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Training & Learning

How to Create A Customer Education Strategy That Boosts Retention

80% of people have deleted an app because they weren’t sure how to use it, and more than half have returned a product for the same reason.   

That's why it's mission-critical to get your customers to the point where they realize the value of your products as quickly as possible. When you're able to quickly guide customers to clearly understand how a product works and its direct benefit, you're more likely to lock them in and retain them for the long haul.

This is where customer education comes into play. Customer education is one of the best ways to attract and retain customers because it's centered on the customers’ needs. With a solid customer education strategy in place, you help your customers become master users of your product through training and education.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to develop a solid customer education strategy that can help you win customer loyalty.

Develop customer education goals that support your overall business

Your company's goals trickle down and define how you approach content and training development. Therefore, to develop training materials that have a definitive outcome for the learner, select one or two measurable customer education goals that are tied to wider organizational goals. This ensures that your success is also the business' success. 

Start by talking to leaders in other departments to identify problems they are trying to solve. Then create a clear and actionable customer education goal to help them solve that problem. For example, let's say the customer service department is looking to reduce customer support tickets by 30%. Your customer education program should look for ways to combat this challenge head-on. 

One way to do this is by creating self-service customer educational content in the form of help centers, online discussion forums, FAQ pages, or chatbots. And with 39% of customers preferring self-service options over other channels, providing self-service educational content enables customers to access the information they need much faster and deflects tickets from the customer service team.

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Create custom learning paths by segmenting your customers 

Different people have different learning preferences, and not all customers will find the same content effective for remembering key product information. Therefore, you need to know the audience you are targeting, so you can offer customized learning paths with content that resonates with them. The key to doing this is to segment your customers into learning personas. This way, you can more easily educate them according to their unique needs.

Learner personas are fictional profiles that represent the target audience you are developing a customer education program for. These personas contain details about who they are, their challenges, and what would motivate them to buy from your company. Learner personas enable you to identify and understand your target audience's learning objectives, habits, and preferences, so you can tailor content with them in mind. 

To craft your learner personas, follow these three steps:

1. Conduct surveys to learn more about your customers

To start developing your learner personas, you first need to understand who you are targeting. To do that, you must conduct online surveys and polls of current or potential customers to understand their educational needs.  

Ask questions that cover basic demographics (e.g., age, gender, and location), education and skill levels, work environments, and attitudes toward learning. You should also ask questions to determine their familiarity with your product, understand what outcomes they hope to achieve, and uncover areas where they need the most help. It's also crucial to know how they want to get information about your products or services and their preferred devices and online platforms.

2. Interview your sales and customer success teams

Your sales and customer success teams interact with customers on a daily basis. They have tons of knowledge on the barriers that prevent customers from making purchases and what motivates them to finally buy. These teams also work with customers post-purchase to understand how they use your product and where it's helping or falling short. Interview them to gather those insights and incorporate them into your profiles.

3. Analyze the data and build your persona profiles

From your interviews and research, look for common or intriguing trends, so you can better understand your customers. Use this information to create a selection of archetypal personas with similar characteristics, behaviors, and needs. You can use a slide deck or a tool like Miro to write a descriptive profile of each persona. Give them names and traits of real individuals from your research. 

Your customer education team should be able to regularly reference these personas as they craft content for your customer.

Learner personas are fictional profiles that represent the target audience you are developing a customer education program for.

Identify key metrics to measure the ROI of your customer education strategy

You need to know which metrics to track in order to see the added value your customer education strategy is bringing to your business. Here are four important metrics to help determine if your customer education program is effective at boosting retention.

1. Product adoption rate

Product Adoption Rate = (New Users / Total Signups) x 100

One of the greatest measurable impacts of customer education is product adoption. This metric measures the percentage of people who become regular active users of your product. Higher product adoption increases customer retention, leads to deeper engagement, and creates an ongoing long-term learning cycle.

2. Customer churn

Customer Churn Rate = (Lost Customers ÷ Total Customers at the Start of Time Period) x 100

Customer education is an effective way to reduce churn and boost customer retention. The better they understand how your product helps them, the less likely they are to leave. A low churn rate means customers quickly see the value of your product, showing that your customer education efforts are working.

3. Customer satisfaction (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction is measured by asking customers to rate their satisfaction with your product using a linear scale. For example, you should ask, "On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with this course?” on a survey or in an opinion question in your course. 

Analyzing this metric allows you to identify when customers are unhappy. When this happens,  you can increase customer satisfaction scores through educational content. A customer who is more satisfied with their training is more likely to use the product and, therefore, is easier to retain.

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score = (Total Number of Promoters  – Total Number of Detractors) x 100

The Net Promoter Score measures customers' likelihood to recommend your product to their friends or relatives.

A promoter is anybody who answers the question, “How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?” with a score of 9 or 10. They are happy customers who will gladly recommend your product to friends and family.

Meanwhile, a detractor is anybody who answers the same question with a score between 0 and 6. These are customers who are unsatisfied and will most likely churn. Anyone who responds with a score of 7 or 8 are considered passive customers. They are satisfied with your service but not happy enough to be considered promoters.

With your NPS scores, you will be able to discern which aspects of your products are making customers happy and which are not. You can then use this information to regularly improve your educational content.

One of the greatest measurable impacts of customer education is product adoption.

Build engaging content to meet your customers’ different needs 

To achieve your learning objectives, you'll need to map out the learning journey that your customers will take. Use your learner personas as a reference to guide you on how your customers prefer to consume content, and then choose the formats and the type of content that will yield the best results.  

Some examples of engaging customer education content include:

  • In-app tutorials to walk customers through the customer onboarding process
  • An online academy with a series of micro-learning courses to explain technical aspects of the product to customers
  • Video tutorials to explain product updates
  • Complex information from ebooks and training manuals broken down into smaller and more digestible blog posts 
  • Gamification to help your users learn the value of your product through fun and creative activities

In order to meet your customers' different needs and segments, you'll need to collaborate with your company's subject-matter experts (SMEs) and transform their institutional knowledge into educational content. A solid customer training software can help you with this process.

Want more subject-matter experts on your team?

Choose a customer training software that streamlines your customers’ learning journey

Your choice of customer training software makes all the difference between a good customer education experience and a mediocre one.

There are several key features that are essential for any customer training software. These features make it easier to create, manage, and deploy your content and provide a positive user experience that caters to different customers:

  • A flexible and robust authoring tool allows you to easily create engaging content for your customers.
  • The ability to create custom learning paths ensures all customers have access to a training process that fits their unique needs.
  • Assessments for quizzing your customers on training confirm that your customers truly understand the lessons.
  • Mobile learning opportunities allow customers to learn at their own pace.
  • Historical and real-time analytics and reporting capabilities help you track learner engagement.

Learn from 3 real-world customer education examples 

At the end of the day, an educated customer is more valuable and much more likely to remain a customer in the future. But that’s easier said than done. The trick is to create something of value, then use your customer education to help people use it. To learn more about how to do this in practice, here are three real-life examples of companies that adopted customer education programs. They were able to reduce their churn rate, shorten their onboarding, and boost customer satisfaction.