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Want to create loyal customers who will adopt and advocate for your brand? Then you must deliver a stellar product or service that helps users thrive.
However, providing a helpful tool is only part of your mission: you must also ensure your customers know how to use those tools effectively.
So how can you achieve this goal and set your customers up for success? The best strategy is to provide a top-notch customer education (CE) program—a crucial investment for any business that wants to grow and remain competitive.
During our virtual event, WorkRamp LEARN Spring, Quantum Metric’s Director of Customer Enablement, Chauncy Cay Ford, and Product L&D Specialist, Jennifer Foster, shared insights on the value of customer education, how to track program success, where CE is headed, and other hot topics in customer education.
Keep reading to discover how to leverage CE to support your customers and achieve better business outcomes.
Why is it so important to invest in customer education?
Businesses should invest in customer education and training to position their users for long-term success.
But what is the value of investing in customer education, and why should CE be a priority for your organization?
The first thing businesses need to understand is that customer education isn’t just a passing trend or fad that can afford to be overlooked. “It’s always been important,” says Chauncy, “and I feel like people are just catching up, as they do.”
One of the reasons CE is so important is that, as Chauncy explains, it’s one of the most effective ways to build expertise within your customer base. In turn, that can lead to improved product adoption rates—which, as Jenni says, is “the ultimate goal you want to see.”
“That’s the secret sauce,” says Chauncy. “And we can do that with WorkRamp because we can take it to an asynchronous environment where customers from all over the place can come to take a course, learn something new, and start applying that immediately.”
Read more: Signs it’s Time to Invest in Customer Ed + Checklist
How and where to start building a customer education strategy
It’s not always obvious where you should start when you’re designing (or redesigning) a customer training program.
What are some potential leaping points to help get the ball rolling? Chauncy shares a few examples of the tasks she began with.
The first priority, she says, was building an up-to-date, highly organized “tribal knowledge base” that everyone could easily access and reference. So, for example, instead of repeatedly answering the same questions from customers, the answers could simply be added to the knowledge base. That reduces the time you need to spend dealing with support tickets while simplifying your customers’ lives.
“Another really important piece was maybe not asking customers to go further from the point where they were,” she added. “Starting to put some of that training interactively inside of our product was really critical so that they didn’t have to go even one step away.”
“It’s been kind of fun figuring out where to put things,” she says of the CE design process, “because it’s not always a course, it’s not always an article. Sometimes it’s that interactive tutorial, and sometimes it’s that fun curation.”
After all, as Chauncy points out, nobody learns the same way—and to be both engaging and effective, CE programs need to accommodate a wide variety of learning modalities.
It’s also crucial to continuously track outcomes as your program evolves and develops, says Chauncy.
“The entire time we’ve been tracking, ‘Where did they come from? Where did they go next, what are customers really doing? How is this providing value?’ And so we’re able to see which one of those pieces move the needle more, and we’re continuously able to monitor and switch that mix up.”
The future of CE: Where customer education is headed
So what might the future bring for online customer education? What aspects of CE are businesses like Quantum Metric focusing on and investing in?
On the production side, Jenni says, “I don’t think that the content building ever really stops. I’m trying to get to a point where we can partner more with…experts and really empower them to steer it a little bit more so that they’re building content… that’s really impactful.”
“Since they work directly with customers,” she continues, “it’s going to be really impactful for customers, too.”
As part of Quantum Metric’s customer success team, Jenni chiefly partners with the enablement team responsible for customer onboarding.
“The more we can help them with onboarding,” Jenni explains, “the more hours they have to spend on more valuable things.”
“We [also] partner with our engineering team,” she adds, “because they have to work on configurations. So the more we can help them scale their efforts, the more valuable our team is, and then we can prove our right to exist in these scary market times.”
The other element of customer education that Quantum Metric is focused on is content maintenance, and how it can be minimized, Jenni says.
“If you’re really consciously thinking of the maintenance that it will take to build—to keep something going once it’s built—that will help you design something that’s a little bit easier to maintain in the long run.”
How can the need for maintenance be minimized while continuing to deliver maximum value to customers?
She recommends performing regular content audits and determining whether any content can be recycled—or, if it’s no longer helpful, removed. Additionally, it’s important to create high-quality “evergreen” content. The benefit of evergreen content is that it continuously serves as a valuable and relevant source of information without any time-consuming updates or maintenance.
How to measure (and increase) the success of your customer education programs
How can you accurately gauge the success of your customer education and training programs?
The most reliable method is to gather and analyze data about the program, including how people use it and what impacts your customers are seeing.
That’s why choosing a customer education platform that offers data visualizations, integrated dashboards, and other tools to easily track data is essential.
“There’s always the baseline metrics,” says Chauncy, who also highlights traffic metrics and certification metrics. For example, brands might want to track data about total number of sessions, average session length, or total number of clicks per session.
“When we dig into the analytics…we can see that full journey of everything that our customers are doing within our little ecosystem,” Chauncy says. “And we’re seeing that they really adopt the product more as they learn.”
For a deeper dive into this topic, learn about seven customer education metrics you should be tracking. Then, if the data reveals your program hasn’t been quite as successful as it could be, try following these four tips to improve your customer education program.
How to maximize the impact of your customer education program
In today’s market, businesses are pressured to achieve more with less. If your product or service doesn’t offer a clear benefit, your customers can quickly turn to one of your competitors. That means you need to find ways to deliver great value and maximize the impact of your customer education program.
Read more: How to Do More With Less & Scale Customer Success
So, how can you create a program that meets your customers’ unique needs and gets people enthusiastically adopting your product?
Here are a few of Chauncy and Jenni’s tips for building a customer education program that delivers real results:
- Build educational content that aligns with your organization’s goals. It’s all about intentionally building content, says Jenni, and ensuring it’s aligned with your goals. “That’s the secret sauce,” she says, “bring[ing] all of that together in an efficient way so you’re not spinning your wheels, you’re not wasting your effort, and you’re very intentionally and thoughtfully building something that is going to drive to the ultimate goal…[of] product adoption.”
- Collaborate closely with your internal teams. “We don’t get anywhere without our internal teams,” Chauncy reminds us—and ensuring they have a voice in the content is essential. The name of the game, she says, is “building real partnerships with people internally and finding ways to lift them up. That’s why I’m really excited about these live trainings and the community, and some of these other spaces, because we can showcase that internal talent.”
Power your customer education program with the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp
Effortlessly build, launch, and track bespoke training and educational content for your customers and partners with the Learning Cloud.
The Learning Cloud makes it fast and efficient to deliver engaging CE programs, empowering your team to improve the customer onboarding experience, boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, and nurture enthusiastic brand advocates.
Discover how the Learning Cloud can empower cusomters and reach your goals. Contact us to schedule a demo for your team.
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