What’s Product Training or Product Training Knowledge?
Product training or product knowledge training is the process of educating customers, employees, channel partners or gig workers about your product. Product training can come in many forms, including blog posts, videos, webinars, instructor-led training and learning paths delivered via a learning management system (LMS). The best product training programs aim to increase product/feature adoption, engagement retention and LTV.
What Are the Benefits of Product Training?
Product adoption is the idea of your customers fully integrating your products into their lives. For example, Facebook and the iPhone are examples of products that have been fully adopted by consumers. Everyone has heard of these products, and many of us couldn’t imagine life without them. Product training helps accelerate product adoption by helping people realize more quickly the value your product can add to their life.
Customer engagement and product adoption go hand in hand. The better customers understand your product, the more likely they will use it and get value from it. When they’re using it regularly and getting value, they’re more likely to tell others about the product and about your brand.
Product knowledge training can also make it easier to retain customers. If customers don’t understand your product, odds are, they'll get frustrated quickly. This puts them at high risk of churning. You can prevent this by making it easy for customers to learn about your products.
How to Build a Product Training Program
By now, you might be wondering how to create your own product training courses and program. It’s an important question. Your product training program heavily influences engagement, adoption, and retention, but how do you actually build a program that has a positive impact on these areas?
You can start by following these steps:
You first need to make sure you have clear goals mapped out. Just as importantly, you need to make sure your goals are aligned with the best interests of all the different affected departments. Your product knowledge training objectives might include broad goals like improving customer lifetime value and more specific goals like achieving a particular course completion rate.
Set a Budget
Next, you’ll need to allocate resources to fund your product training program. This step can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a whole lot of extra cash just lying around, but remember it’s okay to start small. To build momentum, focus on communicating with executives about how the new product training program will align with company goals.
Step three is to map out the customer journey through the product training course and design the subject matter. The course content should remain focused on helping customers meet the learning objective for that course. You should also consider incorporating multiple kinds of content, such as videos, quizzes or slideshows to facilitate diverse learning styles.
The next step is to deliver the training to your customers. There’s more than one way to do this, but one of the best ways is to use learning management software (LMS). This can make it easy for customers to access the content through a single portal. You can also use learning management software to customize learning paths for your customers and enable them to complete training courses on the go from their mobile devices.
Lastly, you should gather feedback from your customers about your product training program. Listening to customer feedback and incorporating it into the design of your training courses is the best way to improve your program.
Product Knowledge Training Best Practices
Obviously, the success of your product training program depends heavily on the quality of the design. Here are a few customer training best practices you can use to ensure your program’s design is exceptional:
Keep Your Content Short
Microlearning is an approach to product training that breaks lessons into small, manageable chunks. This generally makes it easier for customers to remain engaged and retain what they’re learning. Most of us can attest to the feeling of groaning at a long video or a huge wall of text. Your customers don’t want that experience, either.
One of the best ways to improve your product training is to personalize the experience. You can use learning management software like Northpass to offer a tailored learning experience to your customers using customizable learning paths.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Not all of your customers are completing your training courses while sitting at a desk. A significant number of them will likely need to complete a training course from their mobile device at some point. It’s important to make sure your product training content is optimized for mobile devices so your customers can have a positive learning experience no matter what kind of device they’re using.
Use Videos and Images to Your Advantage
Human beings are naturally drawn to visual information and we tend to process and retain things we’ve seen better than things we’ve read or heard. You can use this fact to your advantage by incorporating videos and other visual aids like training slides into your courses.
Product Training For Employees
A robust product training program for customers can improve retention, adoption, and engagement, but the benefits of product training don’t stop there. Your employees can also gain a lot from your product training framework.
Product training for employees helps ensure that they have the product knowledge needed to sell effectively and assist customers confidently. When your own team members don’t understand your product, it doesn't reflect well on the brand.
Employees can benefit from many of the same best practices that make an effective product training program for customers. Some of the best ways to educate your employees about products include:
Using videos and interactive learning tools
Implementing microlearning techniques
Optimizing content for mobile devices
Prioritizing product training for employees and customers can help improve your customers’ experiences with your products. Knowledgeable employees can help customers more effectively, not to mention be more productive at their jobs.
SaaS Product Knowledge Training
SaaS customer training is one of the most difficult types of product training because software products are notoriously challenging to learn how to use. If you’re a SaaS company, some of your customers may be adept enough at technology to teach themselves how to use your software, but many more aren’t. It’s important to offer these customers an accessible method of learning.
One of the best ways to design SaaS product training materials is to use a learning management system (LMS) like Northpass. You can use an LMS to onboard customers more effectively and set them up for success straightaway. You can also use it to gather analytics about where customers are still struggling with your software and use that data to offer ongoing support.
Software products are complicated and there are usually a lot of features to learn. You can improve the product education experience for your customers by offering information in bite-sized pieces rather than trying to teach them about every feature at once. Start with what they need to know, and introduce them to more features as their confidence grows.
Northpass: Powering the Best Product Training Programs
Some of the best product knowledge training programs have been built using Northpass. Northpass’s learning management software helps companies continually improve the way their customers, employees, channel partners and gig workers learn about products.
Here are just a few product training examples that show how companies have improved their training programs with Northpass:
Shopify increased their monthly product training academy usage by 491%.
Bonfire created a product education academy that’s used in 100% of implementations.
Compass improved product adoption and aided sales learning for over 18,000 agents.
Product knowledge training examples like these are proof that the right learning management system can make a huge difference in a company’s ability to drive product adoption with customer education.