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Business of Customer Education Conference Recap and Session Audio Recordings

Written by Bill Cushard

Published on June 26, 2017

In May 2017, we co-located our Business of Customer Education Conference (BOCE) at the Gainsight Pulse Customer Success Conference. The session audio was recorded, and we wanted to make them available. We had speakers from Workplace by Facebook, Atlassian, Gainsight, Cloudera, MuleSoft, Couchbase, and ServiceRocket, each of which shared their stories for how customer education plays a role in customer success. Below is a brief recap of each session and a link to the audio recording.  

How Customer Education Sets Customers Up for Success

In this sessions, Rob Castaneda, founder and CEO of ServiceRocket, talks about five concepts that describe how customer education is a proactive way to help customers be successful with your products from the start. These concepts include: 

  1. Customer Education exists to reduce friction. 
  2. Learning is built for outcomes, training is built for features. 
  3. Sustainable growth is fueled by scaling empathy
  4. Your brand is more important than you think.
  5. Point-in-time learning systems can't keep up

Rob talks about the need to understand and have empathy for the customer journey. "Sustainable growth is fueled by scaling empathy. If you throw a technical solution at the problem, you are going to fail at some point."

Listen to Rob's talk. 

Customer Education: Meet Customers Where They Are

If your product is already understood by billions of people, why do you need customer education? Monica Adractas, Director of Workplace by Facebook Americas describes it this way, "Although people know how to use the technology (Facebook), the way they should use it at work is quite different. It is a change management challenge. Because we don't want to be Facebook at Work. We want to be Workplace."

The key is to help people solve real problems and challenges at work. This will make people want to learn how to use your product because you are helping them solve real problems that help people be better at their job. That's having empathy for customers.  

Listen to Monica's talk.

How to Repurpose Training Content into Multiple Formats

Sherry Quinn, Director of Training at Atlassian, describes how she started off building a curriculum for the core needs of customers across its product set. Once that core curriculum was completed, she found that she could address a much broader audience of customers and potential customers by simply repurposing the core curriculum into multiple formats and methods that addressed varying customer needs. In other words, she did not start over each time she grew her offerings. She repurposed existing content to extend it to reach more customers. And she did it one step at a time. 

This is an important talk for anyone who is struggling with how to scale education to large audiences of customers who have various and even competing needs. 

Listen to Sherry's talk.

Using Data to Link Customer Education to Customer Outcomes

In this talk, Dave Derington from Gainsight and Jesse Miller from ServiceRocket address a problem that most customer education teams have. And that is to figure out how to attribute business results to customer education. After all, we know intuitively that well-educated customers will be better customers and use our product more often and more effectively. The problem is that we rarely have the data to support that claim. Dave and Jesse walk through a process for how to get that data and answer the question:

What impact does customer education have on:

  1. Customer satisfaction / NPS
  2. Product adoption and usage
  3. Renewal rates
  4. Product sales

'Nuf said.

Listen to Dave and Jesse's talk.

Delivering Large Scale Customer Education: Lessons from Open Source Companies

Sarah Sproehnle from Cloudera, Pete Childers from Couchbase, and Richard Huie-Buckius from MuleSoft get right to the point and share practical advice for customer education leaders.

For example:

  1. It is a huge mistake to not charge for training
  2. Don't let your board or executive team push you into giving away training for free
  3. Customer education can be your customer success, your marketing, and your support

I could go on. But you get the point. This is a panel of execs that have taken education at fast growing software companies from practically zero to earning millions of dollars in training revenue, training thousands of customers, and being a vital, strategic part of company growth. 

Listen to learn how they did it.

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