Why Cross-Team Synergy is Vital for Customer Education with Joe Ryan, Maltego
December 14, 2023
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Customer education is crucial to foster meaningful and lasting relationships with your users.
It goes beyond transactional interactions to create a foundation of understanding and trust. By providing customers with the knowledge and tools they need to make the most of a product or service, businesses empower them to become proficient users.
In this LEARN Podcast episode, Joe Ryan, Training Program Manager, Maltego, shares his valuable insights and experience to help you create a multi-faceted customer education program and positive customer experiences to turn users into brand champions.
In this post:
Promoting cross-team collaboration
Customer education teams should not operate in siloes. Joe emphasized the significance of working closely with other teams, like marketing, customer success, product, and tech, to ensure alignment, avoid duplicating efforts, and maximize company resources to benefit customers.
“Where I see the trend needing to move is that customer education needs to be viewed as something that touches every part of the customer lifecycle and journey,” Joe says. “I don’t think that necessarily has to be reflected in the customer organization, but I do think that there needs to be a conscious effort into ensuring that all parts of the organization are working to ensure that customer education is something they’re incorporating.”
Joe shares examples of how customer ed teams can work with other teams in an organization:
- Working with the training team that focuses on post-sale training
- Working with marketing to produce and share content
- Helping the CS team navigate customer calls and understand customer use cases
- Working with product and tech teams to incorporate product education ahead of product launches
“Now we’re starting to identify people within different teams in the organization who understand the importance of customer education and bring those people together on a regular basis,” Joe says. “And make sure that there’s alignment, that we’re not duplicating efforts, that we’re sharing resources, and that way the company is benefiting as much as possible, even though we’re not really in a position to do a full org restructuring, just to reflect how important we think customer education might be.”
Front-loading customer education
Joe advises teams to take a more proactive approach to customer education to drive product adoption and create a positive customer experience. And the best place to do this is during customer onboarding.
“So for me, customer education, where I see the greatest impact is going to be product adoption, tool usage, and if I have to put all my money in one spot, it’s going to be in customer onboarding,” Joe says. “I feel like that is where customer education has the ability to have the most impact because what I don’t like is customer education as a last-ditch effort to retain a customer.
“That’s where I don’t want to see customer education fall. I want it to be front-loaded so that we’re not just constantly putting out fires and getting on calls with customers three weeks before their renewal dates and trying to throw together a bunch of. information that we can hand to them and just hope that they sign the paper. I know that’s important, especially for a SaaS company, to get those renewals, but I would much rather set the customers up for success within those first three months than try to get them to sign a piece of paper in the last three months.”
Joe encourages teams to determine what they want to gain from customer education and ensure you’re providing the necessary resources for customer support and onboarding.
Proving ROI for customer education
Measuring the effectiveness of customer education can be challenging for organizations; unlike quantifiable metrics such as sales figures or website traffic, the outcomes of customer education programs are frequently intangible and spread across various touchpoints. Joe shares the customer education metrics his team uses to measure ROI.
“NPS scores coming in after we deliver a training are all things we like to talk about, but we are now moving towards product adoption,” he says. “So we started collecting data around comparing product usage in the 90 days prior to training and product usage in the 90 days post-training, for instance.
“Another big one for SaaS companies is license activation. You might have a customer who buys 10 licenses of your products but only uses two. That’s not a customer who will renew 10 licenses again next year, right? If they’ve only got two people on the platform regularly. So product adoption is really big, as well as tool usage. These are two really big ones for us that we focus on.”
Customer education often contributes to intangible benefits such as brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and overall product understanding. However, it’s still imperative to collect the data around product adoption and use it to understand customer behavior and opportunities for improvement.
Joe offers valuable insights into the dynamic field of customer education and the importance of collaboration, onboarding, and tracking the right metrics to prove value. Organizations can drive customer success, enhance user experiences, and build long-lasting customer relationships by implementing these learnings.
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Maile TimonContent Strategist, WorkRamp
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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