As digital technology has become increasingly present in people’s lives, customers’ expectations have risen in equal measure. Everyone wants the best gear they can get their hands on, meaning the technology market has become more competitive. If your customers aren’t pleased with your product, there are many more they can choose from.
While the quality and effectiveness of your product is paramount to gaining and retaining customers, so too is customer experience. Needless to say, a customer that enjoys using your product is likely to keep using it.
One way to improve your customer experience is through customer education. By ensuring your customers can quickly understand how to use your product and use it competently, you will avoid a frustrated customer giving up on your product. In doing so, you can give your brand a competitive edge against others, allowing you to keep ahead of your competition or even establish a new brand.
What is customer education?
Customer education improves customer experience through education, namely teaching them how to use your product. This can be accomplished by providing your customers with educational materials, from physical manuals to explainer videos. By investing in your customers, you improve their ability to use your products and, as a result, increase customer loyalty. The most effective customer education techniques focus not only on teaching your customer but also on impacting business metrics. Most notably, these include product adoption and customer retention.
Why focus on customer education?
Naturally, shifting some of your focus to customer education will cost you time and money. As such, it’s worth mentioning why customer education is so important.
Placing your customers first is the tried and tested technique. While pursuing new customers can certainly be profitable in the short term, it is not sustainable if it comes at the cost of developing strong ties with your existing customer base. Focusing on your existing customers, investing in them, their experience, and improving retention, as a result, is a far more cost-efficient strategy. Customer education is a surefire way to achieve this.
Customer education has become much more accessible thanks to the widespread digitization of information. Once initiatives were afterthoughts, cumbersome to plan, execute, and almost always confined to in-person training sessions. Now, they are a breeze to create and distribute online, be it in the form of a downloadable document, explainer video, or even a thread on a forum. This allows businesses a cheap but effective method of boosting customer experience, in addition to easily opening a line of communication with their audience, one with tangible benefits.
When properly adopted by a business as a focus, customer education is incredibly beneficial for both parties. Your customers gain access to useful knowledge and a line of communication to call for assistance while you enjoy a more loyal audience. The real question is, why wouldn’t you focus on customer education?
The benefits of customer education
So far, we’ve touted customer education as being of great use to both your customers and your business, but how exactly does it achieve this?
Customer education provides a number of benefits, though depending on your business goals, some will be more important than others. Once you have a purpose in mind, you can structure your education materials around it. To make an effective strategy, consider these main benefits of customer education:
Prepare your customers for your product
In the technology industry, it isn’t a guarantee that each of your customers will have a basic knowledge of modern devices and software. Although such things have become much more pervasive, many still lack the ability to perform even the most fundamental of functions. Because of this, they will be precluded from properly interacting with your product. They may even go as far as to accidentally devise ingenious ways of breaking your product, a scenario many software developers have dealt with. This can lead to a poor perception of your product and brand in some circles and even affect sales.
To avoid such an instance, focus your education strategy on equipping your customers with what they need to properly use your product. You can accomplish this by arming your sales teams with the knowledge they need to help your customers. Ensuring any question can be answered swiftly. In doing so, they can effectively assist customers and boost satisfaction as a result.
Boost the rate of product adoption and retention
Customer education can also be used to teach your customers the qualities and capabilities of your product. When coupled with teaching them how to use it effectively, this raises the likelihood of product adoption, retention, and promotion amongst their friends and family.
To take advantage of this benefit, you should focus your customer education strategy on promoting your product and showing why it’s useful. Demonstrating functionality can follow. This can help to get your customer invested in your product, boosting their likelihood of engaging with the product further.
Reduce the amount of support your customers need
The main point of customer education is to make your customers competent at using your product. A customer capable of using your product requires much less support, something that makes the onboarding process much easier. As they use your product without issue, first impressions benefit as a result. Additionally, a competent customer requires less support by default, placing much less strain on your customer support network. Investing in your customers benefits them, of course, but can also save you money in the long run.
Boost organic traffic
Customer education aims to improve customer experience by adding more value to your product. By assisting your customers providing them with informative content created with a target audience in mind, you boost customer satisfaction as a result.
By making use of your online presence to distribute your education materials, you can increase your organic traffic. People talk, recommending products to their network if it makes an impact. If you create an academy online, a place where questions are answered and discussions are held, you can better facilitate this recommendation and visibility to your potential audience. If you invest in educating your existing audience, people with similar problems will find you on their own initiative.
Focusing on customer education is the path forward in modern markets. By investing in your customers, your brand can position itself as an authority. One that benefits its customers both with good products and good information. By investing in your customers and providing more value, you will have access to a host of benefits that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. As such, customer education is beneficial not only to customers but to businesses too.