Customer retention, loyalty, and brand advocacy may all be improved through customer training.
The internal employees of a company are the most usually addressed audience in e-learning. Given the direct impact your employees will have on your company’s financial line, this makes logical. However, there are advantages to extending your learning programmes beyond internal audiences to include your whole organisation. Customer training is one such action that pays off handsomely.
Let’s take a closer look at the notion of customer education and how you might develop an external learning programme for your company.
- What is the definition of customer training?
- Examples of customer training
- What is the significance of customer training?
- The advantages of customer training
- How to set up a customer education programme
- Using your LMS to enable client training
- What is the definition of customer training?
Customer training, which is a subset of extended enterprise enablement, is the process of teaching your customers how to utilise your product or service effectively to achieve their objectives. In practice, this entails providing customers with the customer education resources and information they require in order to be successful and overcome their company’s business obstacles.
Customer education has three objectives:
- Attract and keep clients at all stages of their journey.
- Provide training that leads to value for customers to improve their experience.
- Increase the effect of your product or service within the organisations of your customers
Customer training may mean various things to different businesses; therefore, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Examples of Customer training: onboarding, support, and more
Customer education takes numerous forms, as previously said. Depending on how your client base responds to learning materials, they can be guided, self-paced, or a combination of both.
Customer training programmes usually consist of one or more of the following:
- Onboarding assistance
- Learning at your own speed
- Training materials available on demand
- Databases of information
- Programs for training and certification
Your customer education campaign should ideally include a mix of these material options. This gives your consumers the freedom to consume your training materials whenever and wherever they want.
What is the significance of customer training?
More than half of firms give learning to external, non-employee groups, according to the Brandon Hall Group’s Extended Enterprise Learning 2021 study report. Customers, channel partners, distributors, value-added resellers, and franchisees are all included in this category.
45% of those polled stated they actively give customer training program, and 49% believe that customer training helps client relations.
The good news is that this is accurate. What’s even better? These advantages can be obtained with a small increase in expenditure.
According to the research, these activities account for only 10% of most organisations’ L&D spending on average, yet they provide significant opportunities for companies to:
- Increase brand recognition.
- Strengthen customer bonds
- Increase the amount of money you make on a regular basis.
- Enhance client satisfaction
According to the paper, “organisations that do not evaluate all of their available learning opportunities may be missing out on crucial possibilities to develop customer relationships, grow sales, and create money.”
Customer education may or may not be applicable to all sectors or product and service offerings.
Software, technology, and subscription-based services companies, for example, are well-suited to client training. These businesses must provide value at every stage of the client lifecycle, demonstrate their worth to the organisation, and convey that value far in advance of any renewal date or upsell opportunity.
The advantages of customer training
Providing a great customer training program has a number of significant advantages for both your company and your customers.
The following are some of the advantages of customer training for your organisation:
Increasing income while lowering costs is a win-win situation.
Excellent customer service may boost income both directly and indirectly. The cost of getting a new client is estimated to be anywhere between 5 and 25 times higher than the cost of keeping an existing customer.
Client training, when done correctly, may boost customer loyalty and lead to a more favourable customer experience. This results in higher income since satisfied consumers are more inclined to renew their contracts or use your services again.
Similarly, you may package and offer training to your clients, thereby generating new income streams.
Increasing product or service engagement
When people understand how a product or service works and how it affects their employment, they are more likely to utilise and value it. Customer training programmes may help you swiftly ramp up your customers so that everyone understands the benefits and effects of your business.
Users are more likely to become fans and, perhaps, champions for your product or service when they get greater familiarity with it through training and on-the-job use. This encourages adoption and establishes your business as a need rather than a luxury.
Increasing client retention and providing possibilities for upselling
When it comes time to ask for renewal or upsell, every salesperson or account manager will tell you that you need to be able to demonstrate the value your product or service has provided to the customer. If you can’t, your consumer is unlikely to pay more for renewal, let alone an upsell or cross-sell if you can’t.
Client training guarantees that your customer is enabled to generate maximum impact at their company using your product or service by delivering training and enablement from the beginning. Once that impact is established, your sales staff should have an easier time convincing customers that an extension is a smart idea or that new goods will benefit them.
Creating brand champions and advocates
The greater influence your products or services have on consumers, the more likely they are to become brand advocates and champions for your firm, both inside and outside. Customers who become advocates become one of your most significant sales and marketing tools, providing excellent leads for case studies, event speakers, and sales references.
Lowering the cost of customer service
All pre-sales, onboarding, and continuing questions about your product or service will need to be handled by someone on your support or account teams if you don’t have a customer training programme. As your business grows, the amount of calls, tickets, chats, and emails may become daunting and time-consuming.
Customer training relieves some of the work by allowing you to handle typical inquiries and difficulties in one place. Instead of contacting your staff every time they have a query, customers may look up the solutions on their own.
Of course, consumer education isn’t just for your company’s advantage. The idea is to provide programmes that help your clients while also benefiting your business. As a result, it’s critical to comprehend why your customers would want customer training and what they’ll get from it.
The following are some of the advantages of customer training for your customers.
Customer onboarding should be more effective and efficient.
It might take time and effort to become familiar with a new product or service. Customers expect a simple onboarding process that instantly contributes to their company.
