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How Ti Customer Education Impacted Retention in 2021

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Team working together
Sandra Elliott
December 15, 2021
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The Start of a 2021 Customer Education Vision

This past year was monumental for the Thought Industries Customer Education team, a quickly expanding group built to focus on educating our customers and follow our own guidance when it comes to serving our learners. As a team, we set out to provide the best educational experience possible for anyone using our platform, which requires thinking about what you need, and how, and when, and what we can do to provide it. In the process, we wanted to help our own organization understand what our clients experience, so the company can better address pain points from every angle.

A Drastic Customer Education Overhaul with Dramatic Results

We started by revising and relaunching our Academy. In qualitative surveys, our clients told us that our current offering was solid, but just not quite enough. They needed more diversity in the kind of content we were offering; shorter e-learning courses, quick wins, more office hours replays, and other easy-to-digest material. We met those needs while also redesigning our main administrator learning path and starting new learning paths for course authors and site designers. And though we’ve done a lot, we know it’s still not enough; after every learning experience, we ask our learners for feedback that we review and use to improve our offerings. We always want to make sure learners can find the right content at the right time.

We also launched the Customer Education Certification Program (CECP), a new program designed to help people new to customer education learn how to build an excellent program. Since customer education is still fairly new, there’s no real formal training in the industry, and we wanted to fill that gap for customer education certification. Our first four courses, available to our clients at no cost in the Academy, focus on customer education strategy, and we have more planned for the future. 

And we’re so excited to see people learning! Statistics show that our learners appreciate what they find and that customer education is having a real business impact:

Our new courses average a 4.36 satisfaction rating on a 1 to 5 scale.

Our support articles have been read, on average, 147 times each, and learners spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes learning in the Academy. 

Customers who are serious about using our platform – and are renewing their contracts – are consuming 8X more content than those who ended up moving away from Thought Industries. 

There’s also a strong correlation between those who spent more time on our learning sites and overall customer retention. All in all, we’re finding that educated customers renew their contracts. Customer education has undeniable implications for overall customer engagement.

Looking Toward a Data-Packed 2022 for Customer Education

While these correlations between customer education and larger business metrics are motivating and exciting, they’re not the full picture. Next year, we intend to more deeply measure the behaviors of highly-involved learners. Do these customers participate because they know they’re spending money, or are they willing to spend more money because they understand the product better? Going beyond the raw data is tricky, but not impossible, and we’re excited to share what we discover with other teams facing the same challenges in 2022 and beyond.

It’s been a year of change; a new Academy, new courses and learning paths, more in-depth articles, and even new in-product learning opportunities. The results tell us we’re on the right track, though we’re always open to feedback! We’re in an industry that requires we build a constant feedback loop, so we’re looking to you to help shape our next steps. What do you want to see next? Don’t be shy – email [email protected] with your thoughts and ideas, and tell us what we can do better in our surveys!

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