What is Customer Education? Strategies + Tools (2024)

Struggling to keep customers engaged and loyal? Customer education is the key. Find out how it clarifies product value and creates lasting customer relationships that fuel business growth.

What you'll learn in this article:

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Struggling to keep customers engaged and loyal? Customer education is the key.

Find out how it clarifies product value and creates lasting customer relationships that fuel business growth. We’ll show you the strategies that work and the impact they have, all without overselling or unnecessary fluff.

What we will learn together:

  • Customer education is a crucial strategy for businesses, leading to faster onboarding, reduced support costs, increased product adoption, and strengthened brand loyalty. It involves identifying customer segments, creating appropriate content, and using an effective customer education platform.
  • A successful customer education program requires a dedicated team, including a customer education lead, subject matter experts, instructional designers, and technical support. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer engagement, product adoption rate, and customer retention rate are vital for monitoring the program's success.
  • Disco LMS is a leading platform that supports customer education programs, providing a robust set of tools for creating engaging, personalized, and effective educational content. It's trusted by top businesses worldwide for enhancing their customer training initiatives.

What is Customer Education?

Simply put, customer education is the process of providing learning content to customers to help them understand, adopt, and effectively use a product or service. This process is far from a one-time event. Instead, it’s a continuous journey that evolves throughout the customer lifecycle, from onboarding to customer success and retention.

Illustration of a customer engaging with educational content

For businesses offering complex products or services, customer education is essential. It supports customer acquisition and retention by imparting necessary knowledge and skills, enabling them to understand and value the offerings. It’s a testament to the adage, “Knowledge is power.” The more your customers know about your product or service, the more value they can derive from it, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

What is a Customer Lifecycle?

The customer lifecycle, which is closely related to the customer journey, is an integral part of any business strategy, encompassing stages such as awareness, consideration, purchase, onboarding, retention, and advocacy.

Source: QuestionPro's Customer Journey

Customer education, also known as customer training, plays a pivotal role at every stage of this lifecycle, making it an indispensable tool for businesses aiming for consistent growth.

During the initial stages of the customer lifecycle, customer education helps in understanding a company’s products or services, thereby affecting the purchasing decision. It plays a crucial role in the onboarding stage, expediting the time to launch, and enabling new customers to derive practical value from the product more quickly.

As customers mature, customer education boosts product adoption, leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention. Hence, a well-executed customer education program can notably influence customer acquisition and retention rates.

Customer Education Program -> Customer Community

Customer education forms the foundation of effective customer relationship management. It accelerates the onboarding process and motivates maximum product usage by enhancing customers’ understanding of the product’s value. It also contributes to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Beyond these immediate benefits, taking the time to educate customers fosters trust and cultivates a dedicated customer base, minimizing customer support requests, and enhancing overall customer satisfaction. This leads to the reinforcement of brand loyalty, transforming customers into advocates who are more than willing to recommend your product or service to others.

An effective customer education program, which includes a customer training program, can notably boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, contributing to sustained business success.

Expert Tip: If you want a well-executed customer education program, then we highly recommend you build a customer community, which serves as a good strategy to increase retention rates and lead acquisitions. Most successful brands have built a robust customer community which leads them to success!

Benefits of Customer Education Programs

Customer education programs offer numerous benefits that stretch beyond just educating customers. By fostering customer success, these programs can reduce support costs, increase product adoption, and strengthen brand loyalty among customers.

Among the many benefits of customer education programs, one of the most notable is their capacity to:

  • Reinforce brand loyalty and advocacy
  • Improve the customer’s experience
  • Foster stronger brand loyalty
  • Boost sales
  • Establish the brand as a reputable authority in the industry

A robust customer education program can notably influence customer loyalty and advocacy, resulting in heightened brand awareness and market share.

1. Faster Onboarding and Reduced Support Costs

A well-implemented customer education program can notably speed up the onboarding process. By streamlining the onboarding process and imparting knowledge about the product or service to customers, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and retention.

Moreover, customer education programs can also lead to:

  • Reduced support costs
  • Equipping customers with the necessary information and resources to effectively utilize products or services
  • Decrease in support tickets and overall costs
  • Saving resources
  • Enhancing the customer’s overall experience

2. Increased Product Adoption and Engagement

Another prime advantage of customer education programs is their capacity to boost product adoption and engagement. By providing customers with the necessary knowledge to effectively utilize the product, these programs ensure that customers are using the product to its full potential, leading to higher product adoption.

