When it comes to attracting and retaining customers, customer education offers the best solution.
With a solid customer education program in place and the effective practice of educational marketing, a business can easily stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base that keeps on growing and growing.
More and more companies are now choosing to invest in customer education because of the many benefits it carries. 90 percent of companies have already seen a positive return on their customer education initiatives, which is a move in the right direction.
Table of Contents
- 1What is Customer Education?
- 2Why is Customer Education Important?
- 37 Benefits of Building a Customer Education Program
- 4How to Improve Customer Education
But how can customer education boost your marketing efforts, and why is it so important?
This article will answer these and many more questions.
Find out why having your own online academy is so beneficial for your company, and learn how you can build educational content from scratch.
What is Customer Education?
Customer education is any purposeful and organized learning activity designed to impart attitudes, knowledge, or skills to customers by a business or industry.
Educating customers helps them realize how your products can be put to good use so that they start exploiting them to their full potential.
Through customer education, customers using a product for the first time get extensive how-to guidelines that answer any question they might have while completing the onboarding procedure. And then, any advanced questions that remain are forwarded to a customer support team or customer success manager through the help of support tickets.
Customer education is particularly beneficial for companies with:
Part of customer education is also to serve marketing purposes like:
Customer education is all about teaching prospects the following:
a) Why do they need your product
b) How they can use your product
Before customers decide to buy or recommend your product to others, they need access to all the information they can get relating to these two aspects.
Customer onboarding is the most common example of customer education. If you have worked at a technology-first company, marketing agency, or on a product that required a long learning curve, you are likely to be familiar with it.
Why is Customer Education Important?
Customer education is critical as it helps create a long-lasting relationship with new and existing customers. Through purposeful training, you build trust and instill trust in your target audience.
But there’s more to it. If you want to change how people perceive your brand, you need to distinguish yourself as the leading educational voice for your industry.
What is your initial thought behind your product or service?
What is your scientific background?
Sharing educational messages will dramatically increase the likelihood of people making a purchase. You also successfully target a much broader audience, creating an eagerness for people to buy your existing or new product.
A successful customer education program can significantly impact your business, including increasing customer satisfaction scores, reducing support costs, improving product adoption, driving lead generation, and growing upgrades. Understanding all these elements and integrating customer education will help strengthen your relationship with your customers throughout their lifecycle.
7 Benefits of Building a Customer Education Program
Let’s dive into each of these benefits:
1Customer engagement and satisfaction
The educational activities that accompany customer onboarding enable your customers to engage with your product in the best way possible. Customers become more able to take full advantage of your product. Product complaints, customer churn, and product returns decrease. The onboarding process is a critical driver of ongoing customer engagement and satisfaction!
Customer Loyalty refers to a consumer’s intent to stay within an organization and their commitment to improving their relationship with the organization. The more people get a great customer experience, the more they don’t mind approaching them for sales. This creates a life cycle of people who engage in word-of-mouth recommendations and bring your content into the eye-line of prospects. People are more likely to upgrade to a higher plan for your services.
3Increased customer retention
Research by Intellum-Forrester confirms that formalized customer education programs have some significant direct benefits for a company. The study showed that with a customer education program in place, bottom-line revenue was increased at 6.2 percent, customer retention at 7.4, and support costs decreased by 6.1 percent.
4More revenue and lower support costs
A business can boost revenue and reduce costs with a dedicated customer education program. The same report found that the most successful organizations saw a 40x higher increase in revenue and a 36x greater reduction in support costs than the least successful organizations.
5Higher quality of customer support
Depending on the size of your organization, your customer success team may be able to split its time equally between each of your customers. However, each account requires different types of onboarding and support, and customer success managers are likely spending a significant number of hours training users on how to use your product, particularly early on.
Customer education is likely to raise more successful customers. Educational efforts, therefore, play an essential role in helping consumers know which behaviors to adopt. They transform simple users of your products into expert users of your product. Also, customers better know the average performance of similar brands in the product category, which helps to increase their loyalty and trust in you.
7Market leader positioning
Companies that offer education to their customers position themselves as market leaders. A market leader can create a large follower base by sharing industry-specific knowledge and converting those visitors into customers. Hence customer education will work for you as a valuable content marketing plan.
Now you understand why customer education is so important in distinguishing yourself as the leading educational voice in your industry.
And with the right tech tools, you can build an effective customer education program just as easily. All you have to do is choose a course platform that can do the job for you.
A well-trusted LMS like LearnWorlds can give you access to learning material on the go. Additionally, you get all the flexibility you need in individual learning pathways, and you have access to learning materials from one or various sources (SCORM & HTML5). Plus, you can create multiple classes or groups with assignment scoring and track data using only one tool.
The best way to start your online academy for your clients is with a well-trusted online course platform – I will explain later why.
If you want to try out LearnWorlds for free, it comes with a 30-day trial. Besides, through our blog, we provide you with invaluable guidance on how to create great courses.
How to Improve Customer Education
Customer education is so important that it needs to be at the center of all your business development strategies.
