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Making the Case for Your Next Customer Education Hire

Posted by Julia Borgini on Oct 23, 2017 10:30:00 AM

If your customer education team is regularly missing deadlines, never gets to the end of their To Do list, and is producing lower quality work because they're so overworked, it might be time for a new hire. Overworked employees are stressed employees, a combination that usually results in less productivity, increased loss time in sick days, and less profits for your company. A new hire (or two or three) will help alleviate the workload, boost morale among your existing customer education team, and help get your team back on track.

But before you can start interviewing people for that help, you have to convince upper management. They'll want to see a business case for that new hire that shows how an additional employee will lead to bigger profits. Here's how you can do that.

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Topics: Customer Education, Talented Learning, Talent

Customer Education is the New Marketing Strategy

Posted by Bill Cushard on Oct 17, 2017 4:54:03 PM

I do not have scientific evidence to support this claim, but I argue that customer education teams at fast-growing SaaS companies produce as much, or more, content than any other team. And this is saying a lot when you consider that content is usually produced by marketing, communications, product, and sales enablement teams. Not only does customer education produce a large volume of content, the content it creates is likely to be the most useful for buyers of your product compared to other content your company produces. 

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Topics: Customer Education, HubSpot, Optimizely, Adam Avramescu, Addepar, Sumeru Chatterjee

Top 7 Skills & Competencies to Look for in a Learning Designer

Posted by Julia Borgini on Oct 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Working at a tech company, you need to hire people with specific skills that will help you grow and evolve the company and its products. Software companies have a particular rhythm and culture that not everyone can deal with. Add in the experience and skills you need as an instructional designer or learning experience designer and finding the right people can be a challenge.

So, what are the top skills and competencies to look for when hiring a learning designer in a fast-paced tech company?

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Topics: Company, Customer Education, Talented Learning, Business of Customer Education, CEU

Customer Education as Career Path to Other Roles

Posted by Bill Cushard on Oct 9, 2017 11:00:35 AM

I am always surprised when I hear from customer education professionals that the customer education function does not get the respect it deserves. I believe it is quite the opposite. So much so, that I believe education is not only a vital and strategic operation at a technology company, but a function from which it's leaders can take a career path to many other functions in the business. 

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Topics: Customer Success, Customer Education, marketing, Product Management, career path

Why Documentation Is So Important To Successful Customer Adoption

Posted by Julia Borgini on Oct 4, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Quick question: When you use Microsoft Word, do you use the built-in styles to add formatting and layout options to your documents? Or do you simply open a new document and start typing away, clicking the bold or bullet list buttons to change the way your text appears?

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Topics: Building Customer Training, Software Adoption, Customer Education, knowledge management, Gartner

The Four Capabilities of High Performing Customer Education Leaders

Posted by Bill Cushard on Oct 2, 2017 1:22:47 PM

The customer education function at a fast-growing software company is as varied, complex, and strategic as any other function. It can also be an under-appreciated operation depending on the culture of the company and on how it is run and led. How customer education is viewed is largely determined by how you run it. If you focus on answering the question, "How can we help customers learn?" and then proceed to develop the most instructionally sound courses possible, customer education will be undervalued. 

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Topics: Leadership, Customer Education

How to Use a Maturity Model to Improve Your Customer Education Operation

Posted by Bill Cushard on Sep 28, 2017 6:20:00 AM

This blog post is about how to use a maturity model in a very practical sense, but before we get into the how, let's define what a good maturity model does. A maturity model describes each stage of an organization's maturity and what things are generally happening at each stage. This is useful to understand because each organization is at a different stage of development and has different levels of capabilities, resources, and technology to support its operations. For example, a customer education team of eight people with a VP-level leader has a much different level of capability and maturity than a one person education team that just became a full-time role last week. 

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Topics: Customer Education, Strategy, Maturity Model

5 Ways Chatbots and AI Impact Customer Education

Posted by Julia Borgini on Sep 27, 2017 12:48:46 PM

Have you ever navigated to a website and seen that little chat window pop up asking if you'd like to speak with someone at the company about their products? You may think you're speaking to a "real" person at the company, but in reality you're probably talking to a chatbot designed to respond based on keywords in your answers.

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Topics: Virtual Reality, AI, Business of Customer Education, VR, chatbot, AR, Augmented Reality, chatbots

Why Software Companies Should Develop a Certification Program

Posted by Julia Borgini on Sep 1, 2017 6:38:00 AM

We've been talking a lot about certifications lately, whether they're worth it for employees, candidates, and employers. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Many companies are developing their own certification programs as a companion to customer education, which are then becoming industry standards for technologies (like the Microsoft or Oracle Certifications).

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Certification, certification programs

Without a Goal You Have No Customer Education Strategy

Posted by Bill Cushard on Aug 31, 2017 10:42:30 AM

Before you even think about developing a customer education strategy, you must begin with a goal. It sounds simple enough, but too often, people who lead efforts to develop software training programs for customers just start developing a strategy, or worse, just start training customers on product features, without a clear vision for why education is necessary in the first place.

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Topics: Customer Education, Software Training, Strategy

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