In the past, customer acquisition was viewed as the primary means of revenue generation. However, if you’re in the Technology sector where the SaaS model is becoming increasingly popular, customer retention and expansion can be far more impactful and cost effective in driving growth. By some estimations, it can cost your company five times more to acquire a new customer than keeping an existing one. The bottom line: retaining your existing customers is extremely valuable.
If you’re reading this, you likely know that customer education is a key ingredient in your company’s recipe for developing healthy, long-term customers. In order to ensure that you’re meeting and exceeding your customers needs, it’s important that you take a step back and evaluate the state of your training offerings on a regular basis. If you’re unsure of where to begin this evaluation, we’ve compiled the questions that can help you get started.
Evaluating Your Customer Education Program
When you evaluate your customer education program by considering the questions that follow, you’ll likely identify areas of opportunity and improvements. The goal here is to help you identify investments that will help you improve customer health and growth.
1. What is your company’s average time to value (TTV)?
One of the most effective means of starting the customer relationship right is by ensuring that they quickly find value in your product. Time to value, or TTV, is defined as the length of time between a customer signing on with your product and the point at which they derive value. By decreasing and maintaining a short TTV for your customers, you are demonstrating your organization’s commitment to addressing your customers’ needs.
If you have access to data around your company’s average time to value, consider comparing it from several angles:
- Look at your company’s aggregated TTV across all customers and compare it month-over-month to monitor for dips, spikes, or stagnation
- You can refine this aggregation further by examining trends across customers in similar phases of the customer lifecycle:
- What is the average TTV for brand new customers?
- What is the average TTV when a new feature or update is released?
- Is there a significant difference in TTV between for accounts that are at risk and those that are stable? If so, why?
- In a similar vein, consider comparing the TTV for accounts in the same vertical, industry, or size. If you notice that a particular customer is gaining value more quickly (or more slowly) than others, consider what factors are driving that difference.
The insights gained from this analysis will help you establish if customers’ progress with your product is on a positive or negative trajectory. Further, understanding where and when customers are deriving the most value and where they are struggling will help inform the development and optimization of relevant educational resources.
For example, if customers are struggling to find value in a new feature or update, consider creating a short video explanation of the feature’s benefits. You can also take the resource one-step further and offer a video tutorial showing how to navigate the feature. By offering customers an on-demand, easy-to-digest resource, you are helping guide them to the desired value and decreasing the amount of time it takes for the customer to get there.
If you don’t have this type of data, or are unsure if anyone at your company is even tracking it, think about what other departments would benefit from this information and start there. Customer Success Managers are often the most direct link between your company and your customers so reaching out to them is a great first step. Even if they do not have specific numbers, they can likely help you understand when customers are hitting specific milestones (or not). Working with other internal teams is key!
In the next post, we’ll discuss support tickets and how both the volume and topics of those tickets can provide valuable insight about your customers’ satisfaction. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to check out some of our other resources:
- eBook: 3 Questions to Evaluate the Health of Your Customer Education Program
- eBook: Three Keys to Unlocking a Successful Customer Education Program
- eBook: A New Segmentation Model for Customer Onboarding
- Webinar: Driving Customer Health Through Education
If you’re interested in learning more about how Skilljar can help your company, request a demo below and we will reach out!