Every company has stockpiled a treasure trove of proprietary information related to its products and services. It includes everything from detailed technical specifications of its product to in-depth industry knowledge to the ins and outs of its data assets.
There’s just one problem: It’s largely buried.
If you’re seeking to get value out of this information, it’s time to take action. More businesses are starting to share their insights and open the kimono to their customer base.
How? Through customer education initiatives.
That’s why I want to share four reasons why your organization should start thinking about implementing a customer academy if it has not already done so.
1. Meet people where they are.
The Digital Marketing Institute discovered that people spend about half of their day interacting with digital devices. This includes television, radio, internet, desktop, laptop, mobile and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Additionally, nearly 30% of consumers prefer to interact with brands via digital channels.
It gets better.
Consumer expectations are increasing. This means that today’s businesses have to be responsive on these digital channels — both B2B and B2C. If not, the repercussions are serious. 60% of consumers consider it a bad customer experience (CX) if they do not receive a response after reaching out to a brand on social media. And, 84% of those consumers expect a response within 24 hours.
This is all points to one thing: To compete, it’s necessary to meet people where they are. In addition, you have to remain creative in how you engage prospective customers. That’s why it’s the norm to allow prospects to take complimentary courses or engage with your product for a trial period.
This demonstrates clear value as to how your product or service can help a person in their role or their respective business.
2. Establish credibility.
Rather than merely provide customer success support, today’s forward-thinking businesses are complementing those initiatives with more. While we believe customer success support is an essential component of any company today, there’s another opportunity to be had. That would be to actually go above and beyond what’s table stakes.
Leading companies are actually providing courses related to industry best practices. These self-service academies serve as a resource where people can become better-equipped practitioners in their respective field.
One of my favorite examples is the HubSpot Academy. There’s a reason why the marketing automation tool continues to grow its business in parallel to its thought leadership position. After coining the term “inbound marketing,” it’s become a go-to resource for marketing professionals of all stripes. Why? Because it hosts courseware that helped establish the company as the field’s trendsetter.
Now, HubSpot can claim that over 200,000 professionals have advanced their careers through its certification program.
Here’s the catch: HubSpot’s not alone! Other big names we’re sure you’ll recognize have taken on similar missions. That’s because this is an opportunity to grow their install base as well as their revenue.
Check out the following:
3. It helps foster a community.
“Build it and they will come.”
“Field of Dreams” may have been onto something even if it wasn’t related to software or customer education.
This is because the best online academies and other eLearning-powered programs facilitate interaction among its learners. Take, for example, a SaaS business that hosts a product- and best practices-focused academy. By providing people with educational value, it primes the users to want to continue learning through their peer group.
Users are keen to share knowledge and exchange product-specific insights with fellow practitioners. This is why product summits have become must-attend events in recent years.
Here’s the real lesson: People are eager to add to their skillset and help their business achieve its goals. Need proof? Did you know: Only 21% of new hires intend to stay at companies that do not offer training for their current roles.
4. It’s expected.
Today, people want more than just straightforward product knowledge. While that’s certainly helpful, it’s only one part of the equation when it comes to building long-term, high-value relationships.
Whether it’s in the context of a B2B or B2C brand, people want more. As information-hungry consumers, people demand more collaboration with brands they choose to do business with. With competition as fierce as ever across industries, the only surefire way to hold a buyer’s — and customer’s — attention is through the delivery of a world-class CX.
Providing a customer education program is one way to ensure that people receive increased value. Once this value is created and delivered, expect customer lifetime value (CLTV) to get a boost.
As consumer expectations continue to rise, so will the need to better meet them.
Like what you’ve read? There’s more where that came from. Check out our eBook "Kickstart Your Customer Education Program.”