Increase Customers Live Time Value and Earn Their Loyalty
Here we look at how to improve customer service, retention, satisfaction and live time value with Customer Education.
Business leaders know that, on average, it is 5X more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Furthermore, it is usually far more profitable to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers than it is to simply increase your number of customers.
Customer education can be a powerful tool in helping you to build trust, retain existing customers and ultimately, increase customer lifetime value (LTV).
What is Customer Education?
Customer Education is learning content designed to engage new or existing customers and help them to maximise the effectiveness of your products and services.
When it's done well, it can help to reduce customer service calls and in turn, reduce costs. It can help you to retain existing customers, and even turn some of them into enthusiastic advocates of your brand.
Customer education, also known as customer training, is so important that, according to a Salesforce survey in October 2020:
“80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.”
Customer education tends to be most relevant for product-based companies, whether that’s physical products or software. It can be of most benefit if your product:
- has a learning curve, where it’s common for customers to make mistakes or get stuck
- requires people to change existing behaviours
- generates frequent customer support calls
- is used by people with a wide range of needs or in diverse contexts
- is updated regularly with new features (very common in software)
- lends itself to cross-selling or upselling (customer education can be a great sales tool!).
While customer education can be delivered face to face, online training enables any time, anywhere learning that is accessible at the user’s convenience. The Covid-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the trend towards online, helping many companies to deliver up to date content even when face to face was not possible.
Online customer education provides greater opportunity to deliver training across multiple formats, including any of:
Hosted on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, or on your own learning management system (LMS).
Live or recorded webinars
Guide new, existing or potential customers through your product usage. When live, you can respond to any questions on the fly, and for those who want to watch it later, the recorded version can act as a useful, video-based FAQ resource.
An engaging, fun way to present facts and figures in a creative manner.
A common way to quickly convert traditional, face to face presentations into an always-accessible digital format.
Games and quizzes
An excellent way for customers to test new knowledge and see if they need to return to materials or seek additional support.
Customer Education Benefits
This can greatly reduce the cost associated with large support teams and the frustration customers feel when waiting in queues.
Customers get up and running with your product quickly because they have learning materials to hand if, as and when they need it most.
A huge issue in the field of IT and software products, which inevitably come with some learning curve. Most IT implementation projects fail, not because of a weakness in the product itself, but due to inadequate customer training and in turn, user adoption.
The point at which customers are engaging with your product is often the best opportunity to highlight your related products and services. If you can win their trust in and enthusiasm for Product A and make the customer confident that they can use it, that’s a great time to draw their attention to Product B, C, D….
This is frequently the greatest benefit to a good customer education programme. A customer who is happy with your solutions because you helped them to maximise the value of it, is much more likely to renew or upgrade when the time comes.
So clearly, there are numerous benefits to making training available to your customers, but how to make this easy and cost-effective? That’s where a customer education platform can make things efficient and highly scalable.
Customer Education Platform Features
The best customer education platforms will help you to not only upload training materials to make them accessible online, but will offer a range of useful features and attributes that include:
- Integrations with popular software products like eCommerce payment gateways (such as PayPal) or CRMs (such as Salesforce) to reduce admin, while ensuring data security.
- Scalability: You’ll want your platform to handle a growing customer base, and not become a limiting factor.
- Multilingual capabilities - if you run an international company, you’ll want to make eLearning content available to customers in multiple languages
- User analytics: Data and reports will help you to learn what content and formats are engaging your customers and where people seem to struggle or switch off. This can help you identify weaknesses in your learning materials - or even the product itself. It can also help you to intelligently signpost customers to areas of your platform for additional support.
Well-designed training materials that are kept up to date and made available via a good customer education platform should be seen as an investment in customer success, retention and new business development, rather than just a cost.
Guiding users in making the most of your products should deliver increases in customer lifetime value / LTV, win you new fans, and strengthen the reputation of your brand.
Happy to help
For 25 years, imc Learning has created eLearning solutions for customer education and staff training at companies and public sector organisations across the globe.
Our clients include the likes of Deloitte, Vodafone, BASF and Audi.
If you’d like an informal chat about how we could help you leverage customer education to improve customer service and retention, get in touch with us here at imc Learning.
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