At a Glance
Innovation holds the key to success for SaaS enterprises in the wake of the ever-increasing competition. But regular innovation and changes in features necessitate for SaaS enterprises to undertake customer education initiatives to effectively communicate the message to the customers. To educate customers regarding new products, features, or launches, SaaS enterprises must undertake intensive customer education initiatives.
Most of all, I discovered that to succeed with a product, you must truly get to know your customers and build something for them.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce
HubSpot Academy offers a variety of courses and certifications on SaaS marketing automation and sales. This is in addition to their regular products. The rationale behind this initiative is that as more and more users are educated regarding the intricacies of digital marketing; they recommend HubSpot as a preferred tool.
Technology Services Industry Association collected responses from more than 2,700 SaaS customers who had undertaken various software vendors’ training. The analysis revealed that customer education has a direct correlation with higher product usage.
The need for customer education comes when you’ve developed a competitive product; you believe the product has the edge over your competitors in the market. Your SaaS enterprise and your customers share the same motive, which is ‘customer satisfaction.’ The only way your product can deliver intended results to the customers is when they are entirely educated about the product’s utility. So, the real question is how you can provide the right customer training to achieve that, and in what way?
Customer education is a strategic business function of onboarding, engaging, and retaining new and pre-existing customers in the form where they can reap maximum value. The art of customer training must be considered as a systematic function and not merely an activity. In the initial stages, businesses approach customer training organically, where everyone invests in by training customers individually, writing support content, developing webinars, videos, podcasts, and beyond.
Until you do not approach customer education formally, which starts with a strategy, it will lead to inconsistency, redundancy of the same work, and an inconsistent customer journey. It is important to remind yourself that while customers get trained, they also want it to be easy.
So, what are the best practices and benefits of developing strategic customer programs? Let’s look deeper into it.
Best Practices For SaaS Customer Education And How Will They Benefit Your Business?
The purpose of creating successful customer education programs is to reduce the number of issues customers face while using your product. The right customer program increases customer satisfaction levels, reduces support ticket volumes, improves product adaptability, drives more leads, generates revenue from services, and much more.
Focus On Quick Onboarding And More Time Value
Onboarding customers is a business-critical aspect of driving growth. It is the educational activities you perform. As per many customer success reports, product adaptability has been the number one obstacle to the journey of a customer. The solution to this is straightforward – provide the customers with value during the early stages by offering engaging onboarding processes. Make a note of these pointers to execute this.
Always remember that the quicker users see value in your product, the higher are the chances they will adopt it smoothly. An optimal onboarding program ensures a low TVF rate.
The moment you start operating under low TVF rates, you will see the foundation of long-term adoption. A flow in your onboarding process will align with user maturity and their comfort level with your product.
The adaptability of your product and engagement will create space for an ongoing customer relationship – resulting in customer renewals or expansions.
● A lifetime Experience
Especially for SaaS enterprises and other industries, lifetime value is determined by the volume of active, engaged users who are properly educated about the value of the product and are daily users of that product.
Provide Incremental Flexibility And Accessibility
When you are getting started with a customer education program implementing instructor-led training will be systematic and effective. However, in the greater scheme of things, on-demand training is what will drive maximum business. An on-demand training program enables customers to get educated about your product anytime and anywhere. Users are no more restricted in geography, room-capacity, time slots, and other similar obstacles. Customers can start, pause, and resume training as and when required.
Instructor-led training might vary for different customers. At the same time, an on-demand training program will ensure that the quality of customer education is consistent across the globe. An on-demand education program will also allow you to categorize training in terms of role type, product needs, and depth of product knowledge.
Reduce Training Costs
Even though Instructor-led training has its perks, there are limitations to it. Suppose your business is sending an instructor via flight or a vehicle every time a customer needs to be onboarded. In that case, it significantly increases your upfront costs since it includes flight costs, accommodation, food, transportation, so on and so forth.
Compared to ILT scaling on-demand training equates to utilizing the available time, money, and resources more wisely. The costs of developing on-demand training material are always lower than ILT, and also, the material can be provided scalable and unrestrictedly. So, the best way to add value to your customer education is to reduce ILT costs.
Reduced Support Ticket Frequency
The major pitfall of responding to the same concerns and query repetitively. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also results in reduced productivity. The strategic approach then is to devise training content that targets the key problem areas and diminishes the training team’s burden. In this way, CSMs will receive fewer support tickets and invest more time addressing and resolving fresh and unique issues. This will also ensure higher productivity levels and aid in achieving quicker response time.
Invest More In Your Customer Success Managers
Whatever the size of your organization, your customer success team can dedicate time to each customer, individually. However, each account requires a unique approach in terms of onboarding and support. Your customer success team in the early stages will invest a notable number of hours in training customers. But as the company expands and adds more users into its customer, this very activity becomes tedious and inefficient due to inadequate workload distributed amidst different CSMs.
In such a case, you can always invest in your customer success team by hiring more CSMs. Secondly, you can scale your productivity by providing online courses in the form of on-demand training. The purpose of on-demand training is to reduce the number of customer touchpoints and enable the team to function optimally and with a sense of control. Thirdly, managers can focus more on high-value propositions.
The result of a solid customer education program is improved retention and renewal rates. When a customer is thoroughly educated about your product, he learns how to churn value out of it. And when a customer finally understands how to derive value from your product upon consistent usage, he/she is bound to renew contracts and might also opt for a lifetime utility of your product. Striving to build a strategic customer education brings loyalty and trust from the customer’s end.