What’s the Business Impact of Customer Training?

The many disruptions that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an evolution in the way we work and the way we buy. Customer expectations have also evolved – often exceeding the capabilities of overburdened customer support teams. Instant and seamless support is now considered a given for consumers seeking products and services online but can’t always be a reality for smaller CX teams.

Customer experience (CX) is a top priority for organizations operating in this increasingly complex marketplace. Many are starting to look at customer training as a way to bridge the gap between customer expectations and customer service realities. In this piece, we’ll explore how customer education became a priority for high-performance companies why it may be the key to reducing churn, improving adoption, and retaining revenue.

Customer education meets the needs of high-demand customers and low-bandwidth CX teams

The rise of remote work after the pandemic and shifts in the way consumers use technology have raised the bar for CX. Salesforce reports that 73% of customers expecting consistent support across departments. In that same report, 63% of customers report expecting a personalized experience when dealing with customer support.

In the face of such high expectations, customer service representatives and CX professionals are feeling frustrated. In fact, the number of service representatives who are finding their roles more challenging has increased from 63% in 2020 to 78% in 2022.

Organizations with stressed out support teams and increasingly demanding customers have started to realize that the best way to reduce friction, retain customers, and build loyalty is getting high quality product training into the hands of their customers – and fast!

The push for customer training isn’t one-sided, however. Research shows that customers want to learn. A Technology and Services Industry Association (TSIA) survey found that after receiving training, 68% of customers report using products more.

Measuring the ROI of customer training

Companies are beginning to see the direct impact of customer training. A study conducted by Intellum and Forrester revealed that 90% of businesses have reported beneficial outcomes from investing in customer education. As such, investing in customer training not only benefits the customer, but also has a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Here are three ways that customer training can improve business outcomes:

  1. Trained customers are loyal customers: Keeping existing customers important to businesses who want to keep their existing customers around because churn is expensive. The Harvard Business Review reports that acquiring a new customer is between five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. One of the best ways to reduce churn is by helping your customers use your product well. No one likes to be mystified by a brand-new product. They want to hit the ground running and solve their business problems as soon as they get started. When you invest in customer training, you are investing in your clients’ success with your product. According to TSIA, trained customers tend to renew their subscriptions more often than untrained customers.
  2. Properly onboarded customers appreciate the time you take with them: Research shows that customers who receive product onboarding are 86% more likely to stay with a company. It’s no surprise that investing in customer success at the start of your relationship results in such loyalty. By opening your customer relationship with an effective onboarding course, you’re establish your brand as the expert when it comes to your product. You’re also managing their expectations by properly introducing your product and demonstrating a commitment to learning. Customers will feel that they are set up for success and if their relationship with you started with learning, they’ll expect more learning will be coming later in the relationship.
  3. Improve support (and reduce support tickets): You want your customers to use your product the way it was intended. But that’s not always how things go. Customers are individuals; they do their own thing, don’t read the instructions, and sometimes try to hack a product so it meets a variety of needs, and those hacks often result in a call to customer service. You can gently head those calls off with customer training. Considering that the average support desk ticket in North America is $22, those calls can pile up and cost your company a lot of money. They can also trigger disgruntled customers and that’s not something your organization wants: According to analyst Esteban Kolsky, founder of ThinkJar, only one in 26 unhappy customers will complain to the company but 13% will complain to others about the company, in person and online, and that isn’t good for business.

Customer training locks in loyalty

Probably one of the best reasons to provide training is that your customers are hungry for it, and they will seek it out even if you don’t provide it. They’re likely to use ChatGPT, Google, YouTube, and other resources, to help them find the information you haven’t provided. This can not only lead to customers receiving inaccurate information but can ultimately chip away at the trust your team works so hard to build with them. To put it simply: if a customer pays for your product or service, they don’t want to spend extra time or effort researching their problems externally.

By giving them the learning they want, you’re ensuring that customers have more of the information they need to use your product or service effectively. This leads to happy customers, who are more likely to stick around, invest in upgrades, and even recommend your brand to their friends and colleagues!

Customer training not only strengthens your relationship with existing customers, but also attracts new ones who see your commitment to customer satisfaction. In the long run, investing in customer learning can be a powerful tool for increasing customer retention and driving business growth. To dive deeper into how extending learning to your entire ecosystem can unlock revenue opportunities and lock in customer loyalty, check out Brandon Hall Group’s latest eBook, “Leveraging Learning to Drive Revenue.” Explore how customer training can become your organization’s competitive advantage: download the eBook today!