What is Customer Education?
Every individual in this world has specific goals in their lives. They take their purchase decision to achieve those goals. Customer Education is a way to provide self-help tools and resources about our products to the customers to help them achieve their goals.
Benefits of Customer Education
Increases the usability of the products
You know everything about your product – how it works, how to enable/disable a particular option, how to remove users from the account, how to disable/remove payments, etc. But, your customers don’t know all this. Customers feel irritated if they have to face a long learning curve for using your product. Customers can refer to certain resources which can help them in doing these simple tasks. This encourages them to explore more features in your products.
Reduces the burden on the support team
A new customer will always face too many problems in the system. And, many of them tend to contact the support team if they are confused about anything in your product. With the help of AI-based Customer Education tools, you can solve most of the customers’ doubts before them having an actual conversation with your support team. This reduces the burden on your support team, and they will be focused on more complex issues of the customers.
Increases customer satisfaction
Most customers stop using the products because the products didn’t help them achieve their goals. Most of the times this happens because the customers couldn’t use the products effectively. Customer Education tools and resources help them get maximum benefits from the products. This increases the level of satisfaction in them about your products.
Increases Word-of-Mouth publicity
Customers who are fully satisfied with the products tend to spread positive word-of-mouth about your brand. These brand advocates will help you acquire more customers organically.
Increases organic customers to your products via SEO
The content that we create in Customer Education naturally contains the keywords, questions or long-tail terms which are generally searched by any unsatisfied customer(yours’ or your competitors’). These customers when they visit the relevant links on your website, they start engaging more with your products as it solves the very problem that has been haunting them for some while.
Increases the scalability of your business
The self-help customer education tools and resources can educate the customers on a large scale. The more customers you educate, the more you scale your business.
Increases brand loyalty
Many Customer Support teams take more than 24-48 business hours to reply to the simplest queries. Products having the best Customer Education programs win the loyalty of the customers. The customers feel empowered when their doubts are solved immediately.
Examples of different brands that are using Customer Education effectively
Facebook has created a tremendous amount of resources for Customer Education. For Facebook Ads, Facebook has created an online academy called Blueprint where you can learn everything related to Facebook Ads for free. In this, Facebook is educating the advertisers about everything related to Facebook Ads. The more advertisers know about the potential of the Facebook Ads platform, the more they can use it effectively to generate maximum results for their ads. There are millions of advertisers on Facebook, and Facebook Blueprint educates all those advertisers at scale. This is one of the reasons why more and more advertisers are choosing FB to reach their target customers.
Google also has created an online academy called Skillshop where you can learn how to use Google Products. Skillshop covers almost all of the products. You also get certificates which can be used while applying for the job.
Apple’s Support Portal
Apple has created a support portal for their products. This portal covers specifications, possible software and hardware issues, and other product-warranty related issues. Customers can go on the portal, select their device type and enter the problem they are facing, and several threads appear in front of them that may solve their issues.
Hubspot is an excellent inbound marketing tool. Their customer education activities not only cover the topics related to their products but also cover the topics that support their products. E.g. For a customer to be able to use their Inbound Marketing products effectively, they also teach them the basics of Inbound Marketing such as Storytelling, Content creation framework, SEO, etc. The more people know the benefits of Inbound Marketing technique, the more people would want to signup for Hubspot’s products.
DigitalOcean is a VPS hosting company. They have created a community portal where they have put almost everything related to server management. I myself have learned so many things related to server management from their community portal. I am using Digital Ocean for the last 5 years and I recommend their servers to almost all of my clients.
Why many companies still don’t invest in Customer Education?
Customer Education requires many resources including but not limited to Content Writers, Video Editors, Subject Matter Experts, Graphic Designers, Website Developers, Software Tools, etc. And, it also requires someone to manage all these things. Hence many companies priorities on product development more as compared to Customer Education. Companies can start building Customer Education related resources while developing the product itself. This will save time and resources. E.g. The FAQs can be outlined while preparing the Product Requirement Documents in the initial stage of the product.
Fear of competition
Many companies fear that their competitors will copy their ideas if they reveal too much information online in Customer Education related resources. There are a number of ways to handle this. E.g. Make specific feature related resources available to premium users only.
No short-term outcomes
Customer Education tools show their effectiveness over time. It doesn’t give any tangible results in a week or month. You need to put consistent efforts for a considerable amount of time. Many companies don’t like this. They want to see the results immediately neglecting long-term benefits that can help them outperform their competition.
Assuming that the customer knows everything
This is a very false assumption. All your new customers are using your product for the first time in their life. They won’t be knowing most of the things about your products. Assuming this will result in high churn rate.
If you are running a product-bases business, implementing Customer Education is essential for scaling your business.
Different ways to implement Customer Education
Frequently Asked Questions
Sales and Support teams can help you in preparing the FAQs. As they directly interact with your customers, they know what your customers ask frequently. You can create a list of FAQs and post it on your website or social media. Create videos on it and share it on Youtube.
You can create training videos for your newly joined customers. You can integrate LMS in your website or simple Youtube video playlist will also work.
Guided Screens or Walkthroughs
You can show these when a user visits a particular page for the first time. Guided screens highlight each feature with descriptions and links. This gives the overall idea of all the features available on a particular page to the users.
Allow customers to put questions on the forums of your website. You can answer those questions and also encourage your other users to answer those questions. Make these forums available to all the users. If a new user also faces the same issue, he/she will get the solution instantly by searching it in your forums.
Live or recorded Webinars
You can host Webinars frequently where you can demonstrate the product features. Or you can record a Webinar and send the link to your customers when they subscribe to a particular feature which is demonstrated in that webinar.
Create relevant case studies
You can upload different case studies on your website and send the links of those case studies to the relevant customers.
There are many ways you can implement Customer Education for your business. If you haven’t done it yet, start doing it now.
Do you want to develop an effective Customer Education Program for your products ?
I have a vast experience in running complex digital marketing campaigns across multiple domains. I can help you build and optimize the tools and resources used for Customer Education of your products.