There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, and Customer Educators are being asked to adapt to keep up with constantly changing business priorities. We’ve asked our customers what they’re doing to cope with the current global landscape and how their work has been changing. In this edition, Craig Jansen, Head of Product Education at Contentsquare, shares his insights.
Tell us a little bit about your company. How do you leverage customer education to support your customers?
Craig: Contentsquare is a digital experience analytics platform that empowers brands to create better experiences online. We help businesses understand visitor browsing behavior and display that user experience data through impactful visualizations. While we’re a French tech company (based out of Paris), we have offices and clients all over the world. Customer Education at Contentsquare has historically been very “customer intimacy” focused, meaning that all training was conducted through in-person workshops. As we’ve grown internationally, our digital education approach has emerged which has helped us to deliver training at scale.
How have customer learning behaviors been changing since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Obviously, there was a large shift to V-ILT, but the demand from customer-facing teams to have material to send to their clients has skyrocketed. This is where on-demand content excels because it matches the work from home schedule. It’s there when you need it and waits for you when you’re distracted. Clients are consuming so much more content, but they’re also looking for fresh and new content. Functional how-tos won’t cut it, so focus your effort where you see a large ROI, a short, precise, valuable use case, or inspiration-type content.
What new demands are you hearing from your customers?
My team hears the demands through the client-facing teams (CSMs, Onboarding Managers) but this abrupt shift to working remote resulted in canceled meetings and trainings. The Customer Success teams were instantly saving 30%+ of their time not traveling, but they still needed to engage their clients. The demand for short videos, documented guides, elearning courses, and of course webinars, has exploded.
How have your plans changed in light of the pandemic?
Our high-level plans remain the same, we’re still driving towards the same long term goal, but everything is now in hyperdrive with an added focus on microlearning to keep up with increased content demands.
What new accommodations are you making?
We’re using this period to shift our content strategy, but we’re making sure we’re doing it the right way. “Start slow to go fast.” When work shifted remotely, the gut reaction was to shift everything to webinars. Here we are, a few weeks in, and I think everyone has “webinar fatigue.”
One of the best accommodations we’re making is to empower those same teams that used to meet face-to-face with clients to create scalable, one-to-many pieces of content. I’m working with the Customer Success Managers on a process to create “snack videos,” 3-5 minute mini use case videos. My team, who has the expertise in content creation, provided the storyboard templates, some examples, the tool (Loom), and videos on best practices. We then have a validation process before the videos go out the door. It’s incredible what the team can accomplish in such a short period when the objectives are aligned. It’s almost like we 10x’d our content team.
How do you think this will change your operations moving forward?
I think this crisis has put a spotlight on Customer Education teams and is demonstrating the value of on-demand content. I think we’ll continue to see a larger collaboration between customer ed as the value-add is unavoidable.
What new colleagues are you engaging with that you haven’t worked with before?
The local Marketing teams for each geo! They were hit hard by the cancellations of every conference and trade show. They also had to adapt quickly and in doing so, they’re creating some truly incredible content.
The issue is that the content is targeted at prospects and often the current client base is overlooked. It’s a treasure trove of digital content just waiting to be repurposed. Get on it and get it out there for clients.
How can Customer Education teams adapt to help customers?
Now more than ever is the time to listen to your customers and your customer-facing teams. What are they struggling with etc., but also, challenge the requests. Don’t switch to webinars just because everyone seems to be doing them on LinkedIn. Talk to your customerfacing teams or customers directly and find out what kind of content they want and what they find engaging. Maybe they just need more “how-to” guides or inspirational content.
How are you expanding the impact of your team right now?
A lot of other teams within your org are probably looking for help or guidance in the field we’re already experienced in. I’ve been helping other departments schedule enablement sessions, providing best practices on video creation, and/or webinar hosting. Also, the best content in the world is worthless if nobody knows where to find it, so promote it both internally and externally. Slack announcements of new content for customer-facing teams are also incredibly important. You’re playing a bit of an enablement role here.