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How to Build a Customer Academy in 2024

Like most organizations, you’re probably always looking for better ways to serve your customers. But what if there was a way to keep them coming back and turn them into advocates and champions for your brand?

A customer academy is an effective way to show users and prospects you care about their success. By providing valuable resources, training, and support, you help them improve, excel in their roles, and ultimately, become better customers for you.

Plus, for every dollar spent on customer education, organizations earn $6.70 annually.

If you need to make a case for building a customer academy, here are seven reasons you should invest in one, plus tips to create your own.

What is a customer academy?

workramp customer academy example

Pictured: a customer academy in WorkRamp

A customer academy is an online training platform that helps users and prospects learn about your product or service and how to use it. The goal is to provide customer training, give users the information they need to be successful and build a relationship.

Typically, customer academies offer courses and programs on how to use your products or services. Academies can also provide customer support and technical help.

Customer academy vs. customer community

workramp communities
Pictured: WorkRamp Communities

A customer academy is distinct from a customer community

While a customer academy is designed to provide training materials and learning resources, a customer community functions like a virtual gathering space where existing and prospective customers can: 

  • Network, share knowledge, and learn from one another
  • Share questions, challenges, success stories, and insights with other users
  • Participate in virtual events, such as live demos or workshops 
  • Post images, product reviews, or other content relevant to your brand or product 

In contrast to a customer academy, which is set up for formal learning, a customer community is more like a social network where users can explore and discuss your products or services, forging a sense of community—and loyalty—around your brand.

Community moderators are essential to help ensure that discussions stay on-topic and that all content shared is appropriate for work, creating a community that feels safe and inclusive for everyone. 

When you have a customer academy alongside your customer community, customers can get the best experience and education on your product. With WorkRamp’s Customer LMS + Communities, organizations can centralize customer and partner learning on a single platform, connect customers, and get real-time customer feedback and product feature requests.

Learn more about WorkRamp Communities.

Benefits of building a customer academy

You may wonder why you should put in the effort to create an academy for your customers. It may seem like a big undertaking, and you may not be sure of the ROI.

But, 90 percent of organizations have seen a positive return on their customer education investments, and these organizations reap additional benefits from building a customer academy. 

Read more: 5 Benefits of a Customer Education Program

1. Improved customer retention

When existing customers are invested in your product and have a positive experience using it, they’re more likely to remain loyal, even when faced with competing products. 

Engaged customers are also more likely to refer other users, which helps you acquire new customers.

Business Impact 📈Companies with formalized education programs see an average 7.4 percent increase in retention

Read more: Why Customer Education is Important Now More Than Ever

2. Increased customer satisfaction

Customer education helps users overcome common challenges and get the most out of your product pre and post-purchase. 

This, in turn, leads to happier customers who are more likely to stick around and recommend your product to others.

Business Impact 📈16X increase in customer satisfaction.

3. Higher customer lifetime value

A properly trained customer will get more value out of your product, leading to a higher lifetime value. Your customers and business will benefit from this since it can generate more revenue and profit.

Business Impact 📈Customers who receive product training have 7.1 percent higher lifetime value than those who don’t. 

4. Reduces customer support costs

You can help your customers solve common problems without contacting customer support by providing educational resources. Your customer support team will spend less time resolving issues, which means significant cost savings for your organization.

Business Impact 📈6.1 percent reduction in support costs on average. 

5. Better-educated customers

Customers who receive product training are more likely to buy than those who don’t. Because they know more about your product and how to use it, they’re more likely to buy it. 

Users enrolled in your customer education academy will have early access to new product features, changes, and updates. This allows them to provide feedback and suggestions before making changes available to the general public.

Business Impact 📈Educated consumers are 131 percent more likely to buy. 

6. Improves product adoption rates

A customer academy becomes the go-to source for product information and training. It can be especially useful for new customers unfamiliar with a product’s features and functionalities. 

Having a central source of information makes it easier to access learning material and understand how the product works. 

You can also offer certifications and rewards for completing training within your academy. When you recognize customers for their achievements, they will be motivated to adopt the product and stick with it over the long term. 

Business Impact 📈68 percent of customers report using products more after training, while 56 percent use more product features than they would if untrained.

7. Helps you stand out from the competition

Some 28 percent of customers are never offered training, and nearly half (47 percent) have yet to use training offerings. Many organizations have settled with only reaching half of their customer base, but you can reach more with personalized education paths. 

Customers are more likely to do business with a company that provides them with a great experience. Building an academy for your customers shows them you’re committed to their success. It can also help you develop long-lasting customer relationships. 

Keeping customers up-to-date and knowledgeable about your products and services can help you retain them longer and improve top-line metrics. 

Business Impact 📈An average 6.2 percent increase in top-line revenue.

How to build a customer academy

Set your new academy up for success by creating a clear and detailed plan for how you’ll develop, launch, and maintain it.

Here are eight essential steps to creating a successful customer academy from start to finish:

  • Define what short-term and long-term goals you’re trying to achieve
  • Learn about the pain points and challenges your customers are trying to overcome
  • Identify which metrics you’ll track to gauge success
  • Determine your customer education strategy
  • Choose the best customer learning platform for your business
  • Make sure the content your academy provides is highly engaging and relevant to your customers
  • Consult with subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Continuously measure the impact and ROI of your new academy

Define the goals of your customer academy

The basic goal of any customer academy is to train and educate customers. However, you need to get more specific and detailed when determining the purpose your academy will fulfill.

For example, maybe you want to set targets like increasing the adoption rate of a specific product by a specific percentage; or, maybe you want to improve your customers’ onboarding experience by creating a series of beginner tutorials.

