By: Erik Snider, VP Marketing at Strigo
At what point in the customer journey does customer education come into play? Well, it should be an integral part of your business strategy throughout the entire customer lifecycle. This begins at your first point of contact with a potential client, when trying to establish buyer awareness of your product, and continues through the stages of client acquisition, onboarding, retention, and growth.
This diagram from a recent blog by Sumeru Chatterjee does a great job depicting how customer education can drive value across the client lifecycle:
Let’s look at what some of the experts, including Sumeru, have to say about why customer education is critical for B2B companies and how having a dedicated customer education strategy can lend a huge advantage from the awareness stage to the growth stage.
Erika Giles at Business 2 Community believes that having a customer education strategy is a key part of proactively engaging with customers. She believes that it’s poor practice to only deliver reactive solutions to customers, like giving ad-hoc, one-time answers to inquiries. With a proactive education program in place, companies have clear guidelines and objectives each step of the way, can effectively address common training issues, and are able to serve more customers in a meaningful manner.
Erika also gives a concise, four-step action plan to help companies develop a good education strategy:
- Identify your main goals of your education program
- Examine the needs of your customers post-sales
- Gain insight into why certain customers are churning
- Decide which training content you need to create and what the best method of delivery is
We appreciate how Erika has laid everything out on the table, and we think she’s spot on. Customer education is something that begins from Day 1, even before you have customers. Having a good strategy in place will ensure that all of your teams – marketing, sales, customer success, etc. – can sync up in order to help drive customer satisfaction and success. And, with a unified training platform in place, you can create a dynamic, engaging training experience that will help your teams reach more users and deliver high-quality customer education.
Sumeru Chatterjee, Head of Customer Enablement at GONG, says that not only is it prudent to have a good strategy in place, but actually having a dedicated customer education team can create a huge impact on the user experience throughout the customer lifecycle. He gives a step-by-step guide of which types of training and education you can offer at every stage, from creating awareness to onboarding new customers, and all the way to customer renewal and creating business growth. He also gives specific examples of how different companies, like Adobe, Hubspot, and Addepar, are implementing successful hands-on learning initiatives.
What we love about Sumeru’s tips is that he highlights each stage of the customer lifecycle and gives concrete examples and data to highlight how customer education can deliver a clear ROI. We truly believe that when businesses provide high-quality, hands-on training on their solutions, this ensures that users get maximum value from the product throughout the lifecycle.
Chris Smith from KnowTechie delves into the importance of customer education specifically in the B2B SaaS space, noting that training programs help customers become more deeply invested in your product. When they take time to learn more about your product and all of its use cases, this increases their trust and engagement. They are more likely to remain loyal customers and to promote your brand to others. According to Chris, customer education is a fantastic marketing strategy.
Well, we think so too. Chris is focusing mainly on how customer education impacts the stages of customer onboarding and retention, because when it comes to the SaaS model, renewal is extremely important to the bottom line. The thing about training is that it goes so much further than just teaching users how to make the most of your product. It shows customers that you’re invested in them, creates a strong relationship, and makes them want to stick around and continue using your products. It’s a win-win for you and your customers, and definitely an area that is worth your investment.
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