What is customer training?
What does it mean to set your customers up for success with your product? For starters, it doesn’t have to stop at hiring talented support professionals or setting up an intuitive chatbot on your website. In fact, your customers may just benefit from a separate training program, whether by walking them through your product for the first time or by offering tips to enhance their existing user experience.
Customer training programs could be a course or some form of educational content to teach customers about your product. They’re especially common in the technology space where products can be complex in design. A well-planned training program will take into account your user’s learning needs, whether they’re new to your product and need a step-by-step walkthrough, or that they’re existing customers looking for tips to enhance their user experience.
What are the benefits of customer training?
People don’t become experts in your product once they’ve signed up for it. In fact, continuing to make your customers feel confident in using your product can lead to major growth for your organization. For a closer look at its impact, here are the key benefits of customer training:
Builds customer loyalty
Creating an amazing product isn’t going to lead to brand loyalty if your customers have no idea how to use it. A training session not only educates your customers on how to make the most out of your product but also shows them that you’re invested in their success. This increases the chances of customer loyalty than if you were to have them figure your product out on their own.
Increases engagement with your product
By training your customers, you’re literally telling them how to use your product and what they can do with it. And the sooner your customers know their way around your product, the sooner they’ll feel confident to engage with it in their own time.
Higher customer retention and lower churn
This issue is particularly important for SaaS companies, where churn rates can play a significant role in your business’ revenue. That’s where an effective customer training program can help. By investing time in your customers’ learning needs, you ultimately invest in the likelihood of successfully upselling or retaining their accounts.
Reduces one-time customer support issues
But the benefits go beyond increasing customer satisfaction. By setting your customers up for success early on, you also reduce their need to reach out for support with basic user issues. This can help protect the backlog of your customer service team, saving the company time and money too.
How to create a customer training program
For an effective outcome, consider the following best practices of customer training:
Gather information about who your customers are
Before you can create customer training content, you need have a clear sense of your customers’ pain points and needs. You can learn more about their experience by conducting surveys with existing customers or even with those who’ve parted ways with your company. Among your existing customers, survey those whom you consider to be your ideal customers and learn more about why they’re so satisfied. Knowing both the good and the bad can clarify what your training content should focus on.
Create learning objectives
With a clear picture of your customer’s needs in mind, set aside time to identify the learning objectives of your training program. Learning objectives serve as the purpose for creating your training content. The importance of having a reason behind any business decision seems like a no-brainer, but when it comes to content creation, it ensures you don’t end up including any educational information that has nothing to do with your learners’ needs. It also gives learners a clear idea of what skills they can expect to gain by signing up for your training program.
Plan the logistics
Like with any online training program, you’ll need to identify what tools you’ll need to bring your customer training model to life. For instance, you may want a user-friendly authoring tool so that subject matter experts on your product can share their knowledge directly by creating training content themselves. You might even need a Learning Management System (LMS) to store and distribute your learning content. Apart from tools, however, it’s also important to think about who else needs to be involved in the process. Maybe you’ll need a co-author to collaborate on the content with. Maybe you’ll need support from your organization’s L&D team to facilitate the program.
Create your training content
Now that you know who you’re creating training for, why you’re doing it, and what you’ll need to get started, it’s time to create your content. Consider creating bite-sized chunks of content, which are more digestible for learners who may be unfamiliar with the training subject. If you’re creating an e-learning course, you might do this by adding multiple sections within your course, each with unique learning objectives.
Why use an LMS to train your customers?
An LMS, by nature, is designed to facilitate large-scale training programs with numerous learners to keep track of. A key feature is that it offers insights into your learners’ progress, providing data on takeaways like who has or hasn’t completed a course, or who passed or failed. You can then also generate reports from the data and share these insights with relevant colleagues.
But what makes learner tracking features so valuable is that they can help you identify any knowledge gaps among your customers, which can help you determine how effective your content is and whether you may need to make any adjustments.
Use a separate authoring tool
Though some LMSs come with built-in authoring tools that allow you to create your training content directly on the platform, they still tend to lack features that a specialized authoring tool can provide. They’re also usually complex in design because they’re catered to instructional designers.
As an alternative, we recommend using a separate authoring tool like Easygenerator that not only specializes in content creation but also has zero learning curve. This user-friendliness enables an approach known as Employee-generated Learning (EGL), where subject matter experts in your organization can create training content themselves instead of handing it off to a third-party content creator.
Not only does this speed up the content creation process and save costs on hiring external course designers, but it also empowers product experts in your company to share their expertise directly with customers, allowing the knowledge to reach customers in need sooner.
Easygenerator also offers extensive data on your learners, allowing you to form meaningful takeaways on their progress and optimize your content accordingly. And if you’re still set on using your preferred LMS to facilitate your training program, you can take heart in knowing that any content created in Easygenerator can be easily exported in LMS-friendly formats. That means you won’t have to stop storing your content in the LMS of your choice if you have one.