Understand your learners

Take the time to understand your customer’s journey and identify pain points before and after the sale. Your program should be built on customer insights and meeting their needs.

For example, when customer service CRM Kustomer built its customer education program, it focused on users who’ve never worked with a CRM before and smaller customers with a big learning curve. This helped them determine what educational content to focus on.

Determine metrics of success for your customer education academy

A customer training academy is only an asset if it works. And how do you know if it’s working? By knowing which metrics to track. 

Here are a few must-watch metrics to assess the impact your academy and customer training programs are making:  

  • Pre- vs. post-training knowledge assessment scores 
  • Course enrollment and completion rates 
  • Customer satisfaction metrics, like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and customer churn rates
  • Product adoption metrics, like conversion rates, customer lifetime value (CLTV), and time-to-value (TTV) 
  • The volume of calls or tickets received by your customer support team, which indicates how effectively customers are able to use your product 

In addition to tracking quantitative data like metrics, don’t forget to collect qualitative data like customer feedback. Gathering feedback will provide insights into what aspects of your academy customers love using, struggle with, or want to see more of.

Read more: How to Measure Customer Education

Create a formal customer education strategy

Organizations with a formalized strategy achieve 52 percent greater education utilization rates and are 70 percent more likely to show positive ROI than those without. 

Set clear goals for what you want to achieve and use them to develop content in a meaningful way. 

Invest in a learning management platform

Make sure you have the proper learning tools so customers can easily access learning content.

The Customer Learning Cloud from WorkRamp makes it easy to create engaging content to help your users get the most out of your product or service. 

Example of Customer Training LMS
Example of Customer Training LMS in WorkRamp

With the Customer Learning Cloud, you can:

  • Onboard customers at scale by creating customized training content
  • Educate and certify customers through various assessment tools
  • Measure training ROI by tracking key metrics and revenue impact from training

Since WorkRamp is cloud-based, customers can participate in courses, workshops, and other training programs on demand. The platform includes advanced reporting and analytics features so you can measure the impact of your training programs and know you’re getting the best ROI.  

“WorkRamp enables us to train employees and customers in a single platform. This allows us to share training materials across teams and provide an amazing education experience for our customers, without the added work of spinning up a new instance.”


Chauncy Cay Ford, Director of Enablement at Quantum Metric

Make learning content engaging

Take the steps to create content that’s fun and interactive.

A training course or eLearning can often be plagued by never-ending text blocks, endless lists of multiple-choice questions, and long videos that don’t engage learners. 

Casey Keenan, a Senior L&D manager at Compass  recommends using a variety of content types to keep learners engaged, such as:

  • Video
  • Tactile click-throughs
  • Podcasts
  • Mock interactions 
  • Images
  • Games 
  • Virtual activities

Read more: Make eLearning Engaging in 7 Steps

Bring in the experts

Working with subject matter experts (SMEs) is crucial in building a customer academy.

If you have multiple areas of learning, have more than one SME weigh in on the content. 

For example, Kustomer found internal SMEs in implementation, customer success, and customer support to produce content for learners. That way, they get the best education possible.

Measure impact and scale

Remember step three of this process, when you created a list of specific metrics your business would track? Now that your academy is up and running with engaging, SME-approved content, it’s time to start watching those metrics carefully. 

The best way to measure the impact of your customer academy is to use a powerful learning management system like WorkRamp with built-in analytics. With features like custom dashboards and data visualizations, WorkRamp’s analytics provide actionable insights into learner engagement, product knowledge, and more. That allows you to spot trends, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the ROI of your customer training programs

Learn more about customer academies

Dive deeper with these customer academy FAQs.

How much does a customer academy cost? 

The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as how many courses you plan to design, the complexity and length of the courses you plan to offer, and which customer training platform you choose to build your academy.

The type of instruction you plan to offer, such as live instructor-led training vs. pre-recorded training videos, will also impact the total cost. 

While training expenses vary based on these factors, online academies help maximize your cost-efficiency by eliminating travel and meal costs. According to, “You’ll spend between $500 and $1,500” on average for each learner you train in-person, compared to $1,500 for up to six learners with live instructor-led virtual training. 

How do you build a customer training academy?

There are eight main steps to building a customer training academy:

  1. Define the academy’s goals
  2. Understand your learners’ needs
  3. Identify specific success metrics to track
  4. Determine your customer education strategy
  5. Choose the right LMS for your business
  6. Ensure your customer training content is engaging
  7. Work with SMEs to ensure content quality
  8. Continuously measure the impact of your academy using the metrics from step 3

What is customer training vs. customer learning vs. customer education?

The terms customer training and customer education are interchangeable. They refer to the process of teaching your customers about use cases for, and features of, your product or service.

Customer training can be delivered through videos, articles, interactive tutorials, or other formats using an LMS. Some of the goals or purposes of customer training are to increase product knowledge and adoption, boost customer loyalty and retention, and create opportunities for upselling. 

Customer learning, on the other hand, is subtly different. There are numerous ways that customers can learn about your product or service—not only by receiving formal training or education but also through your marketing efforts and customer communities (along with conducting their own independent research). 

Build your customer academy with WorkRamp

WorkRamp’s Customer LMS can help you equip customers with the training and knowledge they need to excel.

By teaching your customers how to get the most from your product or service, you can improve product adoption, increase revenue, boost CLTV, and earn loyal brand advocates.  

Get in touch today to increase top-line revenue and show customers you care.



Build your customer education academy with WorkRamp

WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help you drive customer success through training. It comes with everything you need to create engaging customer education courses, including video, audio, and prebuilt content. 

Get in touch today to increase top-line revenue and show customers you care.


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Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

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