Last week, we hosted 200+ training leaders from more than 125 companies, including Slack, Tableau, Looker, Cisco, Outreach, and Microsoft, in Seattle for Skilljar Connect 2019. This was the largest gathering of Customer Education professionals in the world. We feel deeply fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with such an amazingly talented and visionary group of educators, and it was inspiring to hear from them on how they’re helping people learn in innovative ways to advance the customer education discipline.

As professionals in a relatively new field, the journey for Customer Educators can often be a lonely one, especially with the need to prove the value of training to executives and other key stakeholders. One of the reasons I was most excited for Skilljar Connect 2019 was the opportunity for these educators to connect, share their experiences, and learn from one another. As I was reflecting about the event and my conversations over the weekend, I wanted to share my thoughts about the current and future state of the Customer Education space here. 

Why Customer Education Matters Now More Than Ever

We are living in an incredibly exciting time – full of fast-paced innovation, new technologies, and the possibilities to do more than ever before. But these are also challenging times. We are quickly becoming a knowledge economy, and while software is disrupting all types of industries, I see traditional education struggling to keep up with this change.

The rise of the subscription economy has fundamentally changed the relationship between companies and their customers, and customers today not only have more choices than before, they are also not afraid to exercise these choices if products don’t meet their needs.

While “customer focus” is a term that gets thrown around a lot, from what I’ve seen, most companies treat customers primarily as a source of revenue. However, if a third of your product licenses aren’t being used, that’s definitely a customer focus problem. If your support team is overwhelmed by customers who don’t know how to use your products, that’s also a customer focus problem. Conventional customer success might view this as an account management or support problem – but both of these approaches don’t address the heart of the issue. 

True customer focus requires proactive, continuous, and effective education from the beginning so that people can develop and use your products and services to achieve their potential. Not doing so is an existential threat. 

Impact of the Skilljar Community

With the right approach, you can develop educated customers who will use your products and services to achieve their full potential. Because of our customers and the amazing work they are doing, we are unlocking the potential of millions of people around the world in industries ranging from technology to medical devices to financial services and transportation and many more. Skilljar is honored and proud to be a part of making this happen. 

Educators are force multipliers when they use Skilljar to reach their customers, partners, and employees. We are committed to creating the best platform that enables them to expand the scope and impact of their work. 

The Road Ahead

We have educated more than two million individuals who are now delivering more impact at their organizations around the world. These students have received over five million hours of education on the Skilljar platform, who have together delivered nearly 60 million lessons. And we are only just beginning!

I’m inspired by the many conversations that I had at Connect 2019, and I’m looking forward to continuing our work of empowering customer educators around the world.

Missed Skilljar Connect 2019? Check out our Twitter feed, @Skilljar, for live updates and quotes from the event.