A quick online search for information on the relationship between ubiquitous learning—or u-learning—and customer education may get you nowhere.
But we have good news for you on that matter! This article will unveil the contribution that ubiquitous learning can have in customer education. We hope you enjoy discovering the benefits of ubiquitous technologies in the education of your customers.
Let’s start by talking about customer education and develop some understanding of the topic.
When Customer Education Becomes a Thing
Is the product you’re about to launch into the market highly disruptive?
Well, if you own a startup, that might have been your goal. But there’s a catch to total disruption. You know e-v-e-r-y little thing about your product, yet your customers know nothing about it.
That’s when customer education becomes your top priority. And if you neglect it, you’re likely on your way to business failure. Even if you have the best product in the whole world, it can fail tremendously.
So, you should start thinking…
What’s Customer Education Exactly?
Customer education entails all actions to inform your customers about the value, characteristics and functionalities of your products.
Ultimately, you’re responsible for conducting all the required actions and providing all the necessary information to your customers.
Then, with the education that customers receive, they should be able to make more informed purchases, either online or in-store.
Beware that customer education is not marketing or advertising! Those two areas are based on emotional persuasion, whereas customer education relies entirely on informing.
Also, customer education should not occur solely before the purchase. It must occur from the initial phases of interaction with your products all the way through their continued usage.
Now you know why you need to educate your customer and what that means. So, you might be wondering about the advantages of customer education.
Why You Should Be Concerned with Customer Education
Give up the idea that an informed buyer is likely to choose a competitor’s product. Do not let that be your motto or viewpoint for customer education!
Let’s review some arguments about why you shouldn’t believe that misconception.
1. It Increases Trust in Your Products
The more informed buyers are, the more likely they are to trust your products.
Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power; in this case, the power of choosing and recommending your products over your competitors’.
2. It Triggers Buying Decisions Based on Genuine Product Insights
If you think about it, we’re all tired of advertising initiatives that push products on us fiercely!
Customers want genuine product insights. And a good customer education strategy can trigger buying decisions based on that premise.
3. It Improves Customer Loyalty and Retention Levels
When your customers feel successful using your products, they’ll buy more of them in the future and stick with them for longer.
Moreover, a strong customer education program can help you achieve lower churn rates. That’s because when your customers know their way around your products, they become more attached to them.
4. It Can Be Used for Marketing Purposes
Positive word-of-mouth and reviews about your products are very effective marketing tools.
Customer education can be more than “just” effective in marketing—it can be nonintrusive. And that’s always a pleasant way of getting to your prospects.
5. It Benefits Your Business Goals
Scale and speed up the growth of your business by educating your customers about your products. Consequently, you’ll make your customers happy and successful users of your products.
6. It Contributes to Upselling
Customer education increases the chances of upselling. It does so by increasing the knowledge about how one product relates to others in your product line.
Well-educated customers are likely to open their purse strings and buy upgraded or premium versions of your products.
7. It Decreases the Number of Support Tickets to Resolve
Responding to support tickets is time-consuming and not as effective as customer education.
It’s also a reactive approach, rather than a proactive customer-empowering approach, when compared to customer education.
For instance, you can develop training content that focuses on the aspects that most customers require help with.
That would boost customer support’s efficiency as they would require less help. On the other hand, custom training content would translate to fewer support tickets to resolve.
Move on to the next section for some golden tips on customer education strategies.
How Do You Build a Strong Customer Education Program?
You should follow some specific steps when defining your customer education strategy.
1. Know Your Customers
You must know who your customers are. Understand their technical skills, their experience with similar products, and—most importantly—their needs.
2. Offer Learning Resources
3. Invest in Content
For online buyers, the importance of content about the products they’re looking for is imperative. That’s your clue to invest in content development.
Start with a blog and a website or mobile app that provide accurate and concise information about your products.
Additionally, produce other kinds of content for your customers’ education.
- User guides and other user documentation such as step-by-step tutorials illustrated with captured screens to explain complex uses of your products
- Product walk-throughs, which can take the shape of recorded webinars or be embedded in your products in case they’re web-based or mobile apps
- Onboarding emails that, in turn, lead to onboarding materials available through your Learning Management System (LMS)
- Infographics to convey visual and easily-digestible overviews of your products’ features and functionalities
4. Involve Your Teams
Despite the fact that customer education is not advertising, your sales and marketing teams can educate customers if trained to do so. The same applies to customer support teams.
Evangelize those teams to engage in meaningful conversations with your customers. They’ll most likely prefer that type of support over thin content scripts to which they might not even relate.
5. Choose Your Learning Tools
The most obvious learning tool you might select is an LMS. You might use it to manage your customer education materials and deliver customer training.
