Train to Retain: Reduce Customer Churn with Effective Training

post reduce customer churn
Jill Sawatzky
June 6, 2024

Every leader in customer experience knows the sinking feeling of losing a client. This feeling is more bitter when it’s because they weren’t absorbing the training content properly or completing a thorough onboarding. Studies show it costs you three times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. So, what if there was a way to keep your customers engaged and come back for more training – ultimately reducing customer churn? 

The secret lies in building a strong customer training program that goes beyond just teaching them how to use the software. It’s about empowering them to achieve real business results. After all, customers who truly understand and value software are more likely to make repeat purchases over a longer period, driving “80 percent of the value creation achieved by successful growth companies,” according to McKinsey.

But here’s the key. The best organizations don’t just focus on their own bottom line but also help their customers succeed. It’s time to invest in developing a quality training experience to increase retention and reduce customer churn.

The training advantage: Keeping your customers engaged

We’ve established that effective customer training will reduce churn, but designing a training program that goes beyond the basics and truly engages your clients is critical. Here’s a three-step approach to keep your customers coming back for more:

1.  Ditch the manual, variety is key 

Every customer and learner is different. By offering a variety of training formats – interactive courses, on-demand video tutorials, and use-case content – you will cater to different learning styles and keep them engaged. Remember, a bored customer is a disengaged customer, and a disengaged customer is more likely to churn.

2.  Fresh eyes on your customer onboarding process

Imagine your customers struggling to find the information they need because your onboarding materials are scattered across various platforms. Often, training content is created by multiple departments, divisions, or regions and then hosted on your website, YouTube, online Academy, or Knowledge Center, which makes it difficult to maintain and manage version control. 

Take a look at your processes with fresh eyes and ensure you avoid an “outdated content, everywhere” situation, and instead begin conducting regular content audits. A smooth onboarding experience sets the stage for long-term success and reduces the chances of early churn.

3.  Identify at-risk users

Don’t wait for your customers to threaten to cancel a subscription before you take action to retain them. Use the data collected on your software to find who is not utilizing key features or hasn’t completed essential training models. These indicate potential churn risks, and it’s important to reach out proactively with personalized guidance and targeted training to nip this in the bud and build stronger customer relationships. 

The proof is in the data: Measuring the impact of training

Knowing your churn rate is crucial, but the real power lies in understanding what is impacting it positively or negatively. Tracking different data points is critical to get an informed and overarching view. 

LMS and CRM as the ultimate duo

Unify your learning management system (LMS) data with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This lets you see if customers who haven’t used your training are more likely to churn. If there is a low correlation between the amount of training a customer has completed and the number of active customers, this is a red flag! This should prompt you to intervene with targeted training resources and potentially prevent churn.

Renewal rates revelations

Happy, well-trained customers are more likely to renew and increase their spending. Look at your renewal data to see if customers who completed training models renewed at a higher rate. This would show how effective training can reduce churn and increase revenue if they did. 

Celebrate negative churn

Don’t just focus on churn; look to track negative churn. This is your ability to offset losses by increasing revenue from existing customers through upselling. Show how well-trained customers are more receptive to upsells, boosting retention and engagement.

Beyond the numbers

Numbers are important, but happy customers are your biggest advocates. One important non-numeric metric to consider is “referenceability”— how willing your customers are to serve as references for your company. Measure this engagement through Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and customer satisfaction (CSAT), to gauge customer willingness to recommend your LMS. A high NPS and CSAT score is a key indicator of customer loyalty and reduced churn.

By implementing these data-driven strategies, you can move beyond basic churn metrics and prove the concrete value your customer training programs deliver. Staying relevant and holding learners’ attention is more important – and difficult – than ever. Find out how you can do this by reading our whitepaper on The Modern Learner Experience.

Contact us today and schedule a demo about how we can help you to develop effective training programs to reduce customer churn.


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