationship, promote your brand, and in the end, sell them your product. So what happens after the sale? Don’t leave your customers hanging. Help them get the most value out of your product and enable them to succeed in their role.
An effective customer education program not only benefits users and promotes customer loyalty, but can also have a significant impact on long-term business goals.
In this article, we’ll look at what goes into a successful customer education program and the reasons you should leverage customer training in your organization.
What is a customer education program?
A customer education program is the information a company provides to teach customers how to use and find value in products and services. A customer ed program can include resources like courses, videos, and tutorials. Customer training plays a key role in customer success, retention, and overall business strategy.
Before a sale, you teach buyers about the market and how your product can help them solve their pain points. After the sale, you educate customers on maximizing their investment in your product or solution to make sure you’re showing them how to effectively solve their problems.
In other words, customer education refers to content and touchpoints designed for educating customers. These resources help to onboard, engage, retain, and, ultimately, turn your new and existing customers into advocates.
Why is a customer education program important?
A successful customer training program can have a significant impact on long-term business goals—from increasing customer satisfaction scores and improving product/service adoption, to driving lead generation, scaling, and boosting revenue. Companies of all sizes need effective customer education, especially when they start to experience increased growth.
As your company grows, you may need to move away from 1:1 customer training and start thinking about leveraging the technology you’ll need to implement a program and customer education engagement at scale. Why? Because the easier it is for customers to understand your offering, the more likely they are to engage and quickly realize the potential gains and benefits it brings to them.
With that in mind, you’ll want to create a program that evolves over time and is easy to deliver. As you expand, consider the value of building a portfolio that includes an online academy, a help center, videos and webinars, in-product education sessions, certifications, and more.
What are the benefits of a customer education program?
Providing a solid customer training program offers many benefits to your organization. Here are some measurable results we have seen from implementing a customer education program.
Increase revenue and decrease costs
Great customer training can lead to increased revenue. The cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25x higher than retaining and growing an existing one. The value provided by customer training can contribute to a more positive customer experience, increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, and retention -boosting revenue.
According to a Forrester Consulting study, an average formalized customer education program drives a 6.2 percent increase in organizational bottom-line revenue, a 7.4 percent increase in customer retention, and a 6.1 perecent decrease in support costs.
Increase customer engagement with your product or service
When customers recognize the value of a product or service, they are more likely to engage with it and become potential advocates, internally and externally. Education programs can ramp up your customers quickly so they become aware of product releases, best practices, and the benefits and impact your company brings to them.
“The first indicator of customer education’s success lies with engagement,” according to the Forrester Consulting study. “Targeted education can drive user adoption of products, specific features, and new updates. As users gain greater knowledge, they are likely to engage with the products in more desirable ways for the business.”
Increase time to value and ROI
The faster a solution solves a problem, the better the customer experience. When it comes to technology, customers are looking for a quick return on investment Time To Value (TTV), so consider this when evaluating your approach. The value created by a product or service is proof that it works. Fast TTV fulfills the promises made in your sales pitch. When you deliver value time and time again, you build trust with your customers-making them more likely to become brand advocates.
Strengthen customer retention and create upsell opportunities
Around 46 percent of businesses invest in customer experience, and that number is growing. If you want your customers to have a positive experience, you need to invest in it. Having a customer education program helps you build relationships over time by maintaining ongoing interaction with your customers.
A training program will pay off at renewal or upsell because it won’t be the first time they hear from your team. By then, they’ll have realized the benefit of your offerings in their ongoing success, allowing the sales team to leverage this opportunity and giving your business a chance to increase the overall lifetime value of customers.
Reduce customer support costs
Without a customer training program, all inquiries that come after a company purchases, from customer onboarding to ongoing usage of your product or service, may overwhelm your customer support staff, especially as you scale. Customer training helps you ease the burden to your team while facilitating the process for your customers. Remember that they expect an easy and efficient onboarding experience, so well-organized customer onboarding programs that are scalable and help new clients quickly get up to speed will reduce your costs and improve their experience.
“We’re really looking to increase retention and renewals, to maximize the value of our customers over time. By encouraging customers to become MikMak certified with WorkRamp, we’re helping them get maximum value from their investment, building brand equity within our buying centers and inspiring customer loyalty.”
– Sabena Carim, Director of Effectiveness and Enablement, MikMak
Learn how to build your own customer education program
Now that you understand the benefits of a customer education program, learn how to build a customer education program to empower your users and increase customer satisfaction.
Download our free eBook, 4 Steps to Creating a Successful Customer Education Program, to learn how to design and implement a successful customer training program for your organization.
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Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has over 10 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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