Moreover, customer education programs empower customers to learn at their convenience, leading to heightened satisfaction and reduced time to value. The result is a customer who not only understands the product but is also more engaged and likely to remain loyal to the brand.

3. Strengthened Brand Loyalty and Advocacy

Illustration of customers becoming brand advocates

Customer education programs can have a significant influence on reinforcing brand loyalty. By providing quality educational content, businesses can foster trust among their customers. This trust ultimately leads to enhanced customer loyalty and retention.

Furthermore, well-informed new and existing customers are more likely to:

  • Become brand advocates who share positive experiences and recommendations, thereby increasing brand awareness and respect for the business
  • Generate positive word-of-mouth marketing for the brand
  • Attract new customers.

How Successful Brands Strategize Their Customer Education Programs

A successful customer education strategy isn’t merely about generating a myriad of content. It involves a concerted effort to understand your customer base, identify their learning needs, and deliver the right content most effectively.

Every step, from identifying customer segments, and selecting appropriate content types, to setting metrics and goals, contributes significantly to the formation of a robust customer education program. Let’s delve into these steps a bit more.

Step #1: Identify Customer Segments

The initial step in building a successful customer education program is identifying customer segments. By analyzing customer data to detect patterns in behavior, preferences, and engagement levels, businesses can create personalized educational content that caters to the unique needs and requirements of each segment.

Understanding your customer segments also allows you to:

  • Tailor your education program to address the interests and needs of each group
  • Result in a more impactful and successful education program
  • Create a personalized strategy that leads to higher levels of engagement, adoption, and retention of the product or service.

Step #2: Choose the Right Content Types

Choosing the right types of content for your customer education program is as crucial as understanding your customer segments. A variety of content types like online academies, knowledge bases, certifications, video tutorials, and online courses can cater to the diverse learning preferences of your customers.

The content should be clear, easy to understand, visually appealing, and relevant to the customer’s needs, enhancing the learning experience and ensuring resonance with your audience.

Expert Tip: With Disco's diverse content formats and interactive elements, you can easily personalize educational content according to your customer segments. For instance, you can organize events for customers who are new to your brand explaining the basics of your products; while you can create an advanced course for customers who have been using your products for more than a year.

Step #3: Engage Customers with a Community

Engaging customers with a community is a powerful strategy to foster a sense of belonging and commitment to your products and services. A thriving customer community provides a platform for customers to interact, share experiences, and learn from each other.

This engagement not only encourages customers to use your products and services more effectively and frequently, but it also fosters a sense of loyalty and long-term value. The community becomes a hub of shared knowledge and support, making your products and services an integral part of the customer's experience.

A key concept to understand when building a customer community is the 'Community Flywheel'. The Community Flywheel is a model that illustrates how community engagement can drive business growth and consists of 4 stages: discover, create, engage, and grow.

Explore how to build a sustainable community with our learning community playbook for free download.

Step #4: Establish Key Metrics and Goals

Setting distinct metrics and goals is essential for monitoring the success of your strong customer education program. These metrics provide data-driven insights into user behavior and program impact, which can help in optimizing the program.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the following can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the customer education program:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Churn
  • Customer Engagement
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
  • Onboarding Completion Rate
  • Product Adoption Rate
  • Customer Retention Rate
  • Support Ticket volume

Expert Tip: You can significantly enhance your customer training by leveraging a customer education platform like Disco. Beyond content creation, Disco also provides robust analytics and integration capabilities. Businesses can use these features to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer engagement, product adoption rate, and customer retention rate.

This data-driven approach allows businesses to continually refine their customer education programs, ensuring they are effectively meeting their customers' needs and driving business growth.

Step #5: Assemble a Winning Customer Education Team

Illustration of building a successful customer education strategy

Similar to a well-oiled machine that needs all its components for efficient operation, a successful customer education program needs a competent team. This team typically includes:

  • A customer education lead
  • Subject matter experts
  • Instructional designers
  • Technical support
  • Customer success (optional, though can be a good add-on to create customer-centric learning programs

Each member plays a crucial role in the success of the program. Let’s delve into these roles a bit more.

