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LEARN Recap: The Real ROI of Customer Education

You already know why customer education matters for your business; it can increase product adoption, boost revenue, and help you turn customers into brand advocates. But while the value of customer ed is clear, the best path toward maximizing that value isn’t always obvious. Fortunately, there are strategies to help guide the way for your organization. 

In his panel discussion, The Real ROI of Customer Education, Tony Vaughn, Director of Customer Education at Qualified, shares how to maximize ROI from your customer ed program by going above and beyond basic product training. He shares how by building a community, generating brand affinity, and creating top-notch content, you can take your program—and the ROI it provides—to the next level. 

Keep reading for insights you can apply in your organization. And in case you missed the live event, check out on-demand replays of WorkRamp LEARN.

Want to get the best ROI from your customer education program? Then prioritize these “3 pillars”

As the pipeline generation platform for companies that use Salesforce, customers count on Qualified for customer education programs that work. And when it comes to building those programs, there are three “main pillars” or target areas that you should prioritize: 

  • Brand 
  • Content 
  • Community 

Focusing on these pillars helps your programs shine and show their value—the more you can enhance your customers’ success, the better you’ll retain and engage them. 

When all three pillars are aligned, says Tony, “that’s where we start to see real wins, real successes, and the real ROI of customer education programs.” 

So what does that mean for your business? What sorts of actions or steps should you take? Learn more about the three pillars, why they’re significant, and how successful brands like Qualified put them into practice. 

Pillar #1: Brand 

Customer education can accomplish more than just teaching skills or providing knowledge. You can also leverage your customer ed programs to supercharge brand affinity among your users, which will help you boost retention (and, in turn, revenue). 

As Tony explains, it’s crucial to provide customers who have already purchased your product with reasons to keep returning to your website, app, or platform—and that’s precisely where brand, the first pillar, comes into play.

“We want to have a place where… our customers have something special,” he says—and to achieve that goal successfully, you need to do more than just sell or demonstrate your product. You also need to take the customer through their learning journey afterward. 

In other words, it’s not just about showing your customers how to “point and click,” as Tony says; it’s about teaching them how to utilize your platform to do something bigger and better. 

Here are a few tips when thinking about brand as a component of your customer education strategy: 

  • Deliver fresh, engaging content that provides value for current and prospective customers
  • Share and showcase best practices among your customers to inspire success
  • Show customers how your platform can help them grow and develop their careers

Pillar #2: Content  

There are plenty of ways to deliver engaging, relevant, and informative content via your customer ed programs. For example, Qualified provides three distinct types of content: 

  • Guides: Videos and text-based articles covering best practices
  • Courses: In-depth, goal-specific content
  • Text-only: Technical articles 

Your organization could adopt a similar model or try experimenting with other content formats— but no matter what your content looks like, you need to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How do we ensure and measure our customers’ success? 
  • How do we incorporate customer feedback to develop and drive better future products? 

To best answer those questions, Tony suggests focusing on three key points or metrics: 

  • Engagement: Are customers enrolling in and completing our courses? How many?  
  • Reaction: How are we being rated and reviewed by customers who have engaged with our content or completed our programs? 
  • Outcomes: Are customers expanding or renewing once trained through our program? 

Finally, he suggests choosing a statistic you’re proud of and sharing it with your executives. For example, maybe your customer ed program has an exceptionally high course completion rate—an impressive 80 percent at Qualified. 

“It’s stats like those that we shout from the rooftops,” Tony says because they prove that your content is making an impact and moving the needle. “There are vanity metrics, real metrics, and then there are outcomes, and you want to have all of them to tell your story as a customer education team.” 

Pillar #3: Community 

Last but not least is the third pillar: community. But what does community mean in a customer education context, and where does it fit into your overall strategy?

With community being a huge pillar of customer education and a huge pillar of the ROI of their programs, Qualified focuses on answering questions like: 

  • How do we activate and elevate our power users? 
  • How do we understand and prioritize the features our product offers? 
  • How do we bring together different individuals or departments to solve problems? 

For instance, to help elevate and empower your most engaged administrators and sales reps, consider strategies like offering guest blogging opportunities, invite-only workshops, or peer and informal learning opportunities.

And remember, Tony says: “Communities aren’t something that happens overnight.” The process takes time—but as you work towards building a broader community, you see incredible dividends.

Looking for more actionable tips and insights from People, Revenue, and Customer Success leaders? Don’t miss WorkRamp LEARN Spring, March 23rd at 9 am PT. Get your free ticket!


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Emily Homrok

WorkRamp Contributor
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with over eight years of writing experience. She graduated from Drexel University in 2011.

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