I just spent the day with a software company in a private workshop to help them design their customer education strategy. I love facilitating these workshops for two reasons. First, I learn a ton about how different software companies think about educating customers. Second, I find it highly rewarding to help a team go through a journey of discovering what is possible in helping customers and making a direct contribution to the overall company goals. These “light bulb” moments build on each other, and by the end of the workshop, the teams I work with have a three to five year vision of where they are headed and a clear plan of action for what they need to accomplish in the next two quarters.
Recently, Bill Cushard, ServiceRocket's Director of Marketing and a Customer Success strategist, was a guest on a webinar hosted by ClientSuccess, talking about customer education (CE) strategies. Bill is a strong advocate for CE strategies because they help CE professionals be proactive in their work, and help them avoid simply reacting to customer requests for training or mandates from "on high."
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.