Ep. 79 | Emilia D'Anzica Help Customers Learn by Teaching Them Less

She tried. And she succeeded. Naturally. Emilia D'Anzica, founder of Customer Growth Advisors, joined Helping Sells Radio intending to take over the show and interview Bill about his book. We did that at the end of the show, but before we did, we spent time talking about Emilia and her work with customer success teams. Very early on in the show we talked about on-boarding pitfalls because we all want to avoid them. One of the pitfalls Emilia wants us all to really get is that we assume our customers will just learn how to use our software. And this is not true. Customer needs our help in on-boarding to understand why and how to use our software. But that does not mean turning on the fire hose and trying to show the customers everything. Emilia urges us to make sure the on-boarding training is laser focused on the fewest most important task that get customers to perform the one thing they bought our product for...whatever that it. Don't do more that because customers will forget it anyway. Just get them to the one thing first. Then build on that learning later. 

Here is that Forgetting Curve we talked about. 


And don't just show customers, have them lead

One of Emilia's clients has a very complex product. Naturally, the client took a high touch approach and did a lot of the onboarding work for the customer. It is a matter of expediency, which is very tempting to do. And it seems like a good idea at the time, but as Emilia describes, when you actually analyze the time the customer success team is spending on this, you realize they aren't doing customer success work. They are doing support work. 

Emilia feels like she constantly beating the drum that "if you just teach your customer" how to be self-sufficient, you will be way better off. Emilia finds that if you turn the tables on the customer, they will learn faster. 

"Don't lead the customer just because you've done it 100 times. Have the customer lead. Coach them through the experience, but have the customers lead," says Emilia.

Look at it this way: Don't do the work for your customer. Let the customers do it. It can be as simple as  having your customer share their screen on a call and guide them and watch them perform the actions in your software. 

Expect your customer to perform the action. 

Learn more about Emilia

Oh, and we also talked about Emilia and the book she wants to write one day. We're going to check in on your Emilie. Write that book!

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Bill Cushard

Written by Bill Cushard

Bill Cushard covers the intersection of learning, software adoption, and customer success. His career has focused on helping companies adopt disruptive software through learning, change management, communications, and implementations that help people get the most out the software.

Bill Cushard is also the author of the 2018 book, The Art of Agile Marketing: A Practical Roadmap for Implementing Kanban and Scrum in Jira and Confluence.