Why We Set Up a Customer University (And Why You Should Too)
Customer training isn’t a radical new idea. For years, businesses have been offering information to their customers about how to best use their product or service. It’s why IKEA gives elaborate step-by-step instructions on how to put together your new KVIKNE wardrobe – that’s customer training.
However, the way we educate our customers is evolving. With new technologies come new, more sophisticated, ways to educate customers. This is how creating a customer university with a learning management system emerged.
Think HubSpot or Zendesk – over the last few years they’ve exploded in popularity. And we, at LearnUpon, like so many other organizations, are capitalizing on this opportunity. Today, we’re sharing our story; here’s why we decided to deliver training to our customers and why believe you should too.
Customer Training: Why the sea change?
Why are so many businesses choosing to invest in customer training, particularly with an LMS? To understand this, we went straight to the horse’s mouth. We researched customers and asked our Customer Success team why this was the go-to strategy. Here’s what they had to say.
Improve customer adoption and retention
“Project upon project fails if customers don’t have realistic expectations as to what the software can do for them. They need a more thorough understanding of what they can and cannot do to make sure that the projects they do with the software they buy are successful.”
Marcel Eisma, Vice President of Training at Kony
One of the main hooks of online training through an LMS, is its measurable impact on product adoption and customer retention. For our customers and our team, we see an opportunity for it to affect these metrics in a few ways.
First, it leads them to those oh-so important “aha” moments – the points where a lightbulb turns on and your customer realizes “Hey, this product solves my problem”.
Secondly, it addresses irksome friction points. As you probably already know, it takes very little for a customer to call it quits – an overly complicated form, a missed icon on a dashboard, an elaborate workflow – it happens all the time.
Online training helps customers avoid these frustrating moments. It means they’ll understand what they should be doing and what their next actions are; so, a greater percentage get through the process.
Lastly, and one thing that’s particularly applicable to our team, is that it helps us increase adoption and retention rates with those hard to reach customers. For example, a potential churn red flag for us is when an admin from a business leaves and a new person takes over managing our product.
This new admin might not have used our product before and they aren’t trained to use it. They also tend to avoid chatting to their Customer Success Manager as a relationship hasn’t been established yet.
Offering customer training courses is another avenue to connect with them. Instead of continuously pushing for an hour-long call, it gives them another way to get to know the product on their own terms, preventing turnover.
Better customer onboarding
Onboarding is becoming a big focus for us. The reason? It has a tremendous effect on the long-term customer experience, and there are plenty of stats to back this up.
A great onboarding machine greatly improves the success of your customers. Not only does it show them how to use your product and its benefits, but it also can offer best-practice advice at that crucial time when a new user is getting acquainted with your product.
Whether you’re using customer training as the central focus of your onboarding, or as another string to your bow, onboarding training helps your product’s value ‘click’ with the new user, encouraging continued use.
“NPS is a metric we’re highly invested in. It’s how we know we’re getting things right. But, we’ve definitely noticed a pattern. If we’ve interacted with a customer and they’ve gotten training, they are much more likely to give us nines and tens versus those who didn’t get training.”
Emma Nugent, Manager, Success Partnerships at LearnUpon
“How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” – for so many organizations, this NPS question is a key performance metric to track growth and success.
If a customer is effectively educated on your product and it improves their chances of success, they’re much more likely to be vocal about it and motivated to share their praise with others.
Reduces the strain on support
When it comes to customer support, every company has the same issue – your team inevitably gets asked the same 50 to 100 questions over and over again. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing. Some questions need to be asked, but you’ll want to reduce those easily answerable ones that take up unnecessary time; time that your teams could spend having higher-impact conversations with your clients.
Training helps alleviate the burden of support tickets and frequently asked questions. This prevents common queries from being raised over and over again. But it also arms your team with an exceptional resource, so they can go beyond simple troubleshooting. They can provide a solution to the current problem by assigning training to users of your product that need a hand getting to grips with certain features.
Increases the number of customers who upgrade
Training your customers boosts the chance of an upgrade or upsell. This happens in two ways. Firstly, by enhancing your customers’ chances of success – it’s no secret that successful customers are more likely to stick around. And so, through training them, there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll buy again, change up their pricing plan, or invest further in your products.
Additionally, through offering courses on your product and how to best use it, you can show off additional features to pique their interest, hopefully increasing their awareness of your full product catalog.
Scales customer education
“Our Customer Success Managers don’t have time to touch every single customer, but we want to make sure every customer gets an onboarding experience. Online training with an LMS provides an onboarding experience in an automated way.”
Dana Alvarenga, Customer Success Education & Advocacy Manager at SmartBear
Scaling customer success is no easy feat. Having a growing customer base demands more of your team’s time and soon they become stretched, having to deal with potentially hundreds of customers. Unless you’re one of the lucky businesses that can hire more and more hands, online customer training through an LMS is an efficient way to scale the process.
Success managers can skip the basics or refer customers to a course to get back invaluable time – time that can be better spent having strategic conversations that fuel success.
Every organization has different key performance indicators they want to achieve, and we’re betting at least one of them is on the above list. And developing a customer training strategy can help you reach these all important goals.
Download the eBook
How do you streamline customer onboarding, increase retention, and ensure customers are getting value from your product, in a scalable way? Download our eBook, Educating Customers for Success and discover how to build a university to educate your customers.