For many organizations, a strong customer learning program is a competitive advantage – but it’s not always simple to achieve. As organizations seek to level up their customer education programs, there are countless obstacles standing in their way: lack of executive buy-in, not enough funding to grow the team, gaps in subject matter expertise or technical content production skills, or—most often—the absence of a big-picture vision.
Earlier this month, Thought Industries’ Director of Thought Leadership Paul Merrylees sat down with Nancy Dockins, Global Product Enablement Executive and Former VP of Product Enablement at Forcepoint, to discuss the journey she’s brought her program through, what she faced in the process, and where Forcepoint’s customer learning program is today. Watch the full webinar here, or continue on for a recap of the most compelling points in the conversation.
The webinar kicked off with Thought Industries’ newly released maturity model for customer learning programs, which starts in the early days of primarily live training sessions, and spans the 5 universal checkpoints of customer learning program maturity, all the way through a future-focused, innovative, deeply impactful learning program. See the full model in our white paper, “The Thought Industries Maturity Model: How Great Customer Learning Programs Create Value.”
Investing in Customer Learning Creates Organizational Change
Dockins began with a reflection on the phase her team was in when she joined the Forcepoint team and walked through the broad strokes to where they are now, “at a four with incursions into five.”
C-Suite Investment in Customer Learning
Then, the two spent time talking about the barriers between these phases of maturity; What hinders a team from jumping to the next level? What makes it so challenging? For Dockins moving her team forward out of phase one, it was all about making the right case for executive leadership to invest in the customer learning function. Watch this clip for her take on gaining C-suite buy-in as early on in the program as possible.
Customer Learning and Digital Transformation
Dockins had numerous insights on the digital transformation that took place at Forcepoint, a cybersecurity and data protection organization. This was a tricky balance to strike between the team’s skill set and the goals of a digital learning offering. “So really it’s about what your product is doing,” says Dockins, “as well as, what are my own training organization’s capabilities?” Watch this clip for the conversation.
Habits of Successful Customer Learning Leaders
Toward the end of the webinar, Merrylees and Dockins walked through the four mindsets of high-performance customer learning leaders – all of which are laid out in Thought Industries’ whitepaper on customer learning maturity. Looking at these paradigms when it comes to approaching a successful program, Dockins added her own fifth mindset: hire a team that’s smarter than yourself. Check out this clip for her full explanation.
Customer Learning ROI
To wrap up the discussion, Merrylees prompted Dockins on the incredible results her team at Forcepoint has seen as a result of the growth and development of the customer learning program: over a 20% increase in renewals where training was sold, a significant drop in support tickets, and an extreme improvement on content development cycles to be essentially in-sync with new product releases. Despite these incredible business results, Dockins made sure to note that they all fall under the category of Forcepoint’s wins, where she’s now turning her attention to the results and impact felt by her customers. Listen to her insights in this clip.
Watch the entire discussion to learn more about Nancy’s experience growing her customer education at Forcepoint, and be sure to download our whitepaper on customer learning maturity.