Some products are simpler to explain than others. Whether it’s due to its complexity, its underlying technology, the related concepts, or a higher level of innovation, sometimes you need to go one step further in terms of education for both demand and lead generation and to increase product usage and customer retention.
When dealing with a hard to explain product, you need to double down your efforts in terms of explaining your product, its benefits, how it can help your target audience and, of course, how to use it. This means, you need to bet on a two-pronged approach of both product and skills training.
Product training is all about explaining how to use your product, what will it help you accomplish and best practices to get the most of it.
Skills training will help you develop your prospects and customers’ knowledge on concepts and skills that will help them truly understand the value your product provides and have a practical knowledge of why they need it. This will help you both in generating demand and in increasing product usage.
Let’s use a practical example. Imagine you have a top of the line B2B Cybersecurity software and need to plan for customer education in the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Demand and Lead Generation
Cybersecurity, although not being a completely unfamiliar concept to most people that use the internet – or watch the news - has a lot of associated concepts and implications that sometimes only the experts are aware of. Besides that, different levels of users will need different types of awareness and explanation on how this can affect them, their team and their work.
So, when planning your training to attract potential buyers, it’s important to focus your training on topics that will make decision makers aware that their companies may be at risk of a cyberattack, the different types of cyberattacks and how they take place, ways they can prevent it at different levels (user, manager, IT…) and then introduce your product - in this example your cybersecurity software - as the solution they need.
On one hand you are helping your potential buyers realise this is an actual issue, starting the conversation about cybersecurity in their organizations and positioning your company as a helpful industry leader to whom they can reach out to for answers – and solutions - regarding this topic.
Read more about why having a brand academy helps improve marketing and sales KPIs in this article.
At this stage, you are dealing with customers that already realized they needed help and will now start using your product. The onboarding stage is crucial for the entire relationship with your customers and has a big influence on usage and retention.
When you are planning your onboarding training programme, it’s important to consider three areas of approach: company related training, that includes your mission, vision, your team and how you work – to create ties and a closer relationship; product training, now with more detail on how to use the different features that are available 24/7 if your customers need to go back to them at any point; and skills training, now in a way that is more focused on skills that will help your customers get the most of your product and be it more successfully use it.
Product usage and Customer retention
It’s important to point out that training shouldn’t end with the onboarding process. It should be ongoing and continuously updated. One of the churn red flags is the lack of product adoption usage. So, how can you prevent that? With customer training.
If your customers know how to use your product and how important it is for their work, they are less likely to leave you. Besides keeping your training updated and releasing new helpful courses that will help your customer keep leveraging your (new) features and possibilities, there are a few operational and technical things to consider.
One key success factor is to make your training available to entire universe of users within each client. This will keep everyone up to date and your customers’ new employees will be able to take your course as part of their own onboarding to the company. Also, if your main point of contact changes, your company and product won’t be a forgotten legacy.
Another important thing to consider is to make sure your customers can access your training at any time, whenever they need or want it, as this will boost usage time. If your customer needs to use your product but can’t find the help they need, they will get frustrated and abandon the task. This means, betting on a digital training platform that will allow your training content to be available 24/7, and provide the same branded experience to all customers.
Bet on video
You can leverage the power of video through its different formats. When you need to explain complex products and concepts, using different video formats will allow you to convey your message in a more effective way. For example, if you want to explain a software, you can use screen-casting to explain intangible concepts; animations and graphics will be very helpful to convey specialized information; to maintain a human touch at a distance you can use a presenter; you can film on location, and so on.
You may also find interesting:
10 tips to create a user guide course that increases product usage (article)
How to create the perfect user guide for SaaS (article)
Why customer Training drives product adoption (article)
The courses you need for great customer onboarding (article)
Stop churn: Why customer education is key to success (article)
12 tips to choose the right training platform (article)
5 reasons customer leave and 5 tips to prevent it (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you use training throughout the entire customer journey? Let's talk.