If you think that a well-trained sales crew and excellent advertising are the only way you can boost your sales, think again. Your customers too are an excellent revenue-generating asset often overlooked.
Today, your consumers have gained more control over customer experience than you.
They choose you from a sea of companies offering similar services. They engage with your organization as per their will, using a device of their choice; they give you money and their personal data on their own terms.
So, if even a single aspect of customer service is amiss, they simply move on to another vendor on the list. In fact, nearly 65 percent of customers will abandon a business even if there is a single issue with customer service.
Client training can help you combat several shortcomings in your customer service. This article will guide you through the benefits and the best practices of client training to help scale your business ( and gain a looooooong following of loyal customers)!
What is client training?
Client training or education is also called an extended enterprise. What exactly is the extended enterprise? Simply said, it is training aimed at those outside of your organization. Instead of teaching your staff, this is training for external stakeholders. Consider your customers.
However, don’t get confused between client onboarding and client training. They both are quite different concepts. The key difference here is time.
Onboarding is a one-time investment that occurs at the start of your client's relationship with you. Its purpose is to familiarize customers with your products or services. Once completed, its mission is accomplished.
Client training, on the flip side, is an ongoing expense. And the advantages go beyond simply exposing buyers to your goods.
Benefits of client training
Improves customer engagement
The key to customer engagement is educating them about how your product can solve an issue they’re facing and how to use it efficiently.
Unless they are equipped with this knowledge, it is nearly impossible to hold their attention for more than eight seconds.
A customer training program enables you to educate your customers to use your product the way you intended them to. It helps them gain the most out of it without wasting time brainstorming its functionalities.
Moreover, it gives offers value instantly, encouraging quick product adoption, and keeps them coming back.
The first thing a customer does after signing up for your product or service is to explore its usability. However, if it seems too complex for them, they won’t give a second thought before investing their money elsewhere.
Client training helps them understand how your product can make their day-to-day business operations easier. Naturally, when they know how to use it, they are more likely to pay for advanced features.
Moreover, if you offer a free trial or a discounted trial, client training is where your customers will get to learn about your product’s worth. So, if you can demonstrate your product’s value then, they are more likely to convert into your paying customers.
More word-of-mouth marketing
Fifty-five percent learn about products from others. 40% purchased as a result of such referrals. Twenty-eight percent prefer word of mouth over any other method of finding.
However, only 7 percent of marketers believe word-of-mouth marketing has an impact on purchasing decisions.
Customers who are loyal to your brand become brand ambassadors, leaving excellent reviews online and spreading the word about your product. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most dependable, cost-effective, and easiest types of advertising for businesses.
A person can hardly question its credibility.
That’s because it comes from people who have actually experienced your product or service and have nothing to gain from their reviews.
Enhances customer loyalty
Currently, few businesses bother implementing a customer training program. Customer loyalty increases when you provide something that your competitors don't.
A customer training program helps you stand apart from the crowd by portraying to the customers that you want them to utilize your product to its full potential; that you want the users to actually get what they are paying for.
It's a show of professionalism and respect for the individuals who keep your company running, and customers reciprocate by keeping loyal.
Takes the burden off the support team
You will never have a customer who completely understands your product usage. Client training results in fewer questions for your support personnel. True, this does not correspond directly to increased sales. However, it reduces the work burden on your support team and minimizes costs.
Less strain on your support employees usually translates into improved levels of customer satisfaction, which also serves as a competitive edge and drives revenue.
Client training best practices
Choose a client training platform
Now that you have understood your clients’ requirements, the next step is to choose a client training platform. Your training requirements will direct you to the best training platform.
Here are a few questions you may want to answer before choosing a platform:
- Do you intend to award certifications for extended enterprise training?
- Localize material for a global audience?
- Do you want to incorporate your brand into the training environment?
- Would you wish to offer customers the option of taking the training on their mobile devices?
The technology you use when developing your customer education program will be critical to its success or failure. While evaluating a lengthy list of customer lifecycle platforms, consider how your customer learning platform integrates with other platforms that your firm may employ.
A tool like Scribe can help you simplify creating a client training program by automatically creating easy-to-follow guides for lengthy processes.
It takes care of all the questions bulleted above and eliminates the need to brainstorm an entire process.
Understand customers’ needs
Before you begin designing your client training program, it is important that you understand your customers’ needs. Remember, the customers have hired you to assist them in solving an issue they are facing.
So, as their business coach or trainer, you must ensure that your training team identifies and prioritizes the business difficulties they wish to address through all the stages of the customer lifecycle.
Sometimes, the software is aimed toward a broad consumer base and can be utilized in a variety of ways by various customers. Consider project management software. They are generally recognized as a business tool that assists teams in organizing their projects.
However, some clients may employ the same software to better organize their time and prioritize their tasks.
You don't have to pick between training either one of these customers. This will only lead to time and money wastage as a large section of your target audience won’t gain actual value from it.
Instead, you can create separate client training modules for each set of customers. This will ensure that everyone gets what they’re looking for in your product.
Focus on contextual and application learning
Sending an email is not the same as knowing how to develop and design an email message with a 50 percent open rate. Is it?
What we're discussing here is the distinction between contextual and application learning.
You must provide training to your customers in order for them to recognize the worth of your program. That training not only teaches them how to utilize your platform but also motivates them to create new ways to optimize their company performance.
Investing in customer-valued learning results in fewer support calls, more earnings, increased brand loyalty, a better customer relationship, and higher renewal rates.
Increasing client involvement through blended learning is an excellent approach to boost the success of your customer education program.
Customers will engage more with your content if you provide different learning modalities such as micro-learning, self-paced learning, and video streaming. This assists them in expanding their understanding and application of your product.
Your clients will have questions no matter how thorough your customer training program is. You can simply set up a discussion forum for customer questions and also assign a separate support team to answer their questions.
Over time, this discussion forum will act as a knowledge center for customers and employees alike because different people tend to have doubts on similar things. A database of frequently asked questions and typical troubleshooting issues will assist all of your customers, whether they have received training or not. Your customer service team will also appreciate it.
Adopting good, predictive metrics practices can provide your company with a competitive edge. To evaluate and fine-tune your onboarding training for effectiveness, keep an eye on two key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Training engagement.
With built-in surveys, you may obtain direct feedback from your customers.
Alternatively, you can examine data from your learning management system.
An LMS report will show how clients are reacting to training and whether it is appropriate for their level of understanding. The analytics will also identify aspects that are difficult to use or of little interest, allowing you to make changes in your future release.
Customer success metrics will be the major markers of your program's success long after customer training is completed.
Customer happiness and Net Promoter Scores, for example, should rise while the number of customer support tickets falls.
Customers who pay for upgrades and enhanced tools, renew their licenses, or purchase additional products from your brand are all evidence that your customer training is effective.
Agreed. Creating a client training program is not child’s play. It takes proper planning, research, and a whole lot of time and money to create it.
Don’t you worry!
Scribe is a process documentation tool that helps you create an entire course of client training without spending hours on end on it. Moreover, it easily lets you add edits and customize the course as you keep updating your product.
Here's a Scribe in action.
Combine Scribes with video, images and more with Scribe Pages. Like this one.
Daniel Owen, a quality insurance team lead from LearningPool says that Scribe helped him create a guide of 50 steps in merely 5 minutes.
So, why not leverage the benefits of this excellent tool, before your competitor does? (😉)