Customer Education

Customer Enablement: Why It Matters & Best Practices for Successful Implementation

6 min

Did you know even the most loved brands can be forgotten after just one bad experience? Well, you might not be surprised to hear that even loyal customers are not that patient. 33% of customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience – make that two or three bad experiences, and the percentage skyrockets to 92%.

Of course, customer experience is the result of multiple factors: from product quality to customer service and brand messaging, there are many things you need to get right to help customers trust you and make them keep coming back. And somewhere at the core of customer experience lies customer enablement.

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If you want to learn more about customer enablement, you’re at the right place. In this post, we’ll explain what customer enablement is, which activities it entails, why your business needs it, and best practices for successful implementation.

What is Customer Enablement?

Customer enablement is a multifaceted customer success strategy that facilitates (“enables”) customers to make the most of a product or service. It goes beyond onboarding new customers: it’s about continuously enhancing the customer journey by offering on-demand educational material, self-service options, a customer community, and proactive customer service.

Customer enablement is led by a dedicated customer enablement manager who coordinates and oversees all relevant activities and initiatives.

Why Your Business Needs to Provide Customer Enablement (More than Ever!)

Customer enablement is a pivotal part of the customer experience and plays a significant role in your business’s viability. The more complicated the product, the more value and impact it’s expected to bring, the more imperative it becomes to offer customer enablement.

This is especially true for companies that rely on recurring revenue, such as those selling SaaS products and services. In any case, customers need to find value in your product and effectively solve a problem, or they will switch to a competitor.

Given that the customer journey is comprised of five stages, here’s what happens when you don’t include customer enablement in your strategy:

✔️ Awareness
✔️ Consideration
✔️ Purchase
❌ Retention
❌ Advocacy

So, essentially, you’re missing out on a strategy that massively improves the after-purchase stages of the customer journey and impacts customer retention and advocacy. Surprisingly, a staggering 79% of B2B companies neglect customer success enablement.

Sure, there are other means to achieve customer retention and advocacy, such as loyalty programs. And yet, it’s hard to overlook the fact that, above anything else, a customer needs to know how to use your product or service before they engage with your brand further.

Therefore, customer enablement is the basis for multiple business benefits:

What Does Customer Enablement Look Like?

As we mentioned previously, customer enablement is multi-faceted and should be offered during different touchpoints in the customer journey. It’s broader customer onboarding, which focuses on the initial after-purchase stage and aims to help customers start using the product.

Let’s see the most common customer enablement activities:

Personalized onboarding

Personalized onboarding involves one-to-one calls and product demonstrations with customer success managers. This option is usually offered to high-paying customers only since it is quite resource-intensive and time-consuming.

Self-service resources

Self-service resources are available on demand for all customers. Most commonly, they include:

Live webinars

Live webinars are a great training resource. They stand between self-service resources and one-to-one consultations, offering the best of both worlds: they are more personalized than self-service resources, and less resource-intensive and more accessible than one-to-one or group consultations.

Webinars have high educational value as the product is demonstrated in real-time, and customers can ask for clarifications on the spot. It is a great way to “meet” your customers and interact with them. Another reason why you should opt for this option is that they can be repurposed and saved as a self-service resource in your knowledge base.

All-around customer service

Recent research by Zendesk shows that phone calls remain the customers’ preferred channel of communication for complex issues, while chatbots can help with simple troubleshooting. Therefore, it is important to offer both digital-first and voice-based customer service, giving customers as many options as possible to contact you when they need support.

24/7 support and fast time to respond can help you create a more positive customer experience, build stronger relationships, and ultimately drive growth.

Proactive communication

The best way to support your customers is to anticipate their needs and extend help before they ask. This can be achieved by maintaining consistent communication, initiated by you. For example, via:

Customer surveys

Customer feedback can help you improve your product and make it more valuable and relevant to your customers. Although it’s not a customer enablement activity per se, it should be part of a wider customer education strategy to ensure customers are satisfied with the product in the first place and listen to their comments and suggestions.

7 Tips for Deploying a Successful Customer Enablement Strategy

Now that we have covered the “why” of customer enablement, let’s move on to the “how.” Here are 7 tips for planning and deploying a customer enablement program that can’t go wrong:

1

Identify Customer needs

Collect customer data to understand where your customers are struggling. Which features do they use least? Where do they get stuck and quit? What are the most commonly mentioned questions and complaints in support tickets? Monitor the customer journey or roll out surveys to get direct customer feedback.

Identifying customer needs will help you prioritize the most problematic topics and build targeted customer training that hits the mark.

2

Build a Variety of Customer Education Resources

Customers are learners, and people learn in all sorts of ways. Some might prefer to attend a webinar, while others would rather visit community forums, support articles, and FAQs.

Offer both written and audiovisual material to ensure everyone has access to material that best suits not only their learning preferences but also their needs when accessing the content. If your customers are heavy mobile phone users, for example, it would make sense to offer bite-size content that is easily accessible on mobile devices.

3

Offer Synchronous and Asynchronous Options

You should balance between self-service onboarding and more personalized support. Offering just one over the other is not financially wise (if you go with personalized support only) or engaging enough (if you choose self-service).

Leverage the power of AI to enable customers to resolve minor issues with the help of chatbots, build a comprehensive knowledge base, or even create asynchronous training courses for more nuanced products.

At the same time, offer more personalized service through customer support agents and customer success managers and by hosting live events that will enable you to connect more with your clients.

4

Use a Customer Enablement Platform

From your CSM to a Learning Management System (LMS), technology is on your side to help you offer customers the resources they need when they need them and in the most effective format.

Not only that, but using an LMS, you can streamline all your training programs and material, whether it’s sales enablement, customer education, or partner training.

Our Learning Management System, LearnWorlds, is a top-rated customer training LMS that helps you build engaging customer education programs. LearnWorlds offers all the features you need, like:

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5

Involve All Customer-Facing Departments

Ensure that your customer enablement strategy is integrated across all customer-facing departments. Sales teams, customer support, and customer success teams should all be aligned in how they use and promote customer enablement resources to ensure a seamless customer journey from pre-sale to post-sale support.

6

Constantly Evaluate and Improve

Monitor your customer enablement efforts to determine whether they are effective and deliver the desired impact on your business.

Get feedback from your support teams and customers, measure business metrics and KPIs, like customer engagement and Net Promoter Score (NPS), and check the learning analytics your LMS generates.

Based on your findings and with every new product update or release, update all relevant educational content accordingly so it remains fresh and relevant.

Effective Customer Enablement Makes the Difference

Brand advocacy, referrals, and renewals are much easier to achieve when customers are happy with your product. Customer success enablement optimizes the customer experience and keeps customers happy, so make sure to prioritize it to help your business remain financially healthy.

A versatile LMS like LearnWorlds can help you offer customers the resources they need, all in one centralized location and in a fully white-label environment that doesn’t overshadow your brand.

Start your 30-day free trial now and find out why LearnWorlds is consistently customers’ favorite!

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Further reading you might find interesting:

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Androniki is a Content Writer at LearnWorlds sharing Instructional Design and marketing tips. With solid experience in B2B writing and technical translation, she is passionate about learning and spreading knowledge. She is also an aspiring yogi, a book nerd, and a talented transponster.