In this guest post, Marketo’s director of customer success, Mike Handes (pictured below), argues all the technology in the world’s not much point if your customers don’t know how to use it. And, he adds, the answer’s a pretty simple one…
If I’ve learnt nothing else in my career, it’s that customers who are skilled at using your software are a low risk of switching to a competitive solution.
This is the most obvious benefit of having educated customers, but there are also additional benefits. The individuals who have built a strong skill set around your software become your internal and external champions, and this can have a benefit to new business opportunities.
The converse also applies. If the skill level is low in your customers, the risk of attrition is ever present and may only take a single user to depart for your customer to make the switch to your competitor. In the world of cloud solutions the perception of simple switching from one vendor to another is real, even if the actual reality of changing vendor is more complex.
This may be well understood, but it’s one thing to want customer success, and another to actively invest in it.
Education is a major component of proactively investing in your customer’s success. By encouraging customer education, organisations have the opportunity grow their own success in the long term, including increasing customer retention.
There are three distinct ways to ensure that your education program empowers your customers, leading to both their success and ultimately, your company’s too.
- View education as continuous and long-term
Education and certification are continuous processes. Even if your customers have completed a set of courses and earned a certificate, their learning shouldn’t and hasn’t come to an end. In this way, education should not end with learnings around a product’s features and functionality, but rather concentrate on how these products can be used to excel in their roles and reach – or exceed – their goals.
In fact, it is important to acknowledge that customers do not simply want to learn how to use a platform to tick a box. Rather, customers use platforms and go through education to maintain and grow their own skills. Just like in a career, where employees don’t wish to remain in the same positions forever, customers use education to provide them with extra experience to grow in their respective organisations and fields.
Therefore, to ensure that customers are constantly at the top of their game in terms of the latest trends and techniques, businesses need to consistently update their education programs to provide ways for customers to expand and grow their knowledge.
By helping your customers expand their knowledge in many directions, you will help them to better adapt to your product and advance their careers.
- Ensure your education program is customer-focused
Throughout the development and enhancement process of an education program, it is imperative to ensure that your program is designed around the customer and their needs. This means that businesses need to be careful not to make the mistake of creating courses based on how they think someone should use their product. Businesses need to shape their programs to reflect the customer’s needs, and how they plan to leverage the tools provided to them.
To create a customer-focused education program, it is necessary that customers are provided with:
· Courses that immerse them in the most utilised functionality and common use cases.
· Training that includes hands-on exercises that reinforce concepts, and gives them experience with all aspects of a topic from start to finish.
· Certification that ensures they know how to apply their knowledge in the context of day-to-day scenarios and activities.
· The opportunity to extend certification by showing proficiency in a specialised area.
Organisations need to be sure to continually revise their programs to accommodate dynamic customer needs. Questions such as, ‘what new skills are my customers eager to learn?’ and ‘in what new ways are they making use of the product?’ need to be asked to prevent education being thought of as a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ program
- Encourage adoption of educational technology
Using your products to their fullest potential makes your customers more reliant on and excited about your technology. By guiding customers to make the most effective use of the features they regularly use as well as exposing them to new areas of value, organisations will be able to set the foundation for higher levels of adoption and success. This will result in a positive outcome for both the company and its customers.
By continually presenting customers with options for educational technology throughout the customer lifecycle, organisations will transform themselves as symbols of support, fostering better relationships with their customers in the long-term. This investment in constant engagement will lead to greater customer retention, as well as increasing the chance of customer acquisition.
Outdoor lifestyle brand, Kathmandu, has teamed up with international music agency, MassiveMusic, to bring the brand sonically to life with the launch of a distinctive audio identity. What do you get when you combine the sound of you outdoors, a wooden melody and a unique bird call? The Sound of Kathmandu. Sound gives shape to […]
Twitter’s top moments in Australia revealed that this year, not unlike last, has been a unique one for us Down Under but our sense of humour and shared love of sport were a few things that helped us get through together. Twitter has been focused on serving the public conversation while connecting people with the […]
Creative technology studio, Method has been selected as one of Snapchat’s first agency development partners across Australaisa. As one of a group of early Snap Development Partners selected across Australia and New Zealand, Method is able to provide clients with the opportunity to design and create Snapchat filters and games aimed to reach audiences across […]
Pinterest’s progressive parental policies are being expanded company wide. Beginning on January 1, 2022, employees in all global offices will have a minimum of 20 weeks of parental leave. This benefit extends to adoptive parents who will also have 20 weeks of paid leave which was previously 16 weeks. This is in addition to an […]
Independent podcast company, Acast, has further grown its Australia and New Zealand team, hiring Daisy Smith as the region’s new automation director. Having jumped ship from Nielsen, Smith will now lead Acast’s local programmatic advertising offering, as the company continues to develop automated ad buying for agencies and direct clients. Smith boasts previous experience with […]
Meltwater has appointed seasoned media intelligence executive, John Bissinella as enterprise solutions manager for ANZ to help drive the continued expansion of its Enterprise solutions. He joins with a remit to consult Australia and New Zealand’s largest organisations on how to leverage the most comprehensive news, social and customer insights data available. Meltwater’s enterprise team […]
Global vehicle rental and mobility provider, Sixt, has teamed with Bastion Creative and Bastion Experience for a new integrated campaign. After launching into the Australian market, Sixt is now leveraging its “Above and Beyonding” brand positioning with eight separate film executions, several digital, print, and outdoor components, and specific creative to support its 163 retail […]