Gainsight is fortunate to help bolster the performance of many EdTech companies. When tasked with finding even more ways for Gainsight to serve companies better in this unique industry, I started by learning about the current Edtech landscape and the multiple future projections. The impact of COVID-19 on the EdTech space surfaced three recurring themes that companies should consider when planning their business strategy for next year:
- Personalizing the end-user experience
- Shifting and shrinking school budgets
- An influx of start-ups and investment support
1. Increasing Number of End-Users
COVID-19 has forced distanced learning, and many schools will remain fully or partially remote this fall. More virtual learning means an increase in the number of end-users EdTech companies are onboarding. Given the number of new learners, educators, and administrators needing onboarding, EdTech companies can ace adoption and grow value for their tool. A focus on seamless handoffs and a smooth onboarding helps ensure a positive customer experience and results in a healthy and happy new customer. At Gainsight, we do this through our Journey Orchestrator. With Journey Orchestrator, we’ve created automated onboarding workflows so that recipients receive the exact information they need at the most convenient time. Automated onboarding guarantees the same experience for all new end-users and saves us the resources we would’ve had to use for manual onboarding.
2. Shifting and Shrinking Budgets
New school and state guidelines mean schools are continually changing and rethinking their budgets. Although many schools will invest a larger percentage of their budgets into technologies and learning software, the trend is to decrease the number of EdTech tools they are using. With the increased pressure to consolidate tools, EdTech companies need to manage risks and prevent churn more than ever. Having accurate and easy to calculate health scores is a way to mitigate churn and quickly identify risks. At Gainsight, we use Health scores to trigger a “Risk CTA” or calls to action with a playbook associated with the given risk. This way, when a health score dips, a risk CTA is immediately set off so that the CSM can take the prescribed actions to help the customer with the indicated issue.
3. An influx of Start-Ups & Investment Support
Despite the economic downturn COVID brought, investors saw an opportunity in EdTech companies. EdSurge recently shared a study by Metaari, a company that tracks learning technology investments, showing $12 billion of capital investment in the EdTech space through the first half of 2020. As with any market, this boom may precede a bust, but until then, the competition for market share is going to increase. EdTech customers can combat competition by capturing as much wallet share as possible from their existing customers. This will be hard to do when there are limited in-person opportunities and minimal virtual conferences. The way to do this is knowing what opportunities there are for expansion and taking immediate action. At Gainsight, we capture wallet share opportunities by identifying customers that are maturing, creating opportunities for us to help them with other features and functionality (for EdTech, this would likely be for additional investment by schools).
Despite the many challenges the novel coronavirus has brought, EdTech companies can plan and strategize to create a successful business plan. One that prioritizes retaining and expanding with current clients and, more importantly, emphasizing learners can develop and grow both remotely or in the classroom.