I have a secret — one that could significantly boost your bottom line.
The secret? A customer education program.
If you’re already reading this, I’m sure you’re familiar with customer education, so the tactic itself isn’t a secret. What you may not know, however, is precisely how a customer education program can help you grow key accounts and make more money.
Let me explain.
Customer Education Increases Retention
Think about the products you use frequently and ask yourself why you keep coming back to them. I bet it has something to do with the fact that they help you achieve some goal — for example, using DoorDash to get food or Shopify to run your eCommerce business.
But getting to this point didn’t happen overnight. You watched tutorials and webinars, read blog posts, got certified on different tactics and strategies, and a whole lot more. All of this learning built a knowledge base that you use every day to succeed with these products.
This is customer education. Whether it’s a tutorial, blog post, a well-equipped support team, webinar, quiz or something in between, a customer education program helps people realize the value of what they paid for and subsequently, stay in your book of business for much longer. When you consider it can cost 5x more to acquire a customer than to retain an existing one, it’s easy to see how quickly the savings can add up.
Customer Education = Expansion and Upsell Opportunities
Think of a customer education program like online shopping. How many times have you been on Amazon shopping for something only to find yourself checking out with a cart full of things you had no idea you needed or wanted?
While Amazon does this by showing products related to your initial search and past purchases, a customer education program does this by offering courses and content related to someone’s learning behavior, business needs and pain points. This could be a video demoing a new product they may find helpful or an overview explaining why the next product tier could take them to the next level.
If you’re using a learning management system (LMS) you can proactively monitor course and content engagement to determine the right time to swoop in and upsell (i.e., “Hey, I saw you were checking out our recent product update. Would you want to schedule a few minutes to dive into how using it could help you create better learning outcomes?”)
Customer Education Gives Your Success and Support Teams Time to Have Money-making Conversations
Another way a customer education program can help you grow key accounts is by freeing up your Customer Success and Support teams, and enterprise reps (for those really big accounts) to have more strategic — and profit-boosting — conversations with your customers.
How? Because the goal of customer education is to limit the amount of hand-holding your customers need to succeed with your product or service. While some guidance is to be expected, without a customer education program in place, these interactions will revolve around low-impact activities (e.g., how to get started or solve a common glitch). This isn’t where the true value of your teams lie. You want them spending time on success planning, risk mitigations and other growth opportunities. If they’re constantly bogged down in the basics, they’ll never have time to have these high-impact conversations that’ll help you make more money.
Think of yourself as a sherpa guiding your customers up the mountain in the smartest way possible. Would you rather spend an hour showing them how to tie their shoes or an hour explaining how to use a tool that’ll help them navigate a particularly tricky section? I think the answer is abundantly clear.
Customer Education Creates Brand and Product Advocates
Don’t overlook customer education’s power to build brand and product advocates. An educated and informed customer who understands the value of your product instantly becomes your biggest fan.
Think about what HubSpot does with certifications. People go through a course, get their certificate and post it on LinkedIn. From there, people in their networks who see the post may decide to engage — whether that’s to maintain professional parity or because they’re interested in leveling up their knowledge. HubSpot knows this works and consistently relies on this type of customer education to grow its business.
Beyond that, a customer education program that includes a rating system can show customers top-rated courses and what other customers found helpful, making them more willing to take them (this helps with retention, too). Similarly, testimonials and success stories shared with prospects can help close deals or cross-sell when shared with other departments.
Customer Education: A Huge Money-making Opportunity
See? I wasn’t making it up. Customer education can really impact your bottom line by improving retention rates, generating upsell opportunities, freeing up your internal teams and creating brand champions. So, if you’re not taking advantage of customer education yet, it’s time to get started.
Reach out today to learn more about how Northpass can help you launch or improve a customer education program destined to grow key accounts and make more money.