If your customers don’t know how to use your product to reach their goals, they will quickly lose interest. That’s why customer education is arguably the most important part of every customer success program. Without a strong training and education program, customers get frustrated, either leaning heavily on expensive customer support, or suffering in silence before churning altogether.
But how can you help guide customers to education in the first place? Sparking that initial engagement, and getting your content in front of your customers is the all-important first step to creating brand champions. With that in mind, here are 9 ideas that can turn uneducated customers into highly-trained advocates who shout about your product from the rooftops.
1. Create a blended and diverse learning environment
Offering a single type of customer training can isolate a large cohort of your customers. You can have the most robust knowledge base in your industry, but if your customer prefers webinars – they will never check in. Think about what kinds of customer training you could offer, from on-demand content, to in-person training, events, articles, and in-app or in-product support. With more diverse kinds of content, you can achieve better engagement rates from customers who have different learning preferences, expanding your chances of appealing to their needs. If creating everyone’s favorite content type sounds like a lot of work, remember that the right technology will allow you to create and reuse modular content elsewhere with ease. For instance, you could develop one elearning course, then repurpose it into bite-sized videos, documents, blogs, instructor-led courses, and webinars.
2. Use bundles, à la carte, and ‘all you can eat’
Bundles are a great way to encourage customers to consume more training, especially when education naturally fits together into a larger whole. You can include discounts for purchasing a bundle over its individual parts, and this will help drive consumption, as customers are more likely to consume content that they have paid for. At the same time, an “all you can eat” offering provides all access for an individual or a team, which means managers only need to get a single approval, and they unlock access to a whole lot of value for their business.
3. Sell training credits and vouchers
If you’d prefer not to offer an “all you can eat” model, another great idea to encourage learners to consume more content is training credits. The way it works is simple. A business can use their leftover training budget to buy access to any necessary courses ahead of time, without the need to decide exactly how these credits are going to be used. Departments can provide these credits to their employees, often giving them greater autonomy over what they learn. For the business, more people get trained, and for your organization, training revenues are increased. It’s a win/win.
4. Build a Great Certification Program
A certification program is a powerful value-add, especially for technology companies. When users see that you offer a certification, they recognize that this is a way to improve their career, add new skills to their toolbelt, and is also great resume capital! According to a Forrester Research paper, formalized education programs like certifications drive an average increase in customer retention of more than 7%. Customers who are striving towards certification engage more regularly with the product, and are far more likely to see its value.
5. Work with other teams across the business
Customer education should never be in a silo. Everyone in the business can take responsibility for making sure users know what opportunities are available. Look for technology that helps you align education with Marketing, Sales, Success, and even Engineering, so that you can automate Marketing emails that let customers know about new content, add education to product releases through DevOps, and ensure Sales teams know how to direct users in the right direction. Let the whole business know that a trained customer is a happier and more successful one, and they can all do their part in making that happen.
6. Deliver training aligned with your brand
When your training content is aligned with your wider brand, this gives your customers confidence that their time and money has been well-spent. When branding is poorly executed (with a pasted on company logo and not much else for example), this erodes buyer confidence. A headless LMS allows you to meet 100% of your design vision on the page, rather than forcing workarounds and compromises from design to reality. Don’t forget, with branded training, you can attract non-customers into your sales cycle, converting them into educated leads who already know what value your product can provide.
7. Provide personalized learning experiences for each customer
Each customer will want their environment to feel unique, with its own branding, content and identity. By leveraging multi-tenant functionality, you can effortlessly manage training instances for all of your customers, partners or segments, and deliver relevant learning for every group on your list. All the while, you have centralized control and reporting at the back end, and your users receive a fully-branded experience that meets their needs.
8. Make training easy to buy
Once your customers know they want more expertise around your product – there’s nothing worse than failing to get the sale because of a poor customer journey. It needs to be easy for users to find the right training, make their payments, and then consume the training itself. eCommerce functionality is critical here. At Thought Industries, we offer a suite of commerce tools so that customers can process transactions, collect taxes, and generate receipts and notifications. You can also create course catalogs that are searchable, filterable and flexible, helping you drive new revenue by learners finding exactly what they need at the right time.
9. Consider gamification
Design thinking can help you to create game systems that motivate users to achieve a goal, whether that’s finishing a course, taking an assessment, or putting what they’ve learned into practice. Ideas like leaderboards, points systems, badging and credentials, and even bespoke learning games can all deepen engagement and success. Sure, gamification can make learning more fun – but more critically still, it helps to tap into learners’ intrinsic motivation, supporting them in retaining more information and more quickly reaching their goals.
Your tech checklist for success
Getting eyes on your content and achieving engagement doesn’t come without a robust tech stack. If you’re in the market for an LMS that can support your customer education goals, make sure you have the ability to:
- Offer blended and diverse learning experiences, from webinars and VILT, to in-product training.
- Diversify training packages, including bundles, a la carte, subscriptions, and training credits.
- Build and manage a certification program with behind-the-scenes visibility and control.
- Make training simple, creating a searchable course catalog and including one-click eCommerce functionality.
- Personalize the learning experience, with multi-tenant environments and broad design capabilities.
Want to learn more about how Thought Industries can support your customers in becoming brand champions? Download the Modern Learner Experience white paper and see what you can achieve.