Customer Education Lead - Team's Captain

The customer education lead acts as the team’s captain. They oversee the program, ensuring it aligns with business goals and meets customer needs. Their responsibilities involve establishing and overseeing the customer education program, including developing and leading various customer education initiatives.

The ideal candidate for a Customer Education Lead role should possess a bachelor’s degree in Education, Instructional Design, or a related field, along with at least 2 years of experience in customer education. Some of the time, they could also be eLearning developer, learning program managers, and so on.

Key skills essential for a Customer Education Lead comprise of proficient communication abilities, adeptness in creating impactful training programs, and a thorough comprehension of learning behaviors.

Subject Matter Experts and Instructional Designers

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Instructional Designers form the core of the customer education team. They work hand-in-hand to create engaging and informative content for the education program.

SMEs bring in-depth knowledge of specific areas and consistently address problems and challenges. Instructional Designers, on the other hand, use their pedagogical expertise and design skills to craft a well-structured learning experience based on the information provided by SMEs.

Technical Support

Last but not least, technical support ensures the smooth functioning of the customer education platform and addresses any technical issues that may arise. They play a crucial role in providing knowledge to customer support representatives regarding the technical aspects of products or services.

Moreover, technical support helps maintain the customer education platform, ensuring customers can effectively engage with educational resources. By providing rapid issue resolution and enabling a wider reach of training through robust maintenance, technical support can significantly reduce the number of support tickets and enhance the overall customer experience.

Step #6: Choose the Perfect Customer Education Software

Selecting the appropriate customer education software is an important step in constructing a successful customer education program. The perfect software should be scalable, offer a good user experience, and have robust integrations and analytics.

Let’s delve into the following checklist:

✔️ Technical scalability ensures the software can accommodate the customer education program’s growth while maintaining functionality. A scalable software allows for seamless updates and adaptations to product offerings, industry trends, and evolving customer requirements.

Moreover, scalable software ensures that customers have continuous access to the most up-to-date information and training, accommodating the influx of new customers and supporting overall growth.

✔️ User Experience. The software’s user experience can notably influence customer engagement. Software that is intuitive and user-friendly can foster engagement, encourage active learning, and make learning a pleasant experience.

Key aspects of a good user experience in customer education software include personalization, an intuitive user interface, easy navigation, and responsive design. These features not only enrich the learning experience but also ensure that the learning management system software is user-friendly and enjoyable.

✔️ Integrations and Analytics. Finally, integrations and analytics are vital for monitoring the customer education program’s impact on customer health and engagement. By integrating with other systems and providing robust community analytics, the software can offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of the program.

Moreover, integrations can enhance the overall customer experience by streamlining processes such as customer onboarding, reducing the number of support tickets, and supplying self-service resources.

In summary, customer education is an essential strategy for businesses in today’s digital age. By equipping customers with the necessary knowledge and skills, businesses can enhance product adoption, increase customer satisfaction, and foster brand loyalty.

A successful customer education program involves a winning team, a scalable platform, and a data-driven strategy. By leveraging these elements, businesses can not only educate their customers but also empower them to become brand advocates.

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DISCO - The #1 Customer Education Platform

Disco LMS is a leading platform that fully supports customer education programs, delivering top-notch services to businesses worldwide. Recognized for its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface, Disco is the go-to platform for many top businesses seeking to enhance their customer training initiatives.

This platform provides a robust set of tools that enable businesses to create engaging, personalized, and effective educational content. From interactive elements to diverse content formats, Disco ensures that your customer education program is not only educational but also enjoyable and impactful.

Dribbble is a renowned digital platform for designers. Dribbble utilized Disco to launch their cohort-based courses, aiming to attract more designers to use Dribbble as a marketplace. The result was a successful customer education program that not only educated users but also increased Dribbble's user engagement and market presence.

This success story is a testament to Disco's capabilities as a top-tier customer education platform, trusted by businesses worldwide. Start your successful journey of creating your customer education programs like Dribble with Disco's 14-day free trial! Meanwhile, book a demo with us if you have inquiries about using the platform.

Published on
January 22, 2024
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