If your organization educates customers, you probably bump into challenges at every turn. The process can be tough to manage. And although it may be easy to justify the cost of education during the pre-sales and onboarding phases of the customer lifecycle, ongoing customer training is a bit trickier to get right.
For instance, maybe you’re providing too little content, too much content, the wrong content, content in the wrong format, or the timing is wrong. And to make things even more complicated, if you’re not using metrics that connect training to measurable business results, you may not be able to determine what needs to be fixed.
However, with future revenue streams at stake, no one can afford to leave ongoing customer education to chance. That’s why I’ve invited a subject matter expert to help me discuss the top mistakes to avoid when developing and delivering ongoing customer training. To find out more, join us for this 11th episode of the Customer Ed Nuggets podcast!
Today’s Guest Expert
As we continue to explore the impact of education throughout the customer journey, we’re fortunate to welcome back customer lifecycle expert, Nick Eriksen. As Founder and CTO of Eurekos, a global learning management system designed specifically for customer and partner education, Nick has years of experience in applying leading-edge technologies and best practices to avoid costly customer education pitfalls.
The Business Benefits of Ongoing Customer Training
So, how important is ongoing customer training, anyway? Why should organizations focus on getting it right? And what metrics matter? Just ask any organization with a successful track record. It’s possible to measure the business impact of customer education across numerous performance indicators. For example:
For organizations that serve hundreds, thousands or millions of customers, moving the needle on any of these metrics can have a significant upside impact on broader business performance.
Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid With Ongoing Customer Training
Throughout each of our careers, Nick and I have seen our fair share of companies in business-to-business settings drop the ball with weak ongoing customer training. So not surprisingly, we quickly agreed on the most common pitfalls. Here are the 10 biggest problems to avoid, starting with the most critical issues:
1. Ignoring Replacement Teams — For organizations everywhere, change is a constant. The people who buy, implement and initially support your product will eventually move on. They’ll be replaced by others who aren’t likely to be familiar with your product or your organization. What is your continuity plan? Failure to proactively sustain relationships is a sure-fire way to increase customer churn.
2. Not Moving Upstream to R&D — In most industries, innovation is unrelenting. Without visibility into what’s ahead on the roadmap, your customer education team won’t have enough time to plan and produce the right kind of instructional content to support product launches, enhancements and updates.
3. Overlooking Metrics and Measurement — If you don’t define and measure key performance indicators for your educational initiatives you’ll never have the insight you need to understand how your efforts contribute to customer adoption, satisfaction, retention and overall success. (Also, you won’t learn how you can improve.)
4. Ignoring Customer Diversity — Failure to acknowledge and address customers’ various backgrounds, experience levels, skills and learning preferences easily derails customer education, right from the start.
5. Neglecting Technology Advances — Failing to keep educational content current with the latest technological advancements can result in outdated materials that don’t meet customers’ evolving needs and preferences.
6. Underestimating Time Constraints — Overloading customers with lengthy or time-consuming educational content is a fast path to disengagement. It’s crucial to balance the depth of information and learning experiences you offer with the limited amount of time customers have available.
7. Poor Communication — Providing unclear or convoluted instructional materials can quickly confuse and frustrate customers. Clarity and simplicity are key to effective communication.
8. Overlooking Engagement Methods — If learning experiences aren’t engaging and interactive, customers are will quickly lose interest. What’s more, they’ll be less motivated to participate in additional training.
9. Ignoring Technology Barriers — Neglecting to address technical challenges or ensure the accessibility of educational platforms can create serious barriers for some customers. This can hinder their learning experience in ways that reflect poorly on your company brand.
10. Disregarding Learning Styles — Failing to consider and accommodate various learning styles and preferences can result in educational content that doesn’t resonate with customers.
These are only a few of the many mistakes to avoid when offering ongoing customer training. On the other hand, by addressing each of these challenges in your learning strategy, you can dramatically improve the customer experience during this critical phase of the customer life cycle.
Watch This Episode of Customer Ed Nuggets
Want to learn more about avoiding ongoing customer training mistakes? Find out which mistakes Nick and I believe are most crucial. Tune into the brief video below, where we explain why these issues are so important, and how to navigate them successfully…
If you’d prefer to listen to our conversation, tune in to this Customer Ed Nuggets audio podcast right here at TalentedLearning.com.
The Bottom Line for Ongoing Customer Training
To train existing customers successfully, you’ll need a proactive approach. With some thoughtful planning and implementation, you can sidestep common pitfalls and turn these mistakes into an advantage.
Focus on serving diverse customer needs, fostering engagement and communicating clearly. Be mindful of customers’ time constraints, cultural differences, and learning preferences, while staying up-to-date with technology advances. Be sure to allocate sufficient resources for your program’s scope. And above all, establish appropriate metrics and measurement processes. This will make it possible to prove your program’s success and earn support for future enhancements and expansion.
By empowering your customers to use your products with confidence, you’ll elevate customer success, satisfaction and retention. And by enhancing the learning experience, you’ll be able to turn customers into advocates, one customer at a time!
About Talented Learning Customer Ed Nuggets
Hosted by Talented Learning CEO John Leh, the Customer Ed Nuggets podcast is a trusted source of advice, guidance and best practices for customer education professionals of all types. In this series of brief video and audio “nuggets” (each 10 minutes or less), I explore key topics with numerous guest experts.
We explore all facets of customer education, from how to build a persuasive business case, to effective strategies, technologies and content that help professionals create, deploy and grow successful customer-centered programs.
Follow the Customer Ed Nuggets Podcast
This content is available in a variety of formats for every learning preference. You can stay up-to-date with this podcast series through these channels:
Learn More About Customer Education
Explore related resources:
Learn More About Eurekos
To find out more about the Eurekos learning system, check out the vendor profile in our Learning Systems Directory — including my review, the product demonstration, case studies and more. Or visit the Eurekos website directly.
Need Expert Guidance to Find the Right LMS?
Looking for a new or improved system to support your ongoing customer training efforts? Be sure you make the right decision. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation with Talented Learning Founder and Lead Analyst, John Leh: