Why is customer education important how is it relevant to the gaps model?

Helps your business to scale

Educating customers is a powerful way to scale and grow your business. Not only are more customers educated about your product, but you’re also doing it in an efficient way. Educated customers equals successful customers which, in turn, equals faster growth for your business.

Perform a customer education audit

Every business has a customer training program be it formal or informal. Before you build it up or add to it, it’s key that you dig into what’s already happening to get a holistic view.

So, what does an audit entail?

We suggest you get down to the nuts and bolts of everything your business is currently doing by asking:

What resources are we currently giving our customers?

Do you give your customers any guides, allow them access to support docs, or even talk to them face-to-face? What about that email you send when they first come onboard? Remember, nothing is too small to count!

What teams are involved in customer training?

Customer support, sales, marketing – talk to these teams and ask what they are doing to educate customers.

What tools are currently being used to educate customers?

Do you have a learning management system and/or a customer support centre? Count every tool you have and identify the impact it has on customer success.

It’s not enough to just track every little thing you’re doing now; well-rounded customer education program planning should also include what you’re not doing.

Support records, common customer questions, requested guides, customer interviews; deep dive into all the information you gather to discover the full picture of your current processes.

Find the education gaps

From your research, you’ll start to see patterns emerge, educational gaps in your customers’ journey that need to be filled or improved. Now it’s time to record all of these gaps.

These gaps can be found at any stage in your customers’ journey. Some examples of these could be:

A drop in the number of new customers after one week of usage because they are confused at the start of the onboarding process

A lack of awareness of other products/features on offer; therefore, there is a limited chance of upsell

A high level of support queries after using a complicated product/feature

The list goes on… it’s your job to find as many of these as possible. Then, it’s time to develop a plan of action to fill these gaps.

Customer Education Program: The Tools

Now you know your customers’ pain points, you can develop your plan to help them overcome these. For this, you’ll need the right tools and resources to help them do it.

There’s a wide variety of first-class tools available today that help businesses deliver efficient and effective training.

Centrally, a learning management system is key to manage, track, and achieve your learning goals, However, you can pick and choose between a few options to offer a wide variety of educational experiences for your customers.

For example, with a SaaS company, the tools could be:

  1. A company blog to offer “lighter” content on products, services, features, and best practices for customers
  2. In-app guides to navigate customers through the product
  3. An LMS to deliver onboarding, best practices, and skills training to customers
  4. Customer support documents (either in a support knowledge base or within the LMS) that guide customers when they need it

Not all these tools need to be used immediately. It’s also likely you have some already in action. Invest in the most pressing ones and work from there.

Customer Education Program: Your Resources

With your tools identified, you can now create the training you will provide to your customers, and, importantly, decide when you will be providing it.

We often hear from customers that this can seem overwhelming, but the key is to start where you believe it will impact most.

For example, if you’re losing a substantial amount of customers in the first few weeks, develop a set of onboarding courses within your LMS that aims to tackle these problems first. Or if you’re overwhelmed by the same support query, develop support docs that answer the recurring question head-on.

Develop resources that plug your biggest educational gaps first, and the rest can follow.

Build, test, and iterate: The key to customer education

Customer education isn’t a program you build, launch, and never touch again. Companies that thrive view it as a living, breathing part of their success that needs to be constantly tweaked, updated, and reevaluated.

Using reports from your LMS, checking your support queries, hearing customer feedback, will enable you to add to, and constantly improve, your training so it has the maximum positive impact on your customer success.