A Critical Investment
Your Customer Success Team is your most direct connection with your customers. Not only are they are the first line of defense when customers are experiencing challenges but they are also, and perhaps more importantly, the critical value driver for customers. Your Customer Success Team is juggling a wide variety of responsibilities including product onboarding, customer education, professional services, customer retention, and upsells. These broad and mission-critical areas of ownership make it essential that you adopt a thoughtful approach to scaling this team as your business grows.
In the early days, most Customer Success teams embrace a personalized approach for each customer. While this approach helps the team identify patterns and best practices, it’s not scalable as the business grows and the number of customers expands. As your customer base grows, you’re also likely to see diversity in terms of needs and future growth potential. These factors will prompt you to consider a more segmented and scalable approach; one that centers on customer training rather than one that relies solely on hiring more CSMs.
With the right investments, Customer Education can be a game-changer in your scaling efforts and will set your organization up for sustained, long-term success.
Investing in On-Demand Customer Education
Many Customer Success teams run product education by scheduling a series of sequenced phone calls for each customer. While this seems easy to implement, having your Customer Success Managers (CSMs) run 1:1 and synchronous processes is very difficult to scale. This training experience isn’t ideal for your customers either. Key attendees might have scheduling conflicts, it’s difficult to capture knowledge, and customers may prefer to consume information differently than how it’s presented, not to mention the potential for inconsistent onboarding experiences among CSMs and customers.
Instead, the most successful and efficient organizations provide customers with on-demand training that can be delivered instantaneously. On-demand content isn’t subject to fluctuations among different instructors; customers around the world receive the same high-quality training experience no matter where they are located or when they participate in training. Providing access to on-demand training ultimately enables you to support more customers and create a faster training process.
Customizing the Training Experience
While shifting to a training format that relies heavily on pre-built content may cause concerns about the level of personalization trainees will receive, on-demand education can still be customized by role type, product needs, and depth of product knowledge through the creation of multiple learning paths. In some instances, these training paths can actually increase the level of personalization as they drive value to more specific segments of customers, rather than treating each account as a homogenous group in need of the same training. This level of quality and personalization increases the odds that customers will engage with your training and by extension, your product.
Being able to support more customers with a streamlined, scalable Customer Education program is a huge benefit for your company and offering on-demand training is a proven, successful strategy for helping your company scale its Customer Success offerings.
Increasing CSM Capacity and Return-on-Time
Shifting to a primarily on-demand strategy not only enables your Customer Success team to train more customers more effectively and efficiently, it also gives CSMs time back to work on other responsibilities. This return on time typically results from the following characteristics of on-demand training:
Reduced content development investment
Because training material can be delivered indefinitely, upfront costs expended on the initial design and creation of online learning materials provide value over the long-term, without requiring additional time investment. CSMs do not need to create innumerable presentation decks for customized onboarding calls or spend time sourcing internal subject matter experts (SMEs) or other team members to provide support. Instead, CSMs can direct customers to existing, on-demand coursework that is tailored to their particular role and focus on more unique customer needs.
Reduced support investments
Not only does on-demand Customer Training enable your CSMs to more efficiently onboard customers, it is also an effective mechanism for reducing the time they invest in addressing often repetitive support inquiries. If customers are regularly experiencing friction with a particular aspect of your product or if customers tend to have similar questions during initial onboarding, developing an on-demand course can help reduce the burden.
Plus, as your organization builds out more and more content that responds to common support questions, CSMs will see fewer inbound tickets, meaning they can resolve other, more unique issues that come up more quickly and with fewer resources. With these benefits, CSMs can focus on using their time with customers more strategically and aiding in a stronger bottom line for the company overall.
Built-in support for re-training
As your customers hire more team members and/or add additional seats, new users also need to be trained on your product even though it’s after the initial implementation. Rather than recreating another version of the onboarding presentation and spending the time coordinating the logistics and presenting it, CSMs can direct new students to existing on-demand content for them to pursue as they have availability. Whether new students join once every few months, or on a more regular basis, the lift on CSMs will be relatively minor.
Investing in customer education can help you improve customer engagement while controlling costs and focusing the CSM team on higher-value items. Providing access to on-demand training ultimately enables you to support more customers and create a faster onboarding process. By supplying your customers with the right content exactly when they are seeking it, you help build the customer relationship and pave the way for long-term customer success.
Interested in scaling your Customer Success team with Customer Education? We’d love to chat! You can request a demo by visiting: https://info.skilljar.com/skilljar-demo.