Customer Training: Why User Knowledge Is Essential to Success
Organizations understand that they’re unlikely to get a competitive edge without a highly trained workforce. An effective employee training program can bolster your workforce and lead to greater productivity, retention, and profitability within the business—but all that hard work won’t mean much unless you continue to grow your client base.
Ultimately, providing a service to customers is the reason your business does what it does. A customer training program—also known as extended enterprise training—can be what separates your organization from the competition. Read on to learn more about customer training and how to use a learning management system (LMS) to make it happen for your business.
What Is Customer Training?
In simple terms, customer training is a way for your company to support clients. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organization, you should provide customers with the materials, information, and guidance they need to successfully use your product or service.
There are a lot of ways for companies to deliver customer training. It can include on-demand learning modules or the creation of a digital learning library with helpful references. Guided, self-paced, and hybrid learning materials and programs can easily be disseminated in an online environment. It really depends on the nature of your business and the needs of your customers.
A common example of customer training is guided onboarding. Think of a company that offers software as a service (SaaS). The only way for this company’s customers to see immediate benefits from a software purchase is for the customers to fully understand the basic features of their new software. That’s where customer training comes in. The SaaS company would provide its customers with a guided onboarding program that explains the software features and helps flatten the client’s learning curve.
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Why Is Customer Training Important?
A great customer training program benefits both the clients and the organization. Customer training typically means clients become familiar with a product or service much more quickly than they would without proper onboarding. It also means clients will implement the product more quickly, leading to a boost in their operational efficiency.
The businesses that invest in customer training initiatives also acquire a potential additive to their revenue stream through additional product or service training and courses. These organizations are likely to gain a dedicated following of clients who help drive future success through word-of-mouth advertising. After all, knowledgeable clients are happier clients!
Below are more reasons why customer training is important to a successful business.
1) Strengthened Brand Positioning
Customer experience is a key consideration for many (if not most) businesses today. One survey found that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs. When your company invests in customer training, it is also investing in a superior customer service experience. Ultimately, this will result in many returning customers—some of whom will actively advocate for your brand and refer others to your product or service.
2) Client Retention
Ensuring that your clients have the knowledge they need to effectively use your product or service means that there is less hinderance to product adoption. When your clients are using your product to its full potential, they will receive the most value. This directly impacts whether a customer will remain a client. Customers that struggle to use a product or gain adoption are less likely to remain clients.
3) Increased Revenue
An exceptional customer experience—bolstered by customer training—will lead to a higher customer retention rate. That's good news for your company, since it costs approximately five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. In addition, the top 10% of your customers may spend three times as much on your product or service than an average customer would.
4) Decreased Costs
A well-designed customer training program can reduce overall costs. For example, customers that are trained to use a certain product won't have to frequently contact your company representatives for additional support. This can free up your support agents for other tasks.
5) Enhanced Innovation
When your customer training program includes features that promote user feedback and collaboration, you may receive a steady stream of suggestions for improvement. This will encourage continual innovation, and over time may lead you to develop more efficient business processes or more practical product features.
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How a Learning Management System Can Help
Implementing a well-designed LMS can help you deliver exceptional customer training quickly, systematically, and efficiently. An LMS can provide the following key advantages to a customer training program.
An LMS is a centralized, easily accessible location to hold all your training documents and courses. This saves you from having learning materials scattered across different files or platforms and enables your customers to quickly find the appropriate materials for their needs within a virtual hub and without wasting time and energy.
2) Efficient Content Delivery
Products, software programs, and services are constantly being refined, updated, and adjusted to meet the ever-changing needs of the market. One of the outstanding advantages that an LMS offers in this regard is the ability to seamlessly update learning materials and deliver them to the end-user. This means that customers will be able to quickly learn about user interface updates, new program features, and adjustments in the service process.
3) Flexible Learning Methodology
Customer training should, as a rule, be offered to end-users on their terms. A high-quality LMS will meet this need by offering different learning methods to customers. For instance, some customers prefer formal learning, such as through a training module or course, whereas others prefer informal learning methods, like social learning. An LMS allows you to diversify content and resources for an engaging and effective training experience.
4) Measurable Success
The beauty of an LMS is that once you’ve set expectations for your customers and have defined your key performance indicators (KPIs), it's relatively easy to gather the performance data you need to measure your program’s success. For example, you can see which modules are most frequently accessed by customers, which may indicate a pressing need in user education around the topics covered by those modules.
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Customer training is an excellent way to promote brand loyalty, drive customer retention, and increase revenue—and a well-designed LMS provides an effective and engaging way to deliver any type of customer training program.Request a demo today and learn more about the impact that an open-source LMS can have on your business and customer success.