Customer onboarding programmes that are well-organized assist new customers in getting up to speed faster and are scalable, allowing you to provide these benefits to all new contracts.
Identifying value and return on investment (ROI) from the start
Customers will have taken a chance on your product or service in order to fund it. They’ve made a case to their bosses and maybe senior management, and they’ll have to follow through on their promises.
Customer training assists your clients in fast ramping up and demonstrating the value of their new programmes. This has a positive impact on client satisfaction and can help you build organisational loyalty.
Let’s speak about how to put your own plan in place now that we’ve demonstrated the benefits of customer training.
How to set up a customer education programme
Understanding your clients’ demands is the first step in developing an effective customer training programme. Your objective should be to develop a 360-degree awareness of how your clients presently obtain information about your product or information, how they ask questions and receive help, and what kind of material they like.
You may then design a custom training programme that has the most impact where and when your consumers need it the most.
Here are some important measures to consider in order to accomplish this:
- Identify your customer service touchpoints.
The first step is to determine where your customer training’s key touchpoints will be. To assist you, have a meeting with your sales, account management, customer success, and support teams to map out how and when they regularly connect with customers.
Onboarding, technical support, user support, strategic support, and account support are all examples of crucial touchpoints.
- Know what your customers want at every touchpoint.
Work with internal stakeholders to sketch out the important business concerns and information needs for each of the stages outlined above once you’ve established these touchpoints.
Consider having a two-way dialogue with your consumers throughout this exercise. Ask them what kind of information and training they’d like to receive. Make open forums for them to ask inquiries on. Examine your website traffic, product use data, and internal search queries to identify what information consumers are looking for.
All of this information will help you figure out what kind of customer training content to generate and how to distribute it.
- Select the appropriate LMS and content
You can start thinking about the ideal medium and distribution platform to employ for each sort of content after you have a clear knowledge of what questions your clients are asking.
Onboarding, for example, could be better served by an online video series delivered through an LMS. A forum or knowledge base can be the best place to look for ongoing help. Create various copies of the same training material and assess which platforms and media kinds get the most interaction.
- Use blended learning to improve the client experience.
In your customer training programme, you should offer blended learning regardless of whatever platforms and material you use. Information is learned and processed in a variety of ways. Some people like to study at their own pace, while others thrive in more structured settings. The goal of your client training programme should be to accommodate these various learning styles.
Make sure to balance hands-on, live, and self-directed learning opportunities. For more formal learning, live webinars and interactive sessions can be employed, while self-directed learning can be done through on-demand video series, slide decks, and quizzes.
To find out what works best for your consumer base, try a mix of on-demand, self-paced, and micro-learning.
- Define and track the appropriate customer training KPIs.
Without a defined set of success measures, no customer training approach is complete. These should be defined during the design phase of your customer training programme, and they will serve as the compass for any new learning efforts.
Choose one to three KPIs to measure the success of your customer training campaign. Time-to-value, training engagement, customer retention, amount of direct support queries, customer happiness, renewal rate, and recurrent customer expenditure are all examples of metrics.
Make use of learning analytics solutions to track and report on the effectiveness of your consumer learning initiatives over time. Monitor the progress of these KPIs over time to see if your customer education programme is making a difference.
As you start to put your customer training plan together, you’ll quickly discover that choosing the correct platform is crucial to your success. We may be prejudiced, but we believe that for any customer training programme, a powerful LMS or learning suite is the way to go.
Using your learning management system to enable client training
Your clients will respond to the same materials that we use to teach our personnel with the most relevant and entertaining information. It simply makes sense to provide your client base with the same benefits as a Learning Platform and to engage them in high-quality learning programmes.
It’s simple to understand why 62 % of firms employ a Learning Management System (LMS) for extended corporate learning, according to the aforementioned Brandon Hall Group report.
The following are some of the ways that an LMS may help to improve the customer experience.
Customer training resources should be centralised.
A learning management system (LMS) is the primary site where your clients may access your training resources. As a result, a learning management system (LMS) allows clients to access courses, experts, and other learning materials readily.
Efficiently provide customer education content
E-learning materials may also be readily updated and provided to diverse learning audiences using an LMS. This provides for rapid and easy communication of product and service changes (e.g., UI updates, new features).
Allow for both formal and informal e-learning.
Customer training should, as a best practice, assist learning as it occurs, using both formal and informal learning approaches. Customers should be able to learn through social channels if their LMS has social learning elements.
Your customer training program’s success will be measured.
One of the most valuable features of learning technology is the ability to track student activities. This enables businesses to collect data that can be used to fuel and improve their learning programmes, assuring client success.
Get in touch with your tech stack.
Some current learning suites include built-in connectors that allow you to access data from your CRM. When it comes to discussing renewals and upgrades with your customers, this information is vital to your sales and account teams. Your team may assess what training has been completed and what further needs to be done to maximise the effect of your product or service within the customer’s organisation.
As you may expect, selecting the appropriate LMS is critical. The success (or failure) of your customer training programme is largely determined by the one you choose.
Again, we’re biased, but we believe Cxcherry. Excels in all of the above-mentioned factors.
Interested in learning more? Start a test drive now to see Cxcherry. On your own terms. Schedule a demo if you’d like to talk more.