In our recent webinar with UserTesting’s Content Strategist, Steve Fleming-Prot, we explored the intersection of Customer Education and customer experience (CX). Based on Steve’s background in user experience (UX), design, and related research, we started by identifying the fundamental question, what is customer experience?

According to Steve, CX is “All the touchpoints your customers have with your organization, and those customers’ reactions to those touchpoints – both their behaviors and their emotions.” These touchpoints include interactions with your website, your software/product, or Customer Support. Notably, the customer experience happens whether you design it or not, so why not make it part of your overall strategy and craft it deliberately? 

One of the most impactful ways to be deliberate in this design is by asking for customer feedback to uncover what Steve calls “human insights.” These are insights into who your customers are, what their needs are, and what they expect, all of which engender a level of empathy that enables you to design better products.

When it comes to taking a customer-centric approach to Customer Education, it’s important to keep in mind the three key takeaways students glean from educational content: awareness of your brand/product, knowledge about how a feature solves a business need, or skills to use a particular product or feature. As you develop content, it’s important to first determine which goal you are addressing. Then, Steve recommends using the “Jobs to be Done” approach – in other words, “people don’t simply buy products or services, they ‘hire’ them to make progress in specific circumstances (Christensen Institute).” This speaks to uncovering the value of your educational content for your customers—beyond how to use your tool or product.

Based on these principles, Steve developed a model called the 4 Ds – Decide, Discover, Design, Deliver – to build UserTesting’s education platform, the Learning Navigator. To learn more about each phase of this strategy, you can view Steve’s presentation slides alongside the on-demand recording here. At a high level: 

  1. Decide: In this phase, it’s about documenting the users’ journey and identifying what problems you are going to try to solve
  2. Discover: At this stage, your team is reviewing existing customer feedback – from Support calls, popular Help Center content, customer interviews, etc. –  to learn what customers’ actual needs are
  3. Design: Now that you understand your customers’ needs, it’s time to begin designing your content and testing it with real customers (check out the webinar recording for a video example of this process from UserTesting)
  4. Deliver: In this phase, you are launching your program. That said, this is just the beginning and it’s important to understand that this phase often leads back to the Discover phase as you learn more from your customers.

Ultimately, Steve strongly believes in the use of customer feedback to both improve Customer Education programs and the customer experience more broadly.