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8 Tips to Build a Customer Education Program for Improved Retention

man wearing tie teaching a group of people

Building a customer education program to reduce churn and improve customer retention is a simple yet powerful strategy any business can use.

While this strategy is widely used in the technology and software industry, many businesses neglect the power of their customers. They don’t even attempt to educate them to drive better retention.

By implementing a customer education program, you’re increasing the opportunity available for existing customers to learn about your products and services, thus improving your sales cycle.

Learn how to implement it today.

What is a customer education program?

A customer education program is a proactive support strategy that enables customers to learn how to use a product or service effectively.

Effectively using the products and services you pay for is essential to most people, so they will be happy to access the information they need. By helping your customers succeed with your products, you will see improved customer retention, increased revenue, and feedback that can help you make better products.

Customer education is critical when you offer highly technical products or services. Your customers will need guidance on how the product benefits them and how to use it.

In simple terms: You want your customers to feel happy and satisfied when using your product, right? A customer education program can help with that.

What is customer retention?

Customer retention is all about understanding what your customers need and providing it. For example, a customer may be more likely to stay with your business if you offer a new feature that makes their job easier or more efficient.

Alternatively, customers might remain loyal because of the quality support they receive when they reach out to your team for help. It doesn’t hurt to offer some free learning materials to your customers to help build trust in your work and show you are an expert in your industry.

Customer retention is also distinct from customer acquisition. It focuses on increasing the number of customers who stay with your company long-term rather than attracting new ones to purchase your product or service. This isn’t to say that customer acquisition isn’t essential—it’s just a different tactic that needs its own strategy, budget, and resources.

As we have outlined the main terms associated with customer education, let’s get down to business and present you with our tips on how to build a customer education program that will improve customer retention.

8 Tips to Build a Customer Education Program for Improved Retention

1Develop a knowledge base.

Use the feedback you already gathered from your customers to create your customer education materials that will help you design an easy-to-follow content piece that aligns with their needs.

As you develop your customer education materials, you’ll have to determine the best way for your business to deliver the information.
You’ll also want to consider the different ways in which customers learn new things—some people need concrete examples, others wish for a bird’s eye view of what they’re signing up for, and others prefer more hands-on approaches.

The key is to make it as easy as possible for customers to access and understand your information.

Keep it simple. Try not to overwhelm your customers with too much information at once or get too technical with details. Over time, you can gradually build on their knowledge, but keep it straightforward when you’re just getting started with customer education.

Provide structures, such as videos or infographics that will help guide them through new processes step-by-step so they feel confident using your software or service. Don’t be afraid to create a how-to guide or other longer forms of content by leveraging an ai writing tool like GrowthBar to help speed up the process without compromising the content quality.

Make sure there’s an FAQ section. This can be an excellent place for those who prefer visual learning styles since you’ll be able to show exactly how things work in screenshots or even provide helpful links that explain each concept further if needed.

For example, this FAQs page for CMDB helps the customer understand the product and make an informed purchase decision. The more the customer understands the product when they purchase, the more likely they will be satisfied.

2Map your buyer’s journey.

One of the first steps in building a customer education program is understanding your buyer’s journey.

The purpose of mapping out the buyer’s journey is to help you understand how customers learn about, evaluate, and purchase products and services similar to yours.

A typical buyer’s journey has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

In the awareness stage, customers know that they have a problem that needs solving. In the consideration stage, they are looking for ways to solve it by researching options—including yours.

But once they enter the decision stage, they’re seriously zeroing in on choosing a product or service like yours that will solve their problem right then and there.

3Plan your customer education program based on feedback.

Your customer education program needs a solid plan that shows how you’re going to achieve the goals you’ve set based on customer feedback and the analysis of your buyer’s journey.

Talk to your customers and gather information on their needs and behavior. Use this feedback to plan out the steps of your customer education program and anticipate possible issues with implementation.

Define goals at each stage of the buyer’s journey, such as increasing adoption rates or reducing support tickets. Then define key performance indicators (KPI) by which you can measure whether or not you’ve met those goals.

If your goal is to increase product adoption, you could use one KPI that measures how many users are trying a new feature. For example, a brand that is looking to build a solid customer education program for maximizing credit card rewards during checkout should create a KPI that tracks the use of their new one-click checkout plugin.

Understanding where you fall on your KPIs is a crucial metric to track and provides valuable insight into where to spend more time developing your customer education program.

Lastly, set a budget for your customer education program based on what resources it will need and what funds are available within your company.

4Create an onboarding email series.

Even if you have the best content in the world, you need a way to present it to your customers to make it easy for them to digest. A customer education onboarding series is vital for this reason.