You might also—or alternatively—build an online knowledge base with content you previously developed for customer education purposes.
Finally, you might create on-demand customer training courses developed with eLearning authoring tools.
6. Find Your Customer Education Gaps
Investigate what’s missing in your customer education by:
- Listening to customer support audio and email records
- Interviewing customers
- Sending customers satisfaction questionnaires
All these actions are used to find out what your customers are not getting from your products.
7. Prioritize the Customers to Educate
New customers who just bought, signed up for or started using your products should be educated first. It’s very important to educate customers at those stages before they drop off the customer journey.
You should also dedicate special attention to customers who are using complex features of your products.
A key point to remember: You should constantly analyze the points in your customers’ journey where education is most needed.
For example, if you lose a lot of customers when they start using your products, educate those customers urgently. Onboarding courses could be a way of doing that.
Another example: A lot of customers complaining about or requesting help with a particular feature of one of your products. Those customers are also a priority when it comes to customer education. Maybe developing a tutorial or recorded webinar would do the trick.
8. Train Your Customers
You have two options:
- Train your teams to deliver instructor-led and virtual instructor-led customer training, or rely on suppliers to do it for you
- Develop or commission on-demand customer training courses
Do you prefer on-demand training? Then, forget about training room capacity and instructor availability! On-demand customer training courses allow you to reach more customers anywhere, anytime.
Even better—your customers can start and resume on-demand training courses as many times as they wish. Plus, the quality of on-demand courses doesn’t depend on the instructor’s performance.
Wait, there’s more! You can define multiple learning paths according to your customers’ profiles in their organizations. That may be a role, a level of expertise in the same kind of products or any other aspect.
And what do you get from different learning paths in customer education? You attain high levels of customization, which in turn increases customer engagement.
Do you know what’s fantastic from a financial point of view? Both virtual instructor-led and on-demand customer training involve lower costs and less time than instructor-led customer training.
Furthermore, virtual instructor-led and on-demand customer training are highly scalable. Imagine the number of customers you can reach out to for onboarding, for instance. And that would pay off the money invested in creating online learning materials.
Now, it’s time to build some knowledge on ubiquitous learning. After that, we’ll discuss how it can help customer education.
What’s Ubiquitous Learning?
Ubiquitous learning is a combination of two things:
- The interaction between humans and any digital device with the goal of learning
- The constant contact of humans with technology that enables them to learn anytime, anywhere
In ubiquitous learning:
- Course materials are constantly updated
- Learners can communicate—instantly or not—with each other and trainers via video, chat or other means
Smartphones are a primary example of ubiquitous learning. They provide trainers and learners access to on-demand customer training courses and materials. Anytime. Anywhere.
Most importantly, the underlying principle of ubiquitous learning is interactivity.
But how does that apply to customer education specifically?
Ubiquitous Customer Education Is a Reality
Ubiquitous learning and customer education can go together. Absolutely!
First, the intrinsic interactivity of ubiquitous learning fosters trust in your products. That is to say that you should put more channels in place to quickly—ideally 24/7—and efficiently communicate with your customers. As a result, they’ll be sure that your products are the absolute best.
You could even use ubiquitous learning to nurture interaction between your customers and your customer support personnel. Perhaps you could add a communication channel to your LMS for customers to reach out to in-company subject matter experts.
Second, highly interactive learning environments, such as ubiquitous ones, ramp up customer engagement, advocacy, retention and loyalty. What else could you wish for your business?
Third, the “anytime, anywhere” availability and flexibility of ubiquitous learning meets customers’ needs. And those needs are always urgent in the fast-paced business times we live in.
Finally, we must agree that up-to-date learning materials are extremely convenient for corporate customers. As users of your products, your corporate customers must keep up with the novelties in your products.
Move Forward with Ubiquitous Customer Education in Your Business
Your products exist and solve your customers’ problems. But your customers might not be aware of that. Hence, you must teach your customers why and how your products solve their problems.
In the end, you’ll increase your customer success levels. Also, you’ll free up time for your customer success teams.
Above all, keep evaluating, updating and improving your customer education program. If you put the program to rest, that’s the end of it! Running a customer education program is an iterative process that should never stop.
CoreAxis can help you in many ways to build and implement your customer education program. Get in touch with us if you’d like assistance with:
- Developing custom learning strategies such as eLearning, mobile learning, video-based training, LMS management and content strategy
- Delivering training to your customers, whether it’s virtual learning, blended learning, virtual instructor-led training (vILT), or, if you wish, instructor-led training (ILT)
We know the value of customer education. And we’d love to partner with you to educate your customers. Let’s teach them how to become successful with your products!