During the live version of our recent webinar with UserTesting’s Content Strategist, Steve Fleming-Prot, we received a number of questions that we were unable to address in the time we had. We followed up with Steve for his thoughts below.
Question: When you first launched the University or Knowledgebase, how did you know what the right minimum amount of content should be?
Steve: During the Discover phase, we identified the most important and most frequent questions coming from customers and determined that our go-live would cover those topics at a minimum. We also created a roadmap so that as soon as we launched, we had an explicit plan of what we intended to add, and when. We didn’t always stick to that exact content and timeline, but it allowed us to launch confidently without delaying until we had “just one more” piece of content.
Question: How do you decide what should live in Knowledgebase articles vs. a course?
Steve: We have a “soft” rule that says written, article-based content and documentation lives in the Knowledgebase and the University is for content that benefits from video (e.g. demos, content where a slide build and commentary is better than an article that someone scans and potentially misses context). But sometimes we include a brief demo video in our KB or a text-based article in a course because that’s the best way to communicate some key information in the structured flow of a course. And sometimes we do have very similar content in different formats, if the topic is important enough. I recommend setting some rules and seeing how well you can adhere to them—and always get feedback to see if it is working for the consumers of that content.
Question: Can you please go into greater detail on your Customer Education Content Committee, suggestions on sizes/members/creating & pitching?
Steve: We organized our committee with one representative from each customer-facing team. We reached out to each team manager with a one-pager that included: 1) the goal of the committee, 2) who we wanted to include, and (3) what the time commitment would be. Then those managers asked for volunteers. We started out with bi-weekly meetings to get commitment and then moved to monthly meetings. We also made sure that in the initial meetings, we had the members participate in prioritizing our next content release. This helped build a feeling of ownership in the committee that they would not have if it was just me talking at them about educational content.
Question: Did you consider putting time commitment on your courses in the Learning Navigator?
Steve: For each course in the University, we do identify the time commitment. And for learning paths (a sequential series of courses), we identify the time it should require to make it through all the courses. Why? Because we tested it. During the Design phase, we included some with the time identified and some without, then probed on that topic during customer interviews.
Question: My Customer Success Director recently decided to focus a bit more on education, but there’s still a lack of buy-in organization-wide. Do you have any tips on getting that buy-in?
Steve: There are a number of ways you can work on getting buy-in, but I’ll focus on the one that relates to feedback and CX. Because this probably means you are constrained on budget and resources, start small. Do some discovery work to determine what topics come up all the time and design a solution that addresses those topics with on-demand educational content. It allows you to provide consistent, on-demand answers to complex questions. Then, get feedback from customers about whether or not they want that. When they say they do, that might help justify more resources.
Question: Who is usually best placed to drive the largest number of customer stakeholders to education content? CSMs or Marketing teams?
Steve: Why choose? Getting our educational content in front of our customer-facing teams—who, in turn, get the content in front of our customers—is an ongoing effort. In the Decide phase, we acknowledged that our content would be more focused on customers, so our post-sales teams tend to leverage it the most, but we still engage with customer marketing to get the word out!
Question: How long initially did it take to flow through the 4 D’s and how large of a team did you have?
Steve: For us, we made our initial launch in six months with one primary person and a team of contributors (visual design, UI design, teams providing content). That said, it is an ongoing process. Also, it’s all about scoping and project planning. We definitely could have done more testing, but we did what we could. We could have done more design and development, but we identified our minimum viable product (MVP) and our timeline and we made it clear that we were going to continue to Discover, Design, and Deliver with each new aspect of the content.