Customer Training: Are You Ahead of the Curve?

In recent years, the Experience Economy has been reshaping the business world, as companies everywhere pursue new methods to enhance customer experience. This process can be challenging and costly. Yet, when organizations forge stronger customer relationships, they’re choosing a proven path to competitive advantage. It’s even more powerful than price or product differentiation.

Surprisingly however, some companies (still) overlook customer education as a pillar in their customer experience strategy. Sure, training is only one piece of the puzzle. But meaningful learning experiences at every phase in a customer’s journey can drive engagement, retention and satisfaction, as well as repeat purchases. That’s powerful stuff.

Customer Training is Ready. Are You?

Research consistently reveals that keeping existing customers is much more profitable than finding and winning new business. For example, with only a 5% increase in customer retention, financial services companies have boosted profits by a whopping 25%.

Education can play a significant role in onboarding customers − helping them succeed more rapidly and adopt products more fully. So, given the value that customer training can create, why don’t all companies believe it’s as important as employee training?

I think these organizations need to shift their perspective to understand the direct connection between educated customers and business outcomes such as profitability. While leading organizations have been aware of this for years, others are still unaware or they’re struggling to catch up.

But that’s exactly why this is the ideal time to make customer education a priority. Your competitors are probably already climbing that catch-up curve.

As an extended enterprise learning consultant, I see it every day. Companies in every sector are developing customer-focused training programs that set their brands apart from others who haven’t even thought about it.

For example, on a recent episode of my podcast, The Talented Learning Show, I spoke with Mike Martin, the Chief Learning Officer at SAP Litmos. When I asked him what kind of business impact he’s seeing from recent customer training initiatives.

He replied, “Just putting some time and effort into offering product training that fits customer interests has boosted engagement 100-fold.”

You read that right. He said engagement improved 100-fold.

For more gems like this, you can check out the entire podcast here.

Customer Training: It’s Not Just for Tech Companies Anymore

It’s true − software companies have led the pack in offering product training. But that’s probably been driven more by survival instinct than strategic insight. After all, if you want customers to adopt and use a complex tool or application, some level of instruction is necessary.

However, this necessity is rapidly expanding beyond the high technology realm. Now, companies in all sectors are recognizing the strategic value of customer training.

For example, think of how the Internet of Things is disrupting consumer product marketing. Increasingly, manufacturers are integrating “smart” digital capabilities into products and services of all kinds to enhance or fully reinvent those core offerings.

While this new level of functionality is welcome, it also adds complexity to the “getting started” process. That’s why customer education is becoming a priority for companies that never considered it before. After all, in the past, we didn’t need a training course to teach us how to run a vacuum cleaner or start a car or use a toothbrush!

But a new world is dawning as the Experience Economy kicks into high gear. And companies that recognize how training helps attract, retain and expand customer relationships in this new world order are positioning themselves for success.

Want to Dig Deeper? You’re in Luck!

Join me for the webinar “Inside the Customer Learning Lifecycle: How Continuous Education Drives Lasting Value” on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET / 10:00 – 11:00 am PT.

Together with Mike Martin, CLO at SAP Litmos, I’ll discuss these topics:

  • How to prioritize fluid customer education needs
  • How to build a convincing business case
  • Guidelines for choosing effective tools and technologies
  • Tips for quick deployment and continuous improvement
  • Successful “lifecycle” content strategies
  • Metrics to evaluate program impact over time

 NOTELive webinar attendees qualify for 1 free CAE credit provided by Talented Learning. (Click here for more about CAE information.)

ALSO: If you can’t attend the event, register anyway and we’ll send you a link to the recording.

Hope to see you there!