Its effectiveness will depend on whether you have achieved your business objectives, measured by key customer education metrics like revenue, customer retention, customer satisfaction, and customer support costs.
While it is a huge part of your marketing plan, selling shouldn’t begin immediately, nor should it be the ultimate goal. First, through customer education, you need to use effective instructional design methods to teach your subscribers everything they need to know and build rapport.
You must provide high-quality content during the educational phase of your product to make it understandable and valuable. And, let me tell you the secret of this phase:
By using educational content, you can frame yourself as an authority.
In other words, your prospects know how your content takes them from point A to point B and transforms their lives for the better.
Your subscribers have to see how you change their businesses, lives, relationships, or whatever your subject is all about. In this case, you have to invent;
You then gradually build the expectation of something that must change their lives. You create the need for your product without directly presenting it. The selling phase will come after you have provided this upfront value.
What Kind of Content is Educational?
Educational content is any type of content that helps people learn something new by having a goal in place. Such content needs to be informational, inspiring, entertaining, and engaging.
These are some examples of educational content you can create:
Creating an online academy can provide a professional-looking learning experience and include all the above learning material in one place. An academy is essential because you can have all content in one place and adorn it with quizzes and knowledge checks to measure the level of understanding.
After you have sent the right amount of valuable content out there and have warmed up with your recipients, it is time you move more aggressively into sales.
But sales are a whole new discussion, so let’s dive in to find out how you can start implementing an effective customer education strategy.
Learn how to sell courses in the LearnWorlds academy.
Building an Online Academy
Creating online courses is the best way to deliver your educational content and keep people coming back for more. One of the benefits you get with a course platform – as I said before – is that you can make use of every form of education delivery:
A well-packaged LMS provides access to these and many other assets.
And, this is precisely what many successful companies are doing. As part of their broader customer education initiatives, they have their own online academy, use an LMS that integrates with their CRM system, or even have their own dedicated customer education team ready to accommodate new customers.
Get Inspired by Successful Online Academy Examples
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out some successful online academy examples offering customer elearning:
HubSpot’s Academy is one of the best examples out there. With many years of experience in the digital marketing scene, HubSpot has created a knowledge base where marketers can enroll in certification programs and take online courses that can help them develop their marketing skills and expertise. There you can find courses ranging from SEO, content marketing to LinkedIn marketing, email marketing, and more.
Sendinblue is training customers in 4 languages into using their software and offer certificates in various email marketing topics. One of the top email marketing software uses their academy to educate customers and train email marketers to improve their skills.
Adalo, a no-code App builder is educating their audience on the ins and outs of making and promoting an app. This goes beyond simple customer education, focusing on all stages of app development. Their courses help app creators at the idea stage, strategy, business, design, building, launching, and more!
Lodgify, a vacation rental management software is educating their users on how to improve their results. Lodgify offers skill-based courses, interactive lessons and also certificates for vacation rental professionals.
AWS’s customer training and certification programs help people learn and develop their cloud skills. Each training course explores learning opportunities with AWS, and on their website, the academy is either grouped by a role or by a solutions area. AWS experts develop the content, and it is being updated regularly, and training is offered online or in person.
Because of how training is delivered at Ahrefs Academy, learning becomes a pure joy for digital marketers and SEO experts. Apart from the certification course, it offers, Ahrefs allows their customers to learn how to use the Ahrefs platform and take full advantage of the SEO tools and reports it provides to improve their SEO strategy. The educational content is delivered through a series of short but in-depth videos that show everything you need to know.
Another excellent example of an online academy you need to check out is Trailhead by Salesforce Academy. Trailhead allows you to begin your learning adventure the way you prefer giving you three options – learning online, learning in class, or learning as part of a community.
All three pathways offer a fun way to learn and through them, Salesforce accommodates all types of learners.
Our very own LearnWorlds Academy offers free online courses that aspiring online course creators can enroll in to learn more about online learning. You will find all you need to know on our site regarding creating, market, and selling online courses, creating interactive videos, getting started with email marketing, and using the LearnWorlds platform watching through our video demo.
Choosing a Learning Management System (LMS)
With the plethora of online learning platforms and learning management systems – LMSs, out there today, it’s easy to build your own online school.
Using a state-of-the-art online learning platform ensures that you offer all the features that make your academy the must-go learning destination.
With LearnWorlds, for example, within just a few clicks, you’ll get your own school website with powerful features: Student management, integrated payment processing, multiple types of activities, and everything else you need to teach online.
When exploring technology platforms to support your customer training program, there are four requirements to keep in mind. Your platform is:
So, once you have chosen your desired course platform, it’s time to get some learning content on there. These are the steps you need to take:
Ready to Educate Your Customers?
One of the most effective ways to get people to buy and increase your sales is by providing exceptional upfront educational content designed to create specific needs.
The more you share your wisdom, the more people will jump on the customer journey with you. Use your knowledge to educate your customer base with zero commitment to your business and choose a robust LMS that offers the best learning experiences.
Your customer education program is just a step away!
Try LearnWorlds for a month for free and learn how to train and keep your customers satisfied!
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.