What is Customer Education and Why is Customer Education Important?
Your user onboarding process has a huge impact on a user’s overall experience. For a customer, the onboarding process is like a first impression. You’ve sold them on the product, and now it’s time to deliver.
The kind of onboarding training they receive sets the tone for the rest of their customer journey. If it’s a great onboarding experience, you’ve set them up for success and increased your odds of retaining that customer for the long haul. If the onboarding experience is bad, you might ruin the relationship with the customer before it even truly begins.
What's Onboarding Training?
So, onboarding is just as important as any other first impression, but what’s onboarding training? When you think of onboarding training, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the onboarding process customers go through when they first purchase your product or sign up for your service. This process is essential for making sure customers know how to use what they’ve purchased.
However, onboarding training can also be used to familiarize employees, gig workers or channel partners with your products or services so they can do their jobs better.
Onboarding Training Plan for New Customers
Building an effective customer onboarding plan is one of the best ways to ensure your customers have a positive experience from the very first day of being a customer. Without adequate training early on in the customer journey, the customer could miss out on a lot of the value your product or service has to offer them.
When customers are given approachable, informative, and digestible onboarding training, they are much more likely to fully appreciate their products and you are more likely to keep their business.
Following the right onboarding, process steps can help you create an excellent onboarding experience for your customers. Here are some steps you can take to create an effective customer onboarding program:
The first thing you should do is settle on clear goals for your onboarding program. It’s a good idea to focus your efforts toward a more specific goal than “build a good onboarding program.”
Gather Your Team
Next, you should put together the right team of people to build a program that will meet your goals. Your team should probably include at least a subject matter expert (SME), an instructional designer, and a project manager.
Map the Onboarding Process
After you assemble your team, you should plan out the whole customer onboarding journey from start to finish. Think about what your goals are for the program and map the best route to get to them.
Create the Content
Now, you can finally create and upload the actual content that your customers will learn from. Your SME and instructional designer should work together to design effective learning resources.
Implement the Technology
Next, you can have an instructional designer or graphic designer format the content to create an engaging and intuitive learning experience. Then you can upload the finished courses to a learning management system (LMS) like Northpass.
Before your onboarding program goes live, you should test it. Check the content carefully for any errors and make sure there are no technical faults. It’s also a good idea to have beta testers try out the courses so you can get real feedback before officially launching.
Finally, after your onboarding program has been tested, it’s time to launch it. Remember to gather feedback from customers on a regular basis and evaluate how well your onboarding program is working.
Onboarding Training for New Gig Workers
Customers aren’t the only group that can benefit from a well-designed onboarding program.
Onboarding training for new gig workers can help them learn about your products or services. Online training programs are actually one of the most effective kinds of training for gig workers. A high-quality online onboarding program can help keep new gig workers engaged in the learning process.
Building an onboarding program for gig workers is very similar to building an onboarding program for employees.
You should start by developing clear goals for your onboarding training. With gig workers, the goal is often to provide a consistent training experience for a disparate workforce and keep all your workers aligned with company values and standards. This is difficult to do without an online onboarding program.
You’ll also need to assemble a team, design the content, format it and upload it to a learning management system (LMS). Once again this is very familiar to designing an onboarding program for customers.
Once you start testing your gig worker onboarding program and gathering feedback about your courses, make sure you pay attention to important metrics like participant satisfaction, skills and knowledge and completion rates. These can tell you a lot about what’s working and what isn’t and help you improve your onboarding program continuously.
It can be difficult to provide a consistent onboarding experience for gig workers. However, these workers are going to be representing your business, so it’s important for them to have the skills and knowledge to provide a customer experience that’s consistent with your brand. An engaging online gig worker training program can make it much easier to achieve this.
Your business probably relies on all kinds of external partners to function. Partners like consultants, resellers and other services could gain a lot from being properly acquainted with your products or services.
Just like with gig workers, you probably want your channel partners to all be aligned with the same brand image and initiatives to provide a consistent brand experience. Without consistent onboarding training for channel partners, your brand image might become diluted and lose recognizability with your audience.
To create an effective channel partner onboarding program, you’ll need to follow some of the same onboarding process steps as before.
Identify Problems to Solve
As with any onboarding program planning process, you should start by identifying clear goals. Try to determine what problems there currently are in your channel partner system. Then, you can design your partner onboarding program around solving those problems.
Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
After you know what problem (or problems) you’re trying to solve, you should pay close attention to some important KPIs that will help you track the problems and gather the information you need to create a partner onboarding process that solves them.
Customer satisfaction tells you how happy customers are with your product or service and the customer experience they’re getting. Your channel partners influence this KPI quite a bit.
Churn rate is the rate at which you lose customers. Better channel partner training can lead to a lower churn rate overall.
Upsells and cross-sells are important for promoting business growth and increasing customer lifetime value (LTV). Better channel [partner onboarding can help them learn how to upsell and cross-sell more effectively.
Design a Relevant Training Program
Now that you’ve gathered all the information you can about the key areas of performance and identified the problems you’re going to solve with your onboarding program, you can design relevant content.
Think about what kind of training your channel partners are most in need of according to your metrics. Do they need product training? General training? Designing your partner onboarding program with your channel partners’ needs and areas of weakness in mind can help you provide training content that is relevant to them.
Onboarding Program For New Employees
The fourth and final common application for onboarding training programs is employee onboarding.
By offering an onboarding program for new employees that’s informative and engaging, you can set them up for success from day one — which, of course, benefits the business overall.
Let’s look closer at what goes into an onboarding plan for new hire employees:
When employees receive the training they need to do their jobs well, it reflects well on the whole organization. Employees who have comprehensive knowledge of your products and services can sell those products and services more effectively and provide better customer service for customers who have questions or problems.
The employee onboarding process is an important step in the employee journey.
We can break this journey down into seven stages:
Awareness: The employee learns of your company for the first time and decides they like it.
Application: The employee decides to submit an application.
Activation: The employee is hired and onboarded.
First exchange: The employee begins work and completes their first task or assignment.
Growth and retention: The employee gains confidence and seeks opportunities for professional growth.
Remediation: The employee wants to improve and seeks out further training.
Mentorship: The employee becomes fully confident and takes on the role of helping others become more confident as well.
As you can see, onboarding training for new employees is a crucial step in their journey that bridges the gap between interest and success, leading to further engagement. Prioritizing the onboarding process in HR can make the difference between confident, competent employees who are in it for the long haul and employees that come and go quickly.
Powering Your Onboarding Program With Northpass
Building an effective onboarding program from scratch is a tall order. The easiest way to offer high-quality onboarding training to your customers, employees, gig workers, and channel partners is to use an LMS like Northpass.
With Northpass, you can design an intuitive and engaging online learning academy for your customers even if you have no prior experience designing e-learning materials. This makes it simple to offer your customers an exceptional onboarding experience.
Northpass also makes it easy for you to tailor your training courses to your users’ exact needs. Personalizing your onboarding program can help you address the most common snags and pain points in the user journey before they even come up. When users feel like their training experience was designed specifically for them, they’re more likely to remain engaged, too.
Check out Northpass today to find out more about how you can use an LMS to build the perfect user onboarding program for your business.