Why Customer Education is the Core of Customer Success with Dave Derington, ServiceRocket
October 19, 2023
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Customer success has never been more critical than in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. Users have higher expectations, businesses face more competition, and organizations are shifting to a more data-driven, customer-centric approach.
Businesses must adapt, work collaboratively, and harness the power of new technologies to retain customers and drive product adoption.
Dave Derington, Director of Customer Education, ServiceRocket, joined the LEARN podcast to explore the evolving landscape of customer education and share why customer education isn’t just important–but the key to thriving in an ever-changing world.
A multi-faceted approach to customer education
Gone are the days of standalone customer-ed resources like academies, communities, and knowledge bases.
These aspects are all still essential, but it’s time for teams to bring these concepts together into a comprehensive learning experience. Or, as Dave puts it, an educational enablement program.
“Think of it like a Jeopardy board,” he says. “I’m going to take admin for 200, Alex; you pull the card off, and then we go down that path, and we have the questions and learn. So I might have one path, another path, another path.
“So you can put a matrix up; it’s kind of linear, in the modern era, the workflow, and the persona. I think it’s a baseline; it’s where you start and where you grow, and it will always be part of your ecosystem because it characterizes and tells the story of how I put all these ideas together to use the product or to work as a team.”
Taking this multi-faceted approach to customer education ensures users have all the resources, tools, and information they need to be successful with your product or service and have a positive experience with your brand.
Embracing AI and emerging technologies
AI tools are everywhere, but the challenge is understanding how these new technologies can help organizations and teams.
“These emergent technologies are so helpful; the big new thing is how we’re grappling with it,” Dave says. “What I mean by that is, it’s these scaling resources, these things that help you and me.”
Dave shares some ways he’s using AI to streamline processes and save time.
Using chat GPT to organize thoughts, for example, “What was a four-hour job for me as a marketing person, a leader, an education person, now truncates into something more linear.”
The value of customer communities
Customer communities enable users to interact, learn, share ideas, and communicate with other users and subject matter experts. This helps users get the most out of your products but also helps your organization get valuable customer feedback and questions that can help you enhance the customer experience.
Dave shares why customer communities are vital to the educational enablement stack.
“It’s a place where we encourage not just our customers, but our partners, our team members, and everybody to have a home base just like I go to Facebook or something where I have a community of people that I care about, and I interact with,” he says. “We had to build that as a part of our platforms, a part of our customer success program, fill it with content. And then it started serving us as a way where people were promoting ideas and natural things were happening. And it works.”
When potential leads or existing customers become part of a supportive network, they’re more inclined to embrace your product, champion your brand, and maintain ongoing interactions with your company.
Customer education is the core of customer success
Effective customer education programs enhance user satisfaction and loyalty and play a pivotal role in achieving long-term business objectives. These programs can improve customer satisfaction, drive product adoption, generate leads, facilitate scaling, and increase revenue.
“Customer education, in my thinking, is the core of customer success,” Dave says. “It’s all the things we do and never talk about, but we’re trying to package all of this stuff now. So that these are legitimate plays that go into your playbook, and this is customer success.”
While Dave stresses the importance of creating an education enablement program to drive customer success, he also advises not to go it alone.
“Find the others,” he says. “Ask for help. Connect with your peers. You should be finding resources, or if you are so motivated, share your opinion and ideas, get out there, and share what you’ve learned.
“So, get out there, find the others, get connected. You won’t feel alone. You’ll feel supported. And you’ll feel like this all is starting to make sense.”
Listen to the full podcast episode to hear more expert insights from Dave. Subscribe to the LEARN podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Google to hear more actionable tips from People, Revenue, and Customer Success leaders.
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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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