3 Tips To Optimize Online Training For Your B2B Customers


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Unlike B2C, most customers in the B2B industry require training after a sales has been made. The objective of this training is to create ‘product experts’ in the customers’ company who will in turn train their colleagues and new inductees on using your product. Given that B2B markets are often low volume, but high value businesses, it is important that you help the customers learn all the different ways to use your product so that they derive maximum benefit out of it.

Before we discuss the actual tips to making your B2B online customer training programs successful, one thing needs to be emphasized though – not all training programs need to be explicitly that. In his book, ‘The Design Of Everyday Things’, author Donald Norman introduces the term ‘affordances’ – these are subtle features in the product that program the customers to function in a certain way. For instance, marketing messages that say “door buster sales” actually train the customers to push, shove and trample fellow customers while making the purchase. So, by designing your product the right way, your business can minimize training through the use of affordances.

Design A Launch Page To Explain Features : What is the first thing your customer sees after installing your product? A number of businesses make the mistake of not designing a launch screen that will take the user through the various features. This does not have to be a manual. Instead, it could be a series of popover messages that point to the various sections and features on your product that the user will have to navigate through before they can start to use the product. By designing such an affordance, you can minimize one of the frequently asked question from new customers – “So how do I start using this thing?”

Affordance To Prioritize Online Training : The above launch page does not help all customers out. It is either because such launch screens cannot answer all questions that new customers have, or because a good number of customers assume they know stuff and so run through the launch screens without actually reading through them. A common occurrence at this stage is such customers pinging customer support for little details about using the product. Typically, this is despite training programs scheduled for such customers with company representatives. A good idea is to replace the regular ‘Customer Support’ links for new customers with a message that says something on the lines of ‘Have questions to ask during your webinar scheduled for Feb 20? Enter them here’ – You may also complement this message with additional FAQs and instruction manuals. But make sure to include links to the customer service desk so that critical issues that are not resolved from the other channels may be sent here.

Record Your Webinars For Future Use : Depending on the number of customers you sign up and the type of product you offer, you may either launch a weekly webinar to train customers, or have one-on-one meetings to teach and train individual customers. Regardless of how you do it, always make it a point to record these conversations through services like ClickWebinar or Skype recording plugins. Overtime, these videos may be assorted to build one master training program that can replace your typical one-on-one chats with comprehensive training program for your customers. This frees up your employee’s time and thus enables you to achieve higher productivity.

Online customer training programs may be a time sink if you do not monitor them. Besides, a significantly huge chunk of customers have more or less the same kind of queries. By optimizing your training modules and deploying appropriate affordances, you may make sure that customers learn the product on the job and do not need your help in getting started. What are some strategies you have used to train your customers? Tell them in the comments below.


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