Getting Started with Customer Training: A Beginner’s Guide

It’s no secret that happy customers are great for business.

Happy customers are loyal; they renew subscriptions, tend to buy more than just their initial purchase, and they can be your best brand ambassadors. Happy customers also make a noticeable difference in your bottom line; Bain & Company found that improving customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25 to 95%.

The trick is, of course, to keep your customers happy and engaged with your brand. One of the best ways to do that is by teaching them. A recent study found that when organizations increase spending on customer education, they see an increase in revenue, as well as a sizable increase in the lifetime value of their customers.

Why do your customers need training?

Today’s products are increasingly complex. If a customer isn’t trained and doesn’t see value quickly, there is a good chance they will abandon the product and move on. A strong customer training program ensures your customers’ needs are met, that you’re regularly engaging them, and that you’re addressing any challenge they might have with the product before a ticket is opened.

Despite the benefits of customer training, not all organizations are comfortable creating customer education programs. Studies show that some of the most common barriers to strong customer training include issues developing relevant learning paths and overall customer education instructional design.

Other barriers include struggles communicating the importance of customer education to decision-makers and challenges converting instructor-led training into engaging digital training. However, starting a customer education program need not be overwhelming. Most businesses already have much of the content they need to get started on a customer education program.

How to get started with customer training

  1. Identify your customers’ most common training needs: What training do your customers need? This is likely something you can determine by looking at contact with customer support; what are the most common pain points experienced by your clients?
  2. Identify your goals: What are the goals that your business is looking to achieve through training? Whether you’re looking to increase recurring revenue or decrease the number of customer support tickets in your system, identifying and tracking your top training KPIs will help you choose the right types of training and uncover the impact of customer training down the line.
  3. Audit the material you already have: Even if you don’t yet have a customer training program, you probably have more content than you think. Typically, it’s hidden away in FAQs, User Guides, and Terms of Service. That content might serve your clients better in a learning module.
  4. Decide what types of training to conduct: Knowing your business goals and assessing what materials you already have will help you determine what types of courses to offer customers. Whether you’re interested in building a comprehensive onboarding program, or creating power users for your product, outlining your goals can help you build your program.
  5. Develop training materials: Once you know what you have, what your goals are, and what types of training you’d like to offer, you can start to create materials that fill the gaps in your training program. Microlearning resources can be a good option for building out modules that are quick, engaging, and relevant to your clients’ needs.
  6. Choose a platform: Decide how you will deliver training to customers. Look for a learning management system (LMS) that customers can access easily and quickly, no matter where they happen to be.
  7. Gather feedback: Collect feedback from customers who participate in training sessions to assess their experience and identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to enhance your training programs over time.
  8. Monitor progress: For continuous improvement, make sure to keep tracking those high priority KPIs you’ve identified, as well as customer progress and engagement with training materials. Your LMS dashboard should provide you with the tools to build custom reports that you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your training efforts and make adjustments as needed.

The importance of customer education

Customers are increasingly sophisticated. Today’s customer is more educated than the customer of 10 years ago; they also have higher expectations when it comes to their experience with your brand. Surveys find that customers are more likely than ever to leave if they’re not happy. They expect a seamless, personalized experience throughout the customer journey.

Customer training can help you provide that top-of-the-line customer experience; when you invest in customer education you’re investing in your clients’ success, providing them with the knowledge they need at every step of their journey with your product. That should make both your customers — and you — happy.

In today’s business landscape, customer training plays a crucial role in driving revenue and fostering long-term loyalty. By extending learning to your entire ecosystem, including partners and customers, you can not only generate brand awareness but also unlock substantial revenue opportunities. Brandon Hall Group’s latest eBook, “Leveraging Learning to Drive Revenue,” provides valuable insights and strategies for organizations looking to maximize their customer training efforts. From evaluating learning technology to developing L&D professionals into strategic leaders, this eBook offers a comprehensive guide to leveraging learning for revenue growth. Ready to take your customer training to the next level? Explore “Leveraging Learning to Drive Revenue” today!