Successful product companies have one thing in common: Happy customers.
Happy customers also have something in common: They know how to use the product in play.
The necessity of both of these outcomes is why customer education programs are becoming so popular.
What do all successful customer education programs have in common?
They’re built on the backs of customer education software (aka learning management systems).
What’s Customer Education?
Customer education is a strategy you can use to improve the customer experience through educational resources. These resources provide value to your customers by fostering their success, which ultimately increases customer loyalty. The best customer education programs are designed to impact measurable business metrics, such as product adoption, customer retention and LTV. For example, customer education could help a SaaS company teach its customers how to use its technology.
Why’s Customer Education Important?
It’s easy to forget, but customers don’t just automatically know how to use your products. This might be true for some types of products (most adults don’t really need to be taught how to use simple household items, for example), but when your product is a software application or some other kind of technology, customers are almost certainly going to need help learning how to use it — or at least take full advantage of it.
Even the folks who are especially tech-savvy and are able to pick up the basics on their own might need a tutorial or training course to get the full value of every feature.
So, why is customer education important? Because every customer, no matter their current comfort level with technology, can benefit from it in one way or another.
Let’s go over some more specific examples of the benefits of customer education:
Drives Product Adoption and Customer Engagement
Customers are much more likely to make your product a regular part of their lives when they understand how to use it and recognize the full value it can offer them.
Saves Time for the Customer Support Team
When the onboarding process goes smoothly, customers need less hand-holding later on. Customers who are confident in their product knowledge need to seek help from customer support less often, and this can save time for the customer support team.
Decreases Time to Value (TTV)
Customer education reduces time to value for the customer, which can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and reduce churn.
Maintaining a customer education academy with content that is highly relevant to your industry can lead to faster organic growth. By targeting customers as well as a wider audience with your product education materials, you can increase the visibility of your product and attract new prospects while also helping current customers get more value out of their products.
What’s Customer Education Software?
So, we know that there are a lot of different benefits of customer education software. A customer education program is an important part of a high-quality customer experience because it can reduce time to value for customers and equip them to get the most use from the products they purchase. Customer education can also save time for your customer support professionals and aid retention. One of the best ways to create the kind of customer education content that will bring about these benefits is by using customer education software.
But, what is customer education software?
It’s important to answer this question before we discuss the details of this type of technology any further.
Customer education software (sometimes called learning management software, or LMS) is a type of software that is used to manage online learning materials about your business’s products and services. A customer education platform makes it easy for businesses to deliver educational product content to their target audience.
Customer education software can make it easier for businesses to create and distribute educational content about products and services to customers. It can benefit both customers and businesses with the different advantages it provides.
Here are some more of the benefits of customer education software:
Easiest Content Creation
By using a customer education platform, you can make creating educational content much easier.
Aids Business Objectives
A robust customer education p[rogram can further overarching business goals like lowering churn and improving product adoption.
Seamless Content Delivery
Customer education software can make it possible to guide customers through personalized learning paths that give them the information they need when they need it.
Save Time and Money
When customers are well-educated about your products, they can become product experts who use up fewer support resources.
Types Of Customer Education Software
There are different types of customer education software.
The kind of software that is best for your business depends on your customer education strategy.
Here is a breakdown of some of the different types of software that you might consider using for your customer education program:
SaaS LMS (Cloud-based)
A SaaS (software as a service) customer education platform is the best option if you want to be able to set up your customer learning academy with the use of minimal development resources. A SaaS LMS is a good simple solution that allows you to quickly offer your customers several SaaS-based training courses. This type of software is hosted by a provider and different providers offer different levels of customization.
Installed LMS (On-premise LMS)
An installed LMS allows you to host your learning academy directly on your business’s servers. This option takes up a lot more storage space on your servers and can become very expensive to maintain, especially as your business expands. The positive side to this type of software is that it allows you more control of your customer education academy.
A custom-built LMS is the most expensive choice, but it also allows for the most customization. Building your own customer education platform (or hiring a third-party developer to build it for you) makes it possible to exercise control over every aspect of the software’s design.
Open-source customer education software is a great solution if you are looking for a cost-effective and flexible option. Open source customer education software is free to use and is highly customizable. The drawback is that you are pretty much on your own to actually make those customizations happen, so you or someone on your team will need to have some development expertise to pull it off.
Customer Education Software Features
There are all kinds of customer education software features that can improve your business’s learning academy. Here are some examples:
You can customize the learning experience by exercising control over nearly every aspect of the learning academy’s design.
Personalized learning paths guide customers along the best route through the training courses.
You can upload content in lots of different formats, including text, video, audio, visual presentations, and more.
You can embed custom surveys in your learning content to easily gather feedback about your customer education experience.
Custom Quizzes and Assignments
Quizzes and assignments are integrated into the learning interface and can be customized for your content.
Offering certifications to customers after they finish training courses can improve motivation and engagement.
Customer education software makes it easy to format learning material consistently from one location.
You can upload an entire library or training assets to be used for different learning activities.
Milestones can help ensure customers finish each piece of training content before moving on to the next one.
Website and Apps
You can embed links to courses on your website or apps so customers can access them easily.
Analytics and Custom Reports
Custom analytics make it easy to understand how your courses are working and how they aren’t.
You can use a customer education platform to translate your training content into multiple languages.
An online customer education platform can deliver content to customers no matter where they are in the world.
Cloud hosting makes it possible to scale your learning academy while maintaining a high-quality learning experience.
Learners can be notified when their data reaches a certain threshold with an alert system that detects significant changes in their data.
Best Customer Education Software
Looking for the best customer education software? Look no further than Gainsight Customer Education.
Gainsight is helping drive the future of customer education by offering customer education software that gives you total control over your product education strategy and enables full scalability as your business grows.
Gainsight has already helped some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world improve their customer education programs. With Gainsight Customer Education, you can easily upload content and customize the entire learning experience for your customers.
Using the best customer education software is the key to building a customer training academy that gets the results you’re looking for.