Is High Tech / Low Touch the Answer to Your Customer Success Challenges?
Has your Customer Success (CS) Team gotten to the point where they:
- Are tired of teaching the same thing over and over?
- Don’t have the capacity to train all of the people who need to learn?
- Want more time to build relationships with their customers?
- Want more time to help their customers strategically?
Then perhaps it’s time to take a look at how Customer Education can SCALE Customer Success.
Low Touch Solutions
Customer Success is a high-touch solution for helping customers achieve their goals. This means that scaling Customer Success requires CS team members working more, hiring more CS professionals, or finding a low touch solution.
Customer Success leaders want to scale with “High Tech / Low Touch” solutions. The good news is Customer Education professionals are the most prepared to put the requisite component parts together. The purpose of a Customer Education program is to help many users get the maximum value of the product.
Educate Your Customers at Scale
Don’t start with High-Tech!
While high-tech is certainly going to be a huge part of the solution to train at scale in the medium to long term, it is not the starting point. Start with a simpler approach. Map the customer journey to determine and document the steps customers need to onboard effectively. Then, get feedback from your Customer Success, Customer Service, and customers. Finally, iterate the onboarding, learning, adoption, and growing process.
Honebein & Cammarano, 2005 (as cited in Huprich, 2020)
It’s about How to Educate Your Customers
Customer Education is a holistic approach to help users get value from a product. It can include any mixture of text-based guides (printed or electronic), instruction (live and self-paced), graphics, videos, simulations, virtual labs, in-app tours, and certifications. Ultimately, Customer Education and Customer Success have the same goal. As Skilljar defines it: to onboard, engage, and retain your new and existing customers….”
Skilljar defines Customer Education as: “content to onboard, engage, and retain your new and existing customers….”
The Customer Education Roadmap explains that whether you are starting with a whole new company or just a new product, you have to build training and education from a solid base. Let employees and first adopters use a Getting Started Guide or go through Instructor-Led Training. Get their feedback immediately. Then, you can use this validated content to build videos and other self-paced resources.
Why is Customer Education the Answer?
Users need guidance. Even with a great product, that is easy to use, with great guides and videos, users can get confused and frustrated without the right support at the right time. They want assurance that they are doing the right thing. Customer Education can deliver appropriate role-based learning paths.
How is Customer Education Different from Customer Success?
While Customer Success works with individuals from client companies and may provide some training, Customer Education’s mission is to help many people learn to use products. It provides learning paths, along with job aids, so that new and experienced users can take the next step to use the product in more efficient and productive ways.
Is Customer Education the High-Tech Answer?
Certainly, Customer Education is responsible for creating electronically hosted self-paced learning, and it may help implement in-app tours, email drip training, and even help desk articles. Customer Education is the team that can pull these resources together to make right content available at the right time.
Also, not all content is equal. As Julia Huprich, Ph.D. found in her Ph.D. thesis, most (85%) senior Customer Education leaders needed Instructional Design backgrounds, meaning they understood that effective training must include sound instructional design that applies Adult Learning principles. Learners need curricula whose sole purpose is to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible and is concise (no-fluff).
Low Touch – Not Necessarily No Touch
While users need the convenience of self-service and self-directed learning. Sometimes they need the human connection to learn. Trainers can be important guides along the way. Bill Cushard points out that leading training companies are “… recognizing the value of instructor expertise in helping people learn emerging software.”
Leading training companies are “… recognizing the value of instructor expertise in helping people learn emerging software..” [Bill Cushard]
Ultimately, customers’ success depends on great synergy between a company’s Customer Education and Customer Success.
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