Customer Spotlight: How to Use Marketing Principles to Improve Your Customer Ed Program
August 12, 2022
It’s no secret that customer education can help users get the most out of your product or service. But doing it well takes skills, focus, and more. From understanding your audience to testing and iterating, Tony Vaughn, Director of Customer Education at Qualified, shares his pro tips for how you can use marketing principles to design a successful customer education program. Tony and his team implemented these principles with the launch of Qualified University, a one-stop shop for guides, articles, and courses designed to build advocates out of their customers and prospects. Discover how you can use these principles in your customer education program.
Leveraging marketing principles to design your CEd programs
Know your audience (AKA your learners)
During the sales process, it’s essential to understand your audience and know how your product or service can help them solve their pain points. But after the sale, you can take this a step further to educate your customers and help them maximize their investment. You can provide the best overall customer experience for your users if you understand how they learn.
You have to use different modalities to address different types of learners. Ask yourself how you can continually engage your learners and use various methods to meet them where they are in how they learn best.
There are several different adult learning styles, and you can use different types of activities to engage each of these styles; for example:
- Visual. These customers learn best by seeing images. Engage these learners using multimedia content like flashcards and flowcharts.
- Auditory. These individuals retain information best by listening and speaking. Try asking questions, using group discussions, podcasts, debates, recordings, and more.
- Reading/writing. These users prefer information presented as text. Try using user manuals, handouts, and bullet point content.
- Kinesthetic. This is the most popular learning style. Kinesthetic learners process and retain information by doing things themselves. Try interactive lessons, role-playing, surveys, and demos.
“At Qualified, we use WorkRamp + Iorad to help technical learners get hands-on with the product without having to provision demos for everyone. This enables our teams to be tactical and address a whole different group of learners. We also use training materials like videos and one-pagers and interactive WorkRamp features like Flip Cards.”
-Tony Vaughn, Director of Customer Education, Qualified
Build specific content for adult learners
It’s not enough to release content; it needs to be thoughtful and engaging for users. You should build your content using instructional design best practices to help drive behavior change. This means designing materials specifically for how adults learn.
How can we get users to change their knowledge or behavior? We need to move beyond using only static content, like blog posts where users are just reading. Instead, we need content that sparks behavior change.
When developing customer education content, keep these instructional design principles in mind:
- Use bite-sized, digestible lessons: 30- to 45-minute chunks for learning
- Create content that scaffolds up from beginner to intermediate to advanced
- Stay focused on your goals and objectives. What’s the purpose or desired outcome? Keep this top of mind and ensure your goals are measurable so you can track the success of your content
- Make it easy to navigate. Your customer education content should be easy to follow, with clear directions on how users should proceed
- Leverage user feedback. Your customers can give you real-time feedback to help you engage your content and create a better overall user experience. Ask for feedback and determine actionable ways you can use this to improve
Test, iterate, repeat
You only have one chance to launch your program, so you want to get it right. You need solid content to start, but you must continually think through how to engage learners. The last thing you want is a new, shiny learning platform or academy, but no one registers or logs in.
You can avoid this by beta-testing your content. Work with your customers, collect feedback, and iterate to keep your learning material fresh, relevant, and impactful.
Testing and iterating is an ongoing process you should use whenever you develop new customer education content. Your customers can give you key insights that you can leverage to create the most useful, engaging content to help customers get the most out of your product and turn users into brand advocates.
“We use these principles in business and marketing when we think about how to structure information,” Tony says. “When we create marketing materials, we ask ourselves, ‘how do we get clicks?’ We can apply this same concept to customer education and ask ourselves, ‘how can this educational content be more engaging?’”
Creating customer education programs that work
When you understand your audience, create content that captures adult learners, and test the material, you empower your customers to get the most value from your product and ultimately help them succeed. Which then leads to brand loyalty and turning customers into champions.
Want to learn more about how to use WorkRamp to create engaging content for your customers? Contact us to schedule a free demo.
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Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has more than 11 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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