Onboarding emails should be delivered sequentially so that each leads into the next without overwhelming the user with too much information at once. You can also improve comprehension by making sure your emails are easy to understand and follow a consistent format.

In addition to email, look for ways to deliver content through video or live training sessions. For example, Zoom webinars are very popular right now. And don’t forget about social media—smaller chunks of relevant content can be delivered through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts.

5Determine what content can help address customers’ challenges.

Now that you have identified your customer’s goals, you should determine what content and resources help them address their challenges. For this step, analytics can help identify the most effective content for your customers.

In addition to looking at data, take a moment to consider the customer’s experience related to using your product or service. What are their pain points? What issues do they face? What frustrations do they have?

Suppose you can use first-hand experience even better. The information will be more accurate if it comes from the horse’s mouth. Otherwise, you can ask other team members who interact with customers regularly for their input and perspective on what types of resources would best serve them.

Once you have an idea of what content might work best, evaluate how well it meets your customers’ needs in terms of tone and format. It also helps to look at past examples to see how well they performed – did they get shared often or downloaded frequently?

Once you’ve determined your customer’s goals and needs and evaluated how likely certain pieces of content are to meet those needs, it’s time to create new educational materials. Or refresh existing ones to be most beneficial for your customers when they need them most.

For example, this article about telematics is excellent content to help customers understand how vehicle telematics can benefit them. The guide breaks down the essential details into easy-to-navigate sections for maximum retention.

6Create new materials or utilize existing resources.

Now that you have identified your customer’s goals, you should determine what content and resources help them address their challenges. For this step, analytics can help identify the most effective content for your customers.

In addition to looking at data, take a moment to consider the customer’s experience related to using your product or service. What are their pain points? What issues do they face? What frustrations do they have?

Once you’ve decided to create a customer education program, find out what resources you already have. Look at what content your team has authored and consider which pieces of that content would be most helpful for customers. You may be able to use some of those existing assets to create or supplement a customer education course.

Reliable Couriers, for example, already has a large number of resources on their site to explain the benefits of same-day delivery and using a trusted courier service. They should leverage this existing content to prevent wasting time and resources creating new content.

However, you may also identify gaps in your existing resources. In this case, it’s time to think about creating new content to fill the gaps—but remember that adding more content without retiring old material often results in a confusing experience for learners—so make sure you’re removing outdated or underperforming materials when necessary. You can also use external resources.

Sites like StuDocu, for example, offer a vast amount of free learning material for people to access. This simple gesture helped StuDocu build an immense amount of trust with their customers in a short period. Offering free tips and valuable resources will surely provide a positive experience for customers and bring them back time.

7Use a learning management system (LMS) to build your customer education program.

Organize your customer education program using a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is a great way to organize your schedule and keep track of your customers’ progress.

With an LMS, you can customize the content for different groups of customers, view the content they’re interacting with, and track their progress as they learn. This makes it easy to ensure that each customer gets the information they need when they need it.

It is critical to invest in an online course platform that best fits your business, whether you are looking for interactivity, sales, or beginners. You can find an all-inclusive learning platform with great features, decently priced, and mobile-friendly, as many people rely on mobile devices for learning.

8Evaluate your customer education program.

Use performance metrics, such as retention and customer satisfaction, to accurately assess the performance of your customer education program.

Retention rate is the percentage of retained customers from one period to another and the ability to keep customers using your product or service for long periods.

Some businesses will consider it a win if they retain at least 80% of their customers, but this number should be closer to 100% for many SaaS companies.

To increase your retention rate, implement a customer education program that helps customers realize the total value of your product or service.

Customer satisfaction (also commonly known as customer delight) is how a customer’s expectations are met or exceeded. High levels of customer satisfaction mean you can charge higher prices and remain competitive in your industry due to increased loyalty from your customers.

As you work toward improving these numbers and building out a successful customer education program, you must measure these metrics regularly to evaluate how well your efforts are working.

Main takeaways

To build a customer education program that genuinely improves your company’s retention rate, you need first to identify the most significant retention issues.

Some companies choose not to track retention and rely on marketing metrics like leads and sales. However, if you want to take a more comprehensive approach, gathering customer feedback to help tell you where you can improve is worth it.

By tracking the problems and needs of your customers and then developing a comprehensive education program that addresses these issues, you’ll be able to retain more customers. By doing so, you can build a more substantial business that improves customer satisfaction and increases revenue over time.

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Felipe Gallo USERP
Felipe Gallo

Felipe Gallo is an Account Manager at uSERP. He’s been involved in all things marketing for over 6 years, founding his own agency and working with a wide variety of clients. He is passionate about music and hopes to open his own academy someday.