Churn is the enemy of every customer-focused business, which is why customer education is a vital part of acquiring and maintaining customers. Used properly, customers will help power product adoption while improving the individual customer’s overall experience. Along with those benefits, you can also see improved customer satisfaction and engagement, increased customer loyalty and a brand that people trust.
One of the most important aspects of developing a successful customer education program is to set training objectives. These are essentially measurable goals built into your program to best ensure your customers get the most out of the training program you create for them.
Why Are Training Objectives Important for Learning & Development Teams?
Learning and Development teams have a sizable task ahead of them when it comes to customizing your customer education initiative that will help their end users easily understand and successfully use their product. A successful design and strategy makes customers feel welcome and interested, all while improving usage rates and satisfaction. A well-thought-out education program enables you to track and guide your customers from the outset while preparing them for what may lie ahead.
Clearly, training objectives are of great importance. To start, they create a roadmap that helps maneuver customers toward specific and intended outcomes. But on a broader level, they deliver a host of benefits to both the customer and the learning and development team.
On the customer side, training objectives create a purpose for their efforts. A customer isn’t going to enjoy — or even participate in — a customer education experience if they don’t feel like they don’t know what they will get out of it. With training objectives in place, the customer will understand exactly why they’re going through the process. When they understand what they’re trying to achieve, the customer can see that the work is worth the reward.
What’s more, training objectives enable customers to measure and improve their performance. They can see what they’ve learned, and they’ll have a clear idea of why they’ve learned it.
On the learning and development side of things, training objectives serve as a guide in course creation. They enable the team to understand what the customer needs to know, which then informs the way the lesson or course is designed.
Training objectives also give Learning and Development teams the insight they need to best assess customer outcomes, meaning they can design a customer education course that clearly measures and defines individual customer progress. That way, the learning experience can be designed for maximum effect, as well as be easily adjusted to correct any part that is giving the customer trouble.
Plus, training objectives enable Learning and Development teams to better manage their resources. Instead of throwing every tiny bit of information at the customer, the teams can instead focus on what’s most important and cut out anything that doesn’t line up with the objectives. In the end, this saves them time and minimizes cost, especially from Support and Customer Success teams.
How to Set and Measure Training Objectives
To get the most out of the customer education you’re developing and to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment, you must identify the ideal training objectives that get the most out of your customer’s entire lifecycle — and can be measured to generate a successful outcome.
One of the most effective ways to identify your training objectives is to turn to Bloom’s taxonomy. This well-tested theory is based around a set of six specific cognitive learning levels:
- Knowledge: This revolves around customers recognizing facts or basic product concepts without necessarily knowing what they mean. It’s a building block to future levels.
- Comprehension: Here, customers begin to demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge they’ve taken in through organization, summarization, generalization and more.
- Application: At this stage, the customer is able to use the knowledge they’ve acquired to solve problems and recognize how their knowledge can be applied to new situations.
- Analysis: This is where customers start to understand how the different pieces of product information fit together as a whole.
- Synthesis: Here, the customer takes the analyzed information and develops new thoughts/knowledge on their own.
- Evaluation: Finally, customers know your product well enough to make judgments about what you’re teaching them.
Central to working with Bloom’s taxonomy is the use of action verbs in the formation of your customer education initiative. Learning and Development teams can use action verbs to tailor their training objective statements in a way that neatly clarifies exactly what the customer should have learned by the time they’ve completed their training.
And, most importantly, by identifying your training objectives in this manner, you can craft a lesson or course that produces measurable results at each stage, ensuring your customers are getting the most out of their experience from start to finish.
To achieve measurable training objectives, make sure they concisely describe meaningful actions to be taken by the customer and that the actions they are meant to provoke are observable. And, whenever possible, make it so the customer is able to see an assessment of their own performance.
Want to learn more about how to set your own training objectives for customer education?