Original published February 23, 2017 on Business Wire.
Part of the process of creating customer education programs is to know what happens after participants take the training. Metrics are a good way of analyzing how the program is doing. You can look at the number of participants, the number of completions, the feedback you received, product usage, customer outcomes, and more.
We spend a lot of time talking with customer education professionals about how to demonstrate the value of training. There are many ways to do it, but we focus on linking training activity to customer outcomes. Training activity and customer outcomes are terms that could mean all kinds of things. Clearly defining each term might be the biggest challenge in undergoing a project to link training to outcomes, precisely because there are so many ways to define training activity and customer outcomes.
Over the last year or so I've been transitioning from a PC laptop to a MacBook and it's been a bit of a challenge. Things I've been used to doing one way are done slightly differently on the Mac, so I've had to alter the way I work on a computer now. While I haven't had to take any training on how to use a Mac, I've spent my fair share of time searching online for solutions on how to do these things on it.
There are three schools of thought when it comes to whether to sell customer education to customers. One argument is that customer education is a valuable service and should not only be sold, but the customer education function should be run as a business with responsibility for making a profit. The second school of thought also believes customer education is a valuable service, but the goal is not to make a profit, but for training to just pay for itself, so it can sustain itself and otherwise avoid the scrutiny of CFOs during lean times. The third school of thought argues that training should be a service that is included in the price of the product subscription. After all, adoption and renewals are the main goal, not making a few bucks from selling training.
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ServiceRocket, a customer success company that drives software adoption through training, support and services, announced today its partnership with Gainsight to expand Pulse University, on the Learndot LMS, to include skills training in the fast growing Customer Success category. This announcement coincides with the fourth annual Pulse Conference 2016, which brings together thousands of Customer Success leaders to the Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, CA on May 10-12, 2016.
When it comes to our customer education strategies, most of us are in reaction mode. We know that we shouldn't be. But often...we react to customer requests. After all, that new enterprise customer is our biggest one yet, so we should do anything to make them happy. When that customer says "jump," we should say, "How high." Of course, this can get us into trouble because we make promises that are difficult to keep, work quality can suffer, and we could very easily neglect existing customers.
On Tuesday, March 29, we hosted a webinar with special guest Samuel Hulick, a user onboarding expert. The goal of the webinar was to expose the customer education and customer success communities to a different way to think about user onboarding. This perspective considers a customer and product-centric view of helping customers get off on the right foot using your product. And the basis for this perspective is demonstrated very well on one of Samuel's slides:
As an early stage enterprise software company grows, it is inevitable that customers begin to require training. The problem is that early stage software companies are so focused on building and selling product that training customers is overlooked. And selecting an LMS is not even in their world view. However, once the product gains traction in larger enterprises, training becomes a standard customer expectation. It is at this point when software companies start thinking about how to build a customer education business and what technology is needed to scale that function.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, we hosted a webinar with special guest Francoise Tourniaire of FTWorks to discuss ways to manage knowledge to improve customer success. Not only is Francoise founder and owner of FTWorks, she is author of numerous books including, The Art of Software Support, Just Enough CRM, and Collective Wisdom, Transforming Support Through Knowledge, so she is uniquely qualified to talk about how enterprise software companies can put knowledge management support processes in place that help customers learn, use, and achieve desired outcomes using your software.