In our recent webinar, members of Skilljar’s Customer Success Team shared their insights on how to build a foundation and successfully scale your Customer Education program and team. Based on their experiences working with hundreds of companies of all sizes, the team recommended addressing the following four questions to ensure success:
- Who are your stakeholders and what are your goals?
- Who needs to be involved, and at what phase of the program?
- What do we need to do in order to continue to grow our program?
- How do we show ROI and gain additional resources?
Who are your stakeholders and what are your goals?
In order to start your program off on the right foot, you must first identify your stakeholders and clearly delineate your goals. As Customer Success Manager, Hong Chau, explained, Customer Education has an impact on the entire customer journey and there are three steps you need to take to address to lay a strong foundation for the program:
- Define your Customer Education model: What are you offering through your program and how are you going to deliver content?
- Identify key stakeholders & program sponsors: Who at your organization understands how Customer Education can impact the entire customer lifecycle and can help you communicate your program goals throughout the organization?
- Establish key business objectives – what are you trying to achieve with your program?
Once these three components are in place, you then need to define success metrics and determine how you are going to measure impact. The figure below maps out success metrics as they relate to key groups of stakeholders:
Who needs to be involved, and at what phase of the program?
Once you’ve established your program goals and success metrics, the next step is to determine who needs to be involved in your program, and at what phase? To help answer this question, Hannah Anderson, one of Skilljar’s Implementation Managers, walked attendees through the various roles outlined below, and how each role is involved throughout the customer lifecycle. Most critically, Hannah noted that each role does not need to be filled by an individual – in many cases, and particularly for those programs with limited resources, one person may wear multiple hats, and that is completely fine!
As Hannah concluded, “the key is not necessarily having a large team, but a team with the skills to fill each of these roles to successfully build and scale your program.”
What do we need to do in order to continue to grow our program?
With your development strategy and team in place, the next pillar is to determine what do we need to do in order to continue to grow our program? Customer Success Manager, Dean Spalding, detailed various ways to drive engagement and socialize your program among both internal teams and your customers:
- Using email campaigns to drive course completion
- Promoting training through social or paid channels
- Generating leads through certifications
Sometimes customer education teams might run into challenges getting support from their marketing teams. However, as Dean relayed, the good news is that you don’t need a marketing team to market your program! Consider working with other internal departments like Support, Customer Success, Learning, and/or Sales Teams. At the end of the day, the more you socialize your training program internally, the more natural and second-nature it will become for these teams to promote the program externally with customers.
How do we show ROI and gain additional resources?
As your program grows and evolves, understanding what your executives care about and how you can showcase your program’s success to them is a key component of continuing to build your program. Some of the ways you can consider sharing your success metrics with your organization include executive business reviews, using an accessible internal dashboard, and/or using tools like Looker or Tableau to help visualize your growth.
As Hong mentioned, what is most important is to remember to elevate the conversation from “what is an individual student doing or learning,” to “how does that activity impact the entire organization?” Whether with an email newsletter or a monthly meeting, remember that you are your program’s greatest advocate and regularly socializing the progress you are making against your goals will help you gain further support and resources.
To learn more about each of these pillars, and listen to the ‘Ask Us Anything’ portion of the webinar, we encourage you to click below and view the webinar on-demand. You can also check out our comprehensive online guide to Customer Education.