Think of a product you use every day — any product at all. No matter what it is, odds are, there was a time when you didn’t know how to use it.
Some products are fairly easy to figure out on your own or with help from someone else, but what happens when the product doesn’t work as you expected or when there’s a problem with the product you don’t know how to solve?
If you’ve read this far and you’re worried you don’t know how to educate customers about your product, you can rest assured that you aren’t the only one.
A common reason that organizations don’t provide adequate customer training is that they simply don’t know where to begin. Luckily, there’s no reason you have to let that stop you from turning your customers into product experts.
You can use a customer education platform to create engaging and informative customer education modules and publish them where customers can easily locate them.
Digital customer education options have truly changed the way we approach customer training. It’s progressed to the point that it's common for companies to maintain entire digital academies filled with content for their customers to learn from.
What’s Customer Education?
Customer education is the process of teaching your customers how to use your products in order to improve their experiences with the products. Perfecting this process might not seem like a high priority at first glance, but it can actually have a huge effect on business success.
The impact of the quality of your organization’s customer education strategy is widespread.
First and foremost, a strong customer education plan is what stands between your organization and the consequences of a subpar customer experience. Customers expect more from the brands with which they choose to do business than ever before. It’s no longer just about what kind of product you can provide, but also what kind of experience your brand offers. A stellar customer education experience is where that positive brand experience begins.
There are a lot of different types of customer education strategies. You can begin to figure out which kind is right for your organization by asking yourself questions:
Which metrics will you use to measure your customer education program’s success?
What goals are you trying to accomplish with your customer education program? Consider both overarching organizational goals and more segmented goals.
What kind of resources are available to put toward the development of a customer education strategy?
How will your customer education plan need to scale as your customer base and/or product grows?
Almost every successful customer education example began with effective planning. There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of customer education, but you can develop the right strategy for your company by considering business needs and customer needs upfront.
Why’s Customer Education Important?
Why is customer education important? Let’s answer that question with a few examples:
It Creates a Better Customer Experience
Imagine a customer buys a product from your company and is eager to get started using it right away. However, to their dismay, they can’t figure out how to operate the product and are prevented from using it.
Now the product has changed from a solution into an obstacle. This is a make-or-break moment because the customer’s next step is usually to turn to the internet for help. If they can quickly find and understand the information they need, they’re more likely to remain a satisfied customer. If they can’t find the information they need, they could easily become frustrated and churn; no one likes to spend time troubleshooting instead of actually using the product they paid for.
It Creates Self-sufficient Customers
Customers don’t need you to hold their hands through the product education journey. In fact, many customers prefer a self-guided learning experience over a traditional customer support interaction. You can use a customer education platform to give customers the power to answer their own questions and reserve the customer support team’s talents for only the highest priority situations.
It Improves Customer Engagement and Retention
When you give customers convenient access to engaging and approachable product education resources, they’re more likely to understand how to use the product to its fullest potential and appreciate its value.
They might even discover something new about the product they didn’t know could benefit them! When customers are getting the most out of their products, they have good reason to remain loyal customers.
The importance of customer education goes beyond just teaching customers how to use products. That’s where it starts, but the best customer education program examples benefit businesses and customers in a wide variety of ways.
What’s a Customer Education Platform?
Now that you have an idea of the importance of customer education, let’s take a closer look at how you can use a customer education platform to build a customer education program that’s a breeze for customers to use.
Even if you have amazing learning materials prepared for your customers, they won’t do any good if no one can find them. An LMS is a type of customer education software that makes it simple to publish information about products where customers can find it with ease.
Struggling to make sense of an outdated and disorganized database or combing through hundreds of pages of a PDF manual without proper segmentation is just as frustrating as not knowing how to use the product in the first place.
You can use an LMS, like Northpass, to streamline the customer’s product education journey. When your customers are struggling to use a product, they want a fast and reliable answer — additional friction is the last thing they need!
What are the Benefits of Customer Education Software?
Some of the benefits of educating customers using the software include:
Decreased time to value
Increased product adoption
More brand advocates
Using a customer education platform can improve your customers’ experiences with your learning materials, which has a major impact on the churn rate. Would you want to continue using a product you’re struggling to operate or fix? No, you probably wouldn’t, and neither do your customers. If they don’t have access to the information they need, they’ll be less likely to continue doing business with your organization.
Decreased Time to Value
In a perfect world, a customer would buy one of your products and immediately gain some kind of value from it. This doesn’t usually happen, because the customer actually has to start using the product before they see any value from it — and before they do that, they need to learn how to use it. A better customer education platform means lower time to value for your customers.
Increased Product Adoption
When customers understand the value of the product they have, they’re more likely to use it often. It’s only natural to use our favorite products the most and our favorite products tend to be the ones that are convenient to use and that help us accomplish a goal we couldn’t otherwise.
Increasing product adoption by using customer education software can help your products become the ones that customers turn to for solutions every day (and ensure they think of your company next time they need a similar product).
More Brand Advocates
One of the most important benefits of customer education software is that it can lead to a better brand image. Educated customers become brand champions who’ll advocate for your brand and your products. These are the customers that go out of their way to recommend your products or services to their friends and family because they see value in your product and want others to enjoy that value as well. To get to this point, you have to have a way to educate your customers effectively, or they’ll never understand the value of your products enough to recommend them to others.
Building a customer education strategy might sound like an intimidating task if you don’t have any experience with e-learning. But even if you’re starting from square one, there are solutions you can use to provide your customers with top-quality product education.
Northpass makes it easy to create engaging, informative, and accessible content to guide each of your customers through their customer education journey. Successful companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Shopify all use Northpass to power their customer education programs, and it could be an asset to your organization as well.