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Ep. 38 | Donna Weber Says You Can't Scale Customer Success Without Customer Education, And You Should Listen To Her

A Podcast by Sarah E. Brown and Bill Cushard on Apr 28, 2017 4:45:52 PM

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Donna Weber, principal at Springboard Solutions Consulting, joined the show to talk about the need to align customer education to customer because no matter what you call it, customer success is about the entire post sales customer experience. That includes training.  

As a matter of fact, Donna has some strong words for customer education professionals.

"There is this tension from the business that wants you to make high margins, but wants to give your training away for free. And the business needs you to provide a lot of up-to-date training, but with very lean teams."

Customer education teams cannot be successful in this environment. 

Neither can customers.

"To continue to be relevant and to be even more important for our organizations customer education leaders need to take a customer success focus," says Weber. "VCs ask startups, 'What is your customer success strategy?' They don't ask, 'What is your customer education strategy?'

Customer education needs to be part of the customer success, post sales enablement experience.  


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Ep. 38 #HelpingSells Podcast | @DonnaWeb Says You Can't Scale #CustomerSuccess Without Customer Education. https://ctt.ec/FZoh1+

Because Customer Education Is a Mechanism to Help Customer Success Scale

Customer Success organizations are resource intensive. 

"It all starts with customer success managers in a high touch experience," explains Weber. "But what happens when the customer list grows? The CSM model does not scale."

So what can you do?

Customer education is scalable.

Yes. There is upfront work to create education. But then it becomes scalable. Because there is now a one-to-many relationship. One instructor can interact with many customers at the same time proactively helping customers be successful with your product. It is even more scalable when courses go to self-paced eLearning.

The key is to get out of reactive mode. 

"You have to get out of of vicious cycle of reacting to customer training requests," says Weber.

The Results Are There

Let's summarize this topic by listing Donna's results.

It's not just about revenue from training. Training revenue, even if it is a good business, is at most a single digit precent of total revenue. So, it is a drop in the bucket. But as Donna has demonstrated in her work, training can have impact on a company in these three ways:

Educated customers:

  • Have 15% higher NPS
  • Are 10-20% more likely to renew
  • Buy 2-6 times more software

What value does this have on your business?

Here are links to two of Donna's blog posts that we talked about in her episode.

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Topics: Customer Success, Customer Education, Customer Experience

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