Businesses spend millions of dollars each year in building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. But according to a study published by Salesforce, none of this is possible without effective customer onboarding. Their 2016 State of Marketing report found that nearly 73% of marketers believed that effective customer journeys that begin with onboarding positively impact overall engagement. In fact, establishing a customer journey is now the second biggest priority for marketers.
Effective customer onboarding can only happen when there is a clear purpose. Some experts believe that onboarding as a stand-alone process is ineffective unless it is accompanied by regular customer training. Training your customers to use the latest features is one of the most effective ways to keep them engaged with your product. This improves satisfaction and also creates a usability barrier between your product and those of competitors that contributes to an increase in loyalty.
The effectiveness of this strategy however lies with how well you execute your customer training program. Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts with respect to customer training.
Do: Understand Customer Expectation
Customer training needs to be done on the basis of what the learner wants and expects from the product. For instance, a customer who buys an ERP software to manage their procurement needs will specifically need training regarding this use-case. Providing them a complete lowdown on the product and its features may be ineffective and a waste of resources. Talk to your customers and identify their specific goals with the product before drafting a training program.
Don’t: Make It Generic
Effective customer training is only possible when your program is personalized and targeted at the specific learner. Businesses that seek to understand customer expectations often find that there are dozens of different use-cases for a product. In such cases, it is not uncommon for the trainer to build a training package targeting each of these different expectations. That however makes it generic and unpalatable. For best results, keep your training program short and extremely personalized to each of your customers.
Do: Shorter Is Better
Customers, just like everybody else, have very short attention spans. Onboarding them with tons of information about the product can not only overwhelm them, but also render the entire process ineffective. Marketers must instead rely on imparting bite-sized learning techniques. Learning is proven to be more effective when they are delivered in small nuggets of 3 to 6 minutes in length. This length is considered optimal since it is long enough to describe a feature or demo a use-case, yet short enough to retain your customer’s attention.
Don’t: Focus On Real-Time
Real-time learning techniques are passe. Be it classroom training or webinar based learning systems, real-time learning is never ideal. Most businesses today deal with an international clientele. In addition to this, expecting a customer’s full attention at a predetermined time and place is not realistic. For maximum ROI, marketers must focus on ‘anytime learning’. Cloud-based mobile learning tools make it possible for customers to access your learning packages from anywhere and anytime. This makes it possible for customers to access your lessons when they want it, and not always when you want them to.
Do: Update Regularly
Modern day eLearning tools are cloud-based and make it possible for businesses to constantly update their courses. Given the fast pace at which every industry moves, your customers may need constant retraining of your product features. Building a training program should not be a one-time process and must be undertaken on a regular basis.
Don’t: Keep Your Course In A Silo
Your training programs must be one part of a larger customer engagement and satisfaction strategy. This requires you to go beyond your line of call in providing customers what they want. In other words, your training program should not be restricted to just your product or service, but should also expand towards helping your customer in their professional growth and improve their understanding of their respective industries. This helps your business achieve the prime objective of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.