Train Your Customers on the Benefits First, Then the Features Emma O'Neill Published on February 1, 2018 We obsess over our product. Every little feature is cherished. We want every customer to know about every aspect. And we know how well it can work for them. However, as we develop training to nurture our customer through our product, it can be easy to forget that the customer isn’t interested in solely being shown features. They care about what it can do for them. We see this as one of the biggest faults businesses make when training their customers. They spend so much of their time creating courses aimed at nurturing customers, onboarding them, engaging them, but in the end, it’s all about your features. Your customer doesn’t see the benefit. Features versus benefits is a commonly talked about concept in sales, marketing, and success. And it’s time to think about it in relation to your business’s training too. Let’s look at what exactly the difference is between features and benefits, how it can impact your customer training, and in turn, your bottom line. Feature vs. Benefit - What’s the difference? Although seemingly similar, your product’s features and benefits are two separate things. Both are important and have an impact on your customer training, but for different reasons. A feature is what your product can do. It’s factual statements that describe characteristics of your product. They address common problems experienced by your target market. On the other hand, a benefit is what your customer can do by using your product. They highlight the motivations for why a customer would buy your product and what is in it for them. They often appeal more than features as it helps you and your target audience define what you'll help them with. To understand this, let’s take a look at an example. Recently, Intercom used this clever case about Apple launching the iPod. At the time other companies were also launching mp3 players. Yet their message focused on how many gigabytes of storage you got. It was all feature driven. Image source: Business Insider Apple decided to take a different route. They ran a promotion with the tagline “1000 songs in your pocket”. An ingenious tactic as we all know how successful the iPod was for them. The big takeaway here is that fixating on the features puts the burden of understanding on your customers and you run the risk of ostracizing people who won’t understand the technical aspects. With the benefits, it’s much easier for customers to connect so they understand how your product relates to their life. Why should your training focus on benefits? When creating training programs for your products, not concentrating on learner intent from the beginning can have a negative impact. Being feature focused not only runs the risk of alienating your learners, it might lose you customers in the long run. Instead, adding the benefits in your training is much more likely to appeal to what actually matters to them. If they see from the outset that if they take the training, there is a tangible benefit, they will be more likely to engage and in turn, be motivated to use your product. How to find the benefits of your product for training If you’re planning on delivering product training, knowing the benefits is essential. Luckily, most of the grunt work will probably be done for you. Your business’s marketing, sales, and success teams will likely have lots of information about this and even base their strategies around it. Reaching out to your customers also offers insights. Asking them why they choose your product and what their end goal was when they decided to search and invest in your product will give you a wealth of information. If not, or you’d like to do some research of your own, here’s a clever tactic you can use. This technique is talked about by Enchanted Marketing. They state that you can find the benefit by simply asking yourself “So what?”. For example, let’s take a software company that sends automated emails: This software sends automated emails. So what? Businesses can send triggered emails to their customers. So what? They don’t need to send each customer information one at a time. So what? They boost sales as they can send promotional materials at the right time. They save time as it’s pre-set and don’t have worry about micromanaging it. It’s a simple but effective method that helps you quickly find your product’s benefits. How to incorporate the benefits into your product training Knowing your product’s benefits, you can start building training that will connect with your customers. Here are some tips to guide you through the process: 1. Be clear about the outcomes from the get-go Before taking your training, customers want to know about the outcome for them - tell them. Making the benefits clear from the description of your program and what valuable things will happen for them will positively impact their engagement rates with your training. 2. Back up your benefit claims Although you’re including the benefits in your training, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about your features. A combo of both is the best strategy to engage your customers. Start with talking about the benefits first and then move on to how it’s actually achieved with your features. This will back up your claims and paint a full picture for your learners. 3. Tell a story One of the most engaging ways to show off your product during training is to create a story. You can build a scenario of a problem that your customer can relate to and the benefits they would get if they overcame it. Then introduce your product’s features as the story’s hero. This is an ingenious motivator and proves to your audience you understand them. 4. Start with what you have As we mentioned above, it’s likely other teams in your business will be using this principle already - tap into those resources. Model your training around this content to help you effectively get your message across. Great product training starts today Knowing what your customer wants from your product can yield amazing results - helps on-boarding, improves customer success, curbs churn, enables up-selling. And simply trying this tactic and understanding why your customers are using your product can help you nail down a great training strategy and positively impact your business’s bottom line. What are your thoughts on including benefits in your business’s training? What other tactics do you use to connect with your customer? Let us know in the comments below.