If you’re a regular reader you’re probably aware that I’m a practitioner and fan of lifelong learning. I love learning everything about everything from astronomy to history to geology to tree farming. There’s a list of about 50 core topics (and growing!) that currently interest me, and I try to learn one new thing every day in at least one of these categories.
Nowadays, founding Talented Learning has become my core topic. In addition to the creative aspects of researching, reporting and writing on extended enterprise learning technology topics, I’ve had to become knowledgeable and proficient on a whole series of topics I’ve ignored — starting a business, setting up and managing business IT, accounting, taxes, SEO, blogging and the business side of social media.
Like all learning, it’s fun to first learn something you didn’t know you didn’t know — and then go about getting to know it. I’ve hit that stage now with Talented Learning. I’ve put the framework in place and am now filling in the many gaps with formal and informal customer elearning.
Customer elearning is exactly what you think it is. You educate your prospects and customers, so that they will see the value in your products or services and purchase or purchase more. Corporations use customer learning to drive brand loyalty, cross-selling and customer success.
I’m really impressed by the quality of the content in the customer education space, and I’ve been making use of it. For example, yesterday I had a great experience with Caspio. I’m researching cloud-based databases that I can integrate into WordPress for Talented Learning research. This is one of those topics where I’m still trying to figure out what I need to know.
I clicked on a paid text ad that showed up in a Google search for “online databases.” This led me to a free trial screen with no options for any other information. Like you, I’m hesitant to sign-up for anything, even trials, until I’ve researched the website and feel familiar with the products, services and customers. Then if it makes sense, I’ll start a trial – if no credit card is required. Here is a screen capture of the landing page I stumbled upon:
Notice the simple yet effective marketing. “Sign Up and Start Building Today,” “Online Databases Made Simple,” “You’re 30 seconds away from a trial account,” and logos of reputable organizations such as Red Cross, Comcast and ESPN. All of these elements convinced me to consider the free trial. Since there were no other links to any other information, I took the plunge and signed up.
I immediately got a confirmation email with clear instructions and credentials to log onto my account. The email also immediately directed me to videos and written how-to guides so I could get smarter about the product. See a clip from email confirmation below:
I skipped the links from the email and logged into the site directly as a trial customer. Immediately on the entry page I was presented with a narrated demonstration video about how to get started. The video briefly introduced me to key topics and examples. In no time I was testing a real-life scenario by importing my spreadsheets into the tool. I learned about applications, forms, reports, embedding code and much more. Here is a screenshot of the Caspio homepage after I logged in:
Turns out, Caspio has a whole curriculum of these videos, so I spent about 90 minutes learning before I ever clicked in the upper right-hand corner to see how much the service cost. The $250/month fee is a little steeper than I need right now, but through elearning, Caspio got 90 minutes of my attention, plus this blog post. I won’t forget their name. I learned a lot. I would recommend their site to a friend. They have set the bar high for online or cloud database services in my research. Our business may very well grow into a need for this product in the near future, so my “welcome” tour was time well spent.
Caspio did all this through a strategy involving customer/prospect elearning. Customer education is a big business, and with good reason. Smarter customers = happy customers = purchasing customers.
Caspio is a great case study about how extended enterprise learning is different from employee learning. All through the process, marketing, learning and technology work together to attract, entice and engage me, so that I was nearly purchased this solution. Folks on their marketing team are focused on keywords, organic search visibility and paid advertising, just to get prospects in the door and then try to make them smarter and commit to a sale.
Who wouldn’t want to do this for their own company to get a competitive edge?
Thanks for reading!
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