Skilljar Coffee Chats showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Customer Education Coffee Chat, hosted by Cutler Bleecker, Skilljar’s Customer Training Manager, featured a conversation with “the three-headed customer education monster” at BetterCloud: Daniel Gualtieri, Principal, Training and Enablement; Jody Hoiten, Sr. Training & Enablement Instructor; and Kelly O’Sullivan, Customer Training & Enablement Instructor.
BetterCloud is a SaaS Management Platform that enables IT professionals to discover, manage, and secure their growing stack of SaaS applications in the digital workplace. They use Skilljar to power their learning platform, BetterCloud Flight School.
The training team noticed that 25% of their customers were missing out on their two-day Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT) session that ran during business hours in North America. (These customers didn’t have the time to access a two-day training or were international and therefore not available during training hours.) They wanted to create a fun, engaging online learning environment available free to everyone. In addition, they wanted to use “gamification” to incentivize users to come back to training again and again.
They started the development process by creating a theme: “Flight School,” which is a play on words for their product that was fun and welcoming.
BetterCloud connects your cloud systems via the Google admin console with Slack, Dropbox, and more. In other words, BetterCloud teaches you to navigate the clouds, and when you’re navigating the clouds, you’re flying. That’s how we landed on Flight School.— Dan Gualtieri
So grab your coffee and read the recap of how Flight School gave their learning platform the wings to fly!
Making the pitch for your Customer Education program identity
BetterCloud’s Customer Education team had to pitch their program identity and theme to their executive leadership.
They knew that users who took their administrator certification exam renewed at the rate of 6:1. They used this as a justification to say to leadership that the more classes people took, the more they learned about the product, and the more likely they’d be to upsell and renew.
BetterCloud determines metrics by filtering all of their student records into Salesforce through Skilljar, and tying them to a BetterCloud contact record. From there, they are able to tie user records to their average recurring revenue, renewals, churns, and more.
Fortunately everything that we do with Skilljar syncs directly into Salesforce. By pulling Salesforce reports, we were able to see who renewed, who upsold at renewal, and who ultimately churned.— Dan Gualtieri
Designing your Customer Education program identity
BetterCloud wanted to create an experience that was immersive and fun and not confusing for learners to navigate and experience. It was important to ensure their Flight School theme was on full display on the homepage along with easy pathing depending on a user’s needs. The three main paths that learners can take are self-paced courses, live instruction, and an exam preparation course to help them get ready to pass the certification exam. They also customized their site with a code snippet that welcomes learners by their first name.
Below is what it looks like if a user clicks into the self-paced path. Course tiles are represented by “boarding passes” with three-letter designations for courses that mimic airport names, e.g. OVR = Overview.
As learners complete courses, they earn badges and can also earn Flight School-themed swag, such as mugs and tumblers. For example, as a user completes all of BetterCloud’s courses, they work themselves up to receiving a captain’s shirt. (BetterCloud worked with the vendors Custom Ink to create the customized items and Sendoso for warehousing and shipping.)
Getting your customers into your learning platform and giving them a reason to take a class is a great way to incentivize education and training.— Dan Gualtieri
Offering rewards in the form of swag was a great way for BetterCloud to incentivize learners and continue to uplevel them through their learning experience, leading to greater course consumption and driving them toward certification.
Incentivizing continued education was really important for us because as we had seen even prior to expanding our offerings, customers who knew the product were champions of it and were more likely to renew or buy more parts of our product. — Jody Hoiten
Creating your content strategy
BetterCloud’s decisions about lesson, course, and overall program design were grounded in neuroscience, including the AGES model for long-term learning (Attention, Generation, Emotion, Spacing).
Another key strategy was the timing of courses — each lesson is less than five minutes and each course is less than one hour.
These short chunks allow for more realistic attention expectations of our learners, and also naturally create opportunities for micro breaks and spacing within learning. Mixing up our lesson types also helps people remain engaged with the content. — Jody Hoiten
A third tool they used is storytelling to help learners remain interested and keep the content relatable by encouraging connections to things they already know or have learned previously.
We want to constantly be building, deepening, generating new paths of knowledge. And the more associations we can encourage that learner to make, the easier it will be for them to recall and use that information. — Jody Hoiten
Varying lesson types
BetterCloud uses three main lesson types built into their self-paced Flight School courses:
- Video content – This is the main proportion of courses, usually incorporating voiceover and screen shots of the product, built in Adobe Premiere Pro.
- SCORM content – This is used for hands-on activities in a simulated environment and created in Adobe Captivate.
- Quizzes – These are around five multiple-choice or multi-select questions included at the end of each section as a quick knowledge check. The types of questions included in quizzes in their courses are similar to the types of questions in their certification exam.
Our entire customer education program falls under the Flight School umbrella to keep that messaging consistent.— Kelly O’Sullivan
Most of BetterCloud’s content is delivered in short-form video-based lessons. Each section has a few hands-on activities, depending on the specific content, where they can then put into practice what they’ve seen in the videos. Users are prompted to click through into the platform to see how they can achieve certain steps. This way, learners can feel like they’re doing all of the steps in the platform without needing to actually go into a sandbox instance.
All of their courses end with a survey built into the Skilljar lesson through an embedded Google form. This allows them to read and manage the results fed into a Google sheet.
Sky-high results for BetterCloud’s Customer Education program
The assumptions the team made about how a thoughtful, themed learning program would lead to business value have paid off.
From July 2022 – February 2023:
- Customers that have taken a BetterCloud Flight School class are 6x more likely to renew.
- 570+ student enrollments, 883+ course completions (640 self-paced).
- 35% of Account ARR has completed at least 1 class.
- 56% survey response rate.
- Satisfaction ratings score at 90%+ across all metric
We’re scoring at 90% or higher for the 56% of people who are giving us feedback. And 98% of learners said they would recommend BetterCloud’s learning experience to a colleague.— Dan Gualtieri
Now that’s a flight worth taking.
Ready to take your customer education program to new heights? Here are some resources from Skilljar:
6 Ways to Secure More Training Budget
Creating Delightful Customer Education Programs That Drive Business Outcomes
4 Incentives for Your Customers to Attend and Complete Training
BetterCloud Wins the People’s Choice Golden Skillet Award at Skilljar Connect 2022!