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."
What does a CE strategy do for you?
According to Bill, a CE strategy let's you "answer your CEO's questions on how to improve the company." Not only that, you'll have activities and projects listed out already that will support those improvements, helping your company achieve their business outcomes and goals.
For example, if your company's goal is to increase monthly renewal rates (MRR), you'll need to list out the activities your CE team must do to support that goal. Then look at your team to see if you have the resources, skills, and people to do the work to get there.
Without a CE strategy, you're essentially flying blind. You won't know who's available to do the work, who has the skills and capabilities to do the work, and if it helps the company reach those goals. You just have no idea how you're going to get there, so you struggle, throwing bodies and time at it, which is no way to work.
How can you design your CE strategy?
In order to be able to handle any request that comes from your executive team in stride (like, say, how to support the company's goal of increasing MRR), you'll need a roadmap of what you're working on now and what you'll be working on in the future. You need to see clearly how all of that work ties together in support of your own education strategies, but also how it supports the company goal of increasing MRR.
What Bill advises you to do
Not to give everything away from the webinar, which we encourage you to watch all the way through, but at a basic level, Bill advises you to:
Set a very specific goal for your CE team (that hopefully aligns with your company's overall goals too).
Make an honest assessment of your education function so you'll know what you'll need to reach that goal.
Put together a roadmap of those goals and where they'll lead you in the future. Start with your next quarter, then year, then 3 years, and beyond.
A documented CE strategy will help CE professionals understand precisely where to put all their energies and skills, and managers will have a better roadmap of where all that hard work is going. In Bill's words, it helps CE teams have more "grown-up" conversations about their work and contributions to the company.
To find out how to develop your own CE strategy, listen to the entire webinar here. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. We love talking about CE strategy and strategy design.