Expanding Influence: How Education Shapes Every Step of the Customer Experience

Expanding Influence: How Education Shapes Every Step of the Customer Experience

Caroline Van Dyke
February 5, 2024

Ever felt like the ground beneath your customer experience team was shifting?

Restructuring, adapting to leaner operations, and reimagining traditional CS models are just the tip of the iceberg. In a world where customers demand digital, self-serve education platforms and crave multimedia learning experiences, how do you stay ahead without losing your personal touch (or your mind)?

Whether you’re a customer educator sitting directly within CS or not, you can’t afford to run customer training without integrating efforts. The line between educating and supporting customers is blurring, making unity between these functions more than just beneficial—it’s essential for delivering seamless, impactful customer experiences. How do you align your goals to foster this partnership, regardless of organizational structure?

The customer journey.

As a customer educator, you wield a powerful tool that impacts your users’ journey with your product—from their initial onboarding to becoming vocal advocates. But, how do you make sure your messages are relevant AND you’re not draining hours on personalization?

Unlocking the Potential of 1:Many Customer Experience

Turning your customer experience from a 1:1 to 1:many strategy is the name of the game for customer-facing teams. And as we know, at the heart of every successful customer journey lies education. It’s not just about throwing information at your customers; it’s about guiding them, step by step, to realize the full potential of your product. And how do you do that? Scaled personalization. While that may seem like two buzzwords crammed into one new phrase, it truly can pack a punch for your CX team. Let’s break down how you can make a tangible impact at each stage of their journey.

  1. Onboarding: The First Step to Value

Your customer’s first experience with your product sets the tone for their entire journey. Create onboarding sessions that are not one-size-fits-all. Instead, tailor them based on the specific needs and knowledge level of each customer. For example, using a learning management system (LMS), you can automate the delivery of personalized content that guides new users through the essentials, ensuring they find value in your product faster.

  • Personalization Tip: Use role-based assessments to customize onboarding experiences based on user skill levels and preferences, ensuring immediate relevance and engagement.
  • Scale Tip: Automate the onboarding process with self-serve resources and guided tours that intelligently adapt to different user types. Plus, set up workflows that only make certain content available at key milestones.

Take a look at this example—if you had defined 2 different users, their flow is not created equal.

  1. Adoption: Nurturing Through Knowledge

Once onboarded, the next step is to encourage deeper exploration of your product. Here, mini-courses targeted at specific features can be invaluable. For instance, if you’re rolling out a new feature, a short course highlighting its benefits and applications can boost adoption rates. This approach not only educates but also engages your customers, making them more likely to explore further.

  • Personalization Tip: Use data analytics to identify and offer targeted learning paths that encourage deeper engagement with underused features. Make sure these features are role-relevant; not every user needs the same features to mark success.
  • Scale Tip: Create a library of modular, reusable content that can be easily updated and repurposed across multiple product features. Plus, use AI to take existing content and modify it for various audiences to boost productivity.
  1. Support: Empowerment Over Dependency

An educated customer is a self-sufficient one. By providing comprehensive, easy-to-access self-service resources, you can significantly reduce the volume of support tickets. Imagine creating an interactive FAQ section or video tutorials that address common issues. This not only frees up your support team but also empowers customers to find solutions independently.

  • Personalization Tip: Implement an AI-driven support system that delivers personalized help content based on the user’s history and current issues.
  • Scale Tip: Develop a comprehensive, searchable catalog that grows dynamically as new support queries are resolved.
  1. Retention: Beyond the Basics

Retaining customers requires more than just meeting their initial needs. Advanced workshops, user groups, or even community events can foster a sense of belonging and investment in your product. For example, hosting a webinar on advanced use cases can reinvigorate your users’ enthusiasm and show them new ways to leverage your product.

  • Personalization Tip: Offer advanced, customized courses or content that align with the user’s evolving needs and interests over time.
  • Scale Tip: Leverage community forums and peer-to-peer learning platforms to provide scalable, ongoing education and support.

Take a look at this example—automation can do some of the heavy lifting for you. If you’ve identified churn-risk behavior, create learning loops for them to enhance ‘a-ha’ moments for them to get trained and see value.

  1. Advocacy: The Ultimate Goal

Satisfied, well-educated customers are your best advocates. Encourage them to share their success stories and experiences with your product. This could be through a community forum, testimonial videos, or a referral program. These authentic voices can significantly influence potential customers.

  • Personalization Tip: Recognize and reward your most engaged users with exclusive content, early access to new features, or opportunities to contribute to the product roadmap.
  • Scale Tip: Encourage user-generated content and testimonials that can be shared widely, serving as both educational material and marketing collateral.

Achieving Scale and Personalization

The key takeaway? Personalizing education at scale is not only achievable but essential for driving success across the customer journey. With the right technology and approach, you can create a learning ecosystem that adapts to the needs of each user, ensuring they receive the right information at the right time. This not only enhances the user experience but also drives tangible outcomes like increased adoption, reduced support costs, and higher retention rates. Start viewing customer education not as a cost center but as a strategic asset, and watch as it transforms your relationship with your customers.

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