Should you offer customer training? What about free vs. paid customer training? Live vs. on-demand training? Should you offer certifications? What types of courses will help drive product engagement? How can you help users choose the customer training content that’s right for them?
If you need a little inspiration for your customer training strategy, we’ve got you covered with highlights from some examples we love, in no particular order.
Best Customer Training Examples for Brand, Product & Business Strategy
LinkedIn has created a unified, sustainable education platform featuring distinct domains across three lines of business –Talent, Sales, and Marketing. They created a seamless customer training experience for hosting hundreds of live events and found a way to provide self-service training in 11 languages through localization
What we love: Three distinct learning domains all using the same LMS is pretty impressive, and these three divisions at LinkedIn work closely together to learn from each other. In addition, localization for the LinkedIn Learning Center (for LinkedIn Talent Solutions) allows the entire site, including navigation, to be reflected in any language selected. Lastly, many companies create role-based learning paths for their platforms, but LinkedIn just introduced objective-based learning paths for Hiring and LinkedIn Learning.
Related Content: Hear from Jill Glynn, Manager, Scaled Engagement for LinkedIn, why choosing the right learning management system is so important for customizing learner’s needs.
Zendesk offers both free and paid customer training to onboard their customers at scale.
Their program consists of distinct learning pathways for admins, agents, CX analysts, sales teams, and developers. Zendesk Training also includes a wide variety of ways to learn, including:
- On-demand content
- Virtual, instructor-led training (ILT)
- Credentials and certification
- Custom training
- In-person and virtual community user group events
What we love: Zendesk’s customers can select the content that best fits their role and learning style. As a result, Zendesk has been able to optimize the user experience and increase engagement. Also, Zendesk uses a number of tools that all work together — such as Examity, Caveon, and Credly — to get their certifications up and running and ensure the best customer experience.
Related Content: Learn how Zendesk uses certifications as part of their customer training strategy.
RingCentral University offers self-service education for their customers including live training, webinars, videos, and guides, for three products – MVP (Message, Video, Phone), Contact Center, and Engage (Customer Service). Each product has learning paths for different users of the product – from end users (for MVP) to agents, supervisors, and admins.
What we love: RingCentral’s design is simple and clean, making it easy for customers to find what they need based on the product and their role. To make it easier for users to find content, they recently undertook a restructuring of their MVP courses, organizing content by role instead of basic vs. advanced. They even included a restructuring course guide which maps the original courses to the new courses to help user who might have started a course in the original set up.
Jamf launched their Customer Education department as its own function in 2020 and the program continues to grow through its training platform (for online certifications) and online training catalog (for online customer education). The training catalog is the entry point for all Jamf customers to learn how to set up and start using their products.
What we love: Jamf is continually innovating to find new ways to reach customers. Recently, they’ve had success with a new content format. “Jamf Shorts” are bite-sized training and support videos that explain common workflows, product updates, and new releases within the Jamf platform. Thanks to innovators like Jamf, short-form content is proving to be a valuable asset in any learning professionals toolkit.
Related Content: Learn how Jamf uses short-form video content to amplify their GTM strategy.
Hubspot Academy offers lessons, courses, bootcamps, and learning paths so users can gain sought-after business skills in marketing operations. Hubspot customers turn to its free certification program to earn badges they display in their Linkedin profiles. There are 13 certifications covering everything from inbound sales and marketing to social media marketing, revenue operations, digital advertising and marketing, and more.
What we love: Hubspot Academy is a great example of how customer training can drive brand awareness and product usage. Hubspot has also become an industry leader in educating marketers on inbound, thanks in large part to its customer training content.
Outreach uses free customer training to proactively address support questions from its customers and get new customers up to speed quickly and efficiently. Rather than having their CSMs conduct 1:1 customer training, Outreach scaled its customer success by using Customer Education to improve the way their team works. Outreach University offers different levels of learning, starting with the basics, and detailed instructions for admins who wish to become certified.
What we love: Outreach University includes set tracks, or learning pathways, for different job functions (sales prospectors, closers, admins, and managers). When support tickets emerge, the Outreach team can direct customers to relevant customer training content. The Outreach team also looks at past training performance to provide targeted recommendations. Of note – they provide detailed instructions for how users can earn and promote badges to showcase what they’ve learned, which also provides exposure for Outreach.
Related Content: Learn how Outreach used customer training to accelerate user growth and improve the way the Customer Success team works.
Procore’s Learning Portal uses on-demand customer training to drive brand awareness, generate prospective customers, and improve customer retention. Procore offers a free training and certification program to anyone in the construction management industry, regardless of whether they are a Procore customer. This program has role-based customer training courses, deep-dive training on their suite of tools, and the option to earn continuing education credits.
What we love: When a Procore customer completes training, they have the option to display a certificate on their LinkedIn profile. This has enabled Procore to build their LinkedIn community and establish the company as an industry thought leader through their private Procore Certified User Group. There are currently more than 3,600, members – and counting!
Related Content: Learn more about how Procore launched its certification program for customers.
OSIsoft Learning is a customer and partner education portal that goes beyond a basic customer training course catalog to offer a holistic learning experience. OSIsoft’s customer training incorporates lab environments into every online course and gives customers valuable, hands-on practice with their products. Their program also includes role-based learning paths with short eLearning modules that learners can easily find and access. Additionally, OSIsoft offers virtual, instructor-led training (VILT) on its platform, providing more in-depth customer training opportunities and live interaction with OSIsoft engineers.
What we love: OSIsoft offers both on-demand and instructor-led training options in seven languages and 21 global locations. From online lab environments to opportunities to connect directly with OSIsoft trainers around the world, each customer training type is tailored to its audience of end users, admins, developers, power users, or project managers.
Related Content: Learn how OSIsoft drove a 1,000% increase in self-paced online course registrations after overhauling its customer training portal.
9. Red Hat
Red Hat Training has an extensive customer training curriculum, which can be sorted by type of offering (course, exam, certification, free), certification path, product lines and products. Red Hat customers can purchase either a one-year individual subscription designed to help individuals grow technology skills, or enterprise plans to meet the needs of a growing team.
What we love: Red Hat offers multiple options for subscription customer training to help customers find the tier that meets their needs and budget, by country and in that country’s currency. It’s a powerful example of how to monetize training through certification.
We could go on an on with our list of exemplary learning platforms because so many companies are coming to understand the power of Customer Education to help drive product adoption and usage, and customer satisfaction and retention. If you want to learn more about how to create an efficient and scalable training platform that delivers results for your business, watch an online demo of Skilljar.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated in 2023.