From Startup to Scaleup: Channable’s “aha” Moment for Customer Education

Andrew Brown ·

Sep 07, 2021

Channable, the ultimate feed management & PPC tool, is growing fast. In fact, the Dutch startup recently turned in its “startup” badge for a “scaleup” one as it’s expanded domestically and abroad. At the heart of this growth is its best-in-class tool that provides eCommerce companies with an incredible advantage. There’s also the company’s hefty commitment to customer education and its online learning center, The Channacademy

Richard Posluszny, VP of Marketing at Northpass, sat down with Floyd van Zoelen and Vanshj Seth, Knowledge Specialist and Head of Marketing at Channable, respectively, to talk about their customer education journey, their challenges and what they’d do differently if they could do it all again. 

The “aha” Moment: When Channable Realized it Was Time for Customer-Facing Academy 

Historically, Channable approached customer education with one-to-one walkthroughs, a help center and eventually in-person training days — the latter of which became a customer favorite. 

A great start, yes, but a logistical nightmare primed to intensify as Channable scaled and shifted from a regional to global go-to-market strategy. Not to mention, the training days were only accessible to European customers. 

This was Channable’s “aha” moment. If it wanted to maintain this level of learning, it’d need a more robust solution. 

From 100 People in a Church to 2.5K Online Learners: The Making (and  Hurdles) of The Channacademy

Channable’s hit it out of the park with its academy, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. During implementation, the team struggled with technical hurdles and sourcing outside resources, especially technical ones. It was also tricky to grasp the variety of learning needs and preferences of people located in different countries. 

They also had to overcome hurdles involved in building internal awareness and adoption. They focused on knowledge shares and relevant discussions with their support and success teams to tip internal stakeholders in their favor. In other words, they brought everyone together and showed them the materials and why they were important. From there, these supporting teams could outwardly advocate for the academy to customers. 

Fun Fact: Channable holds raffles that give their customers a chance to partake in a case study with them. By doing this, Channable created a sense of value and provided something tangible to work toward.

Today, the team is incorporating The Channacademy, which now has 2,500 active learners, more seamlessly into its business model and onboarding experience (e.g., automation that automatically sends new customers the courses they need to get started. 

“The Channacademy and our learning center are like a Bible for our users.” 

The Proof is in the Pudding (+ Tips from the Pros)

Like all customer-facing academies, The Channacademy can’t just talk the talk; it needs to walk the walk and prove its value. Floyd, Vanshj and the rest of the team know this, which is why they emphasize performance metrics. 

  • Learner Engagement: Were customers taking the appropriate courses? If so, were they completing them and how long did it take them? 
  • Product/Feature Adoption: Were active learners more likely to adopt the product and use it more? Were people taking advanced courses more likely to use the products they were learning about? (Keep scrolling for the answer.) 
  • Customer Lifetime Value: Does increased learning activity translate to more subscription plans? Are these people upgrading to gain access to new features? 

Fun Fact: Expert learners (customers who have used Channable for an extended period of time) are 44.5% more engaged with the product than basic learners (customers who are brand new to Channable). 

What does this mean? From a high level, it illustrates that expert-level learners progressing through the Channacademy content have better product adoption and tend to be stickier with customers. 

From Around the Fire: Final Takeaway from the Pros

Hindsight is 20/20, but it can also provide valuable insight into a process and system that work well. Channable has created something great, but there was a lot of learning along the way — all of which you can apply to your customer-facing academy. 

  • Collaborate with Teams: Run new content by a subject matter expert (SME) to check for accuracy.
  • Focus on the Numbers from the Get-go: Prioritizing content creation at the beginning is excellent, but don’t ignore proof points that’ll validate the efficacy of your academy and demonstrate its value.  
  • Give Yourself Credit: Don’t discount the value of customer education. Recognize early on that what you’re doing is providing tremendous value to customers and the company. 

Want to see how Northpass can help you create your customer-facing academy? Reach out to schedule a demo today. 

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About the Author

Andrew Brown

Andrew is a Content Marketing Manager, helping position Northpass as the utmost thought leader in the industry. When he's not creating content, you can find him watching the Buffalo Sabres, obsessing about Scandinavia (he's learning Danish!), or exploring NYC.

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