Customer Training & Education
Where does your customer training journey begin? After a customer has purchased your product? Or...Read More
Where does your customer training journey begin? After a customer has purchased your product? Or before they’ve purchased it? And what customer resources do you include in your program? Should you provide as many resources as possible to meet the needs of everyone? Or should you focus your efforts? And produce a few high-quality customer training resources to inspire your user? These and many other questions are answered as we compare training programs from 5 of the best customer training companies.
Customer education and training are providing your customers with the resources to successfully use your product. It may start even before you have purchased your product. And helps guide your customer through their buying decision and to using your product. Allowing you and your customers to increase usage, adoption, and customer success.
“A Customer Education function strategically accelerates account and user growth by changing behaviors, reducing barriers to value, and improving the way people work.”
There are many reasons why customer education and training is important. These include
Customer training often includes a wide variety of activities, content types, and interactions. Usually along a continuum. In B2B sales 60% of the purchasing decision is now made before engaging a sales rep. Innovative companies are now using customer training in their marketing. Since it moves potential customers closer to purchasing a product.
As well as customer education for users, it often includes training for administrators and/or IT support people.
We chose to look at the customer training examples from 5 companies regarded as being the best in business. Below we highlight the significant features of each of these customer education examples. Each and any of these can be useful lessons you can include in your training offerings.
Microsoft Teams is a business communication platform. It offers workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration. MS Teams provides an excellent example of customer training. It includes education for individual consumers and for enterprise product customers. The MS Teams product is a top customer training example. And they have many features that can be used in your training programs.
MS Teams are one of the innovative companies that focus a lot of resources on customer education even before a purchase. They start with a guided tour demonstration but also include many other options. For example, there are articles, blog posts, e-books, and other resources to use as part of your buying decision.
Also, they include options for instructor-led training. And a quick start guide. All this before you make a purchase.
Once a purchase has been made then MS Teams provides lots of ‘in-product’ customer training. In the “HELP” menu there are many useful resources. Such as a series of videos on common customer questions.
Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard platform designed for remote and distributed teams. It is also targeted for both individual consumers and as an enterprise product. But is a much smaller company than Microsoft. They are strongly oriented towards design, software development, entrepreneurship. And organizations that have embraced visual communication. As a product, it has a lot of potential customer training applications.
Like MS Teams, Miro provides access to customer education resources before you sign up. As you can see from the graphic opposite this includes blog articles, an academy of courses, a help center, and a community discussion page. The community is a very engaging component of the product. Here people share how they use Miro boards and their templates. Some of this is very compelling. Once you sign up you have access to more training. Including click through demonstrations.
Litmos is a Learning Management System targeting mid-sized businesses and organizations. They also offer extended enterprise training.
Litmos offers customer training before signing up for a trial or purchase. This includes videos and webinars, infographics, ebooks, brochures, and blog posts.
After purchasing the product, or signing up for the free trial, Litmos offers an array of training and support. It uses two portals: the technical side and the “Dojo”. The technical side provides access to their community for customers. As well as a knowledge base and basic product information. The dojo houses their in-depth customer education and training. You can earn badges, access existing learning paths, and choose extra courses from an a la carte menu.
Vyond is a cloud-based animation tool where you can make your own animated, and whiteboard videos. The product is targeted at individuals but is also offered for agencies and enterprises. Specifically targeting marketing and training departments.
Before signing up for the free trial, customer education and training is provided to help with the sales and marketing of the product. As well as a blog, there are case studies, and a collection of on-demand webinar recordings. There is also a section on tips and tricks which provide detailed and useful how-to information.
Vyond also has a community as well but that requires you to be signed up for a premium subscription. The Vyond community is where members discuss how they can achieve their goals using the product. It includes the ability to upload files, create polls, and join groups. This is an interesting aspect of the community. For example, one group shares assignments and receive feedback. The expert providing the feedback is running an 8-week “challenge”, related to a book about creating stories.
Articulate is the leading e-learning authoring tool on the market. They took the familiar look and feel of PowerPoint and built a suite of tools that enable users to develop interactive e-learning. All without having to know how to code. Their products are targeted to companies and to freelancers.
As with the other companies, Articulate provides customer education and training resources before a purchase. Or sign up for a free trial. These include free e-book guides, articles, templates, examples, and discussion group topics.
Once you sign up for the trial or purchase the product Articulate provides in-product training. This includes video tutorials, user guides, product support resources, and extra help. Yet, most of the Articulate customer education and support drives customers to their Elearning Heroes Community. This is where Articulate really shines with its training. There are a vast amount of customer training resources here. Helping people learn, and engage in dynamic discussions. As well as demos and downloads to inspire you.
Below is a summary of the resources offered by each of the companies in their customer training. As you can see all the companies offer built-in help for their products, as well as product tutorials. Most also offer a knowledge base, live webinars, and an online community as part of their customer education resources. Yet, several resources aren’t offered by all companies. Such as an Academy, a certification program, or virtual training.
It’s much more important to offer some excellent training resources rather than providing customer training in every area. For example, Articulate doesn’t have an Academy or a Certificate program. But they don’t need them. Their online community is excellent. So along with some basic resources (help, knowledge base, etc), it provides excellent customer training. And has become a competitive advantage for the company.
All the above are resources that most organizations could provide as part of their customer education and training program. However, it is important to decide which customer training resources make the most sense for your customer. And where you can differentiate yourself as an organization and inspire your clients. A distinction to your customer education program could relate to how much of each resource you include. Or don’t. And how much you invest in specific elements. For example, Articulate has focused on its E-learning Community. And has differentiated themselves as a result.
Now you know how some of the best customer training companies do it. So what are you going to include in your customer training? How are you going to inspire your customers? Are you going to start with resources available even before your customer has purchased your product? So that you can help propel them along their purchasing process and increase sales? And are you going to provide a little of each of the customer education resources? Or are you going to focus on what’s best for your customer? And what makes sense for your organization and your budget? What part of your training resources is going to excel and inspire?