The mantra from most business executives is "expansion in all ways", and for most teams in the organization, it's easy to figure out how to do that. Customer education (CE) leaders want to do their part too, so how can they sell more education programs? One way is to partner with sales teams to sell education and offering them incentives to do so.
"What is the Empire State Building?"
"Who is Picasso?"
"What is the Atlantic Ocean?"
One of my favorite things is trivia and more specifically, Jeopardy! I try to catch the show every weekday and have been trying to get on the show for the last two decades. (Without success, mind you, but I'll keep trying!) Even though I'm well-removed from my last formal classroom setting, I still remember a lot of what I learned because I'm constantly using the information. Nightly Jeopardy games, monthly trivia games with friends, and the daily New York Times crossword puzzle keep this information fresh in my mind so that it's always easy to retrieve.
Data analytics at any scale is intimidating, especially to customer education teams who aren't used to looking at numbers. There are so many pieces of data available that it's hard to know where to start.
Like with any new thing, if you start small and learn to master it before moving on to the next thing, it becomes easier. If your management team just said to you, "All right, customer education, it's time to get on the analytics bandwagon" you're in the right place.
Let's take a look at how customer education can start small with metrics and then scale up their analysis slowly to be useful and valuable.
With the rise of 'as-a-Service' (or XaaS) products around the world, software companies are becoming more aware of the importance of customer education. They're seeing the direct impact of education on company and customer success. "Education Services organizations truly have the opportunity to be a game-changer in driving product usage and adoption, because training is at the core of both," according to Maria Manning-Chapman, vice president of education services research at TSIA.
Big Data. KPIs. ROI. Average whatevers. These days it's pretty hard to get away from numbers. Companies are using their data to uncover all sorts of information that's driving their customer success programs, sales and marketing, and even customer education. After all, there's only so many ways you ask for a customer's feedback after they take your training, right?
This is not a prediction. It is more of a description of trends that are already underway. Some of you early adopters are riding these customer education trends to high success. Others are missing out mostly because your education operations are new or are in a low maturity state. The good news is that a low maturity state is normal and temporary. You can grow your organization into higher maturity stages by increasing your capabilities over time. One way to know what capabilities to add to your team is to understand where there trends are headed. Below are four customer education trends that are happening right now, and it is not too late for you to get on board to ride them.
In December 2017, Customer Education University announced a second course called, How to Design a Customer Education Strategy, and I am very excited about it. One of the best things you can do for your personal and professional development is to set aside dedicated time away from work to learn a new skill, learn a new process, or think deeply about new ideas you can put to work. It is hard to do that in our modern world. There are too many distractions. You know what I mean. One effective way I have found to create this dedicated time is to sign up for a class of some kind. In a class, you can sequester yourself away from the distractions of life, be in the moment, and soak up new ideas and new skills. If you pick the right course, you can actually find new motivation.
ServiceRocket is proud to announce that we have received two Learning Management System (LMS) awards from technology research firm Talented Learning in 2017. Learndot has been named 3rd Best Customer LMS and ServiceRocket was named second Best LMS Thought Leader.
Being data-driven and running analytics and data science and predictive modeling and machine learning and setting up a data lake and hadoop and pig and hive and... You know what? Come to think of it. All of that just makes me want to take a nap. Of course we all need to be more data-driven in our approach to running a strategic customer education operation, but analytics is intimidating. Especially for those of us who did not double major in statistics and computer science.
Most software companies are so enamored by their product's features that they use it everywhere. It's in their marketing, thought leadership pieces, and especially in their training material. Sure, it's important that you train customers on the features so they know how to use their products, but they probably bought your product for a different reason entirely. So why are your training programs still features-based?