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.
What is Customer Training?
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.”
Why is Customer Training Important?
There are many reasons why customer education and training is important. These include
- Product Usage + Customer Success: It shows how best to use your product and helps your customer in increasing their success.
- Helping Customer Support: By training your customers you free up your support team from having to respond to common support queries. And then your customer support team can focus on more in-depth support.
- Reducing Customer Support Costs: You can reduce customer support costs by training your customers on your product.
- Consistent Customer Experience: Your customer training program can ensure a consistent experience for all your customers.
- Increasing Customer Satisfaction: The satisfaction of your customers increases as they become more knowledgeable, more quickly. And more successful in using your product. This increases usage by your customers. And it increases customer retention and the potential for future follow-on sales or services.
- Increase Brand Awareness and Positioning: A good customer training program can build customer trust. And positive word of mouth from your customers improves your brand awareness and positioning.
The Customer Education and Training Continuum
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.
Customer Training Examples From 5 of the Best in the Business
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 Customer Training
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.
Features of MS Team Customer Education
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.
Customer Training Lessons from MS Teams
- The customer education before a purchase is extremely good.
- All the customer training elements are visually consistent throughout.
- There are many resources that customers can access to help understand the product. And use for onboarding once they have purchased the product.
- But, because there is such a lot of training, some of it is less obvious to access and find.
- The MS Team customer training provides a good combination of product and skills training. For example, customer training includes how to be more productive, and how to improve teamwork.
- The customer training is presented “cafeteria-style”. That is the user selects what training elements they want to undertake. But there are also prepared learning paths as well.
- A really useful feature is the knowledge checks that MS Teams use in their customer training. They allow users to skip topics, and focus their time on areas where they need some knowledge or skills.
- While the pre-sale customer training is impressive the onboarding and in-product training is limited. Primarily is consists of help pages and short instructional videos.
Miro Customer Training
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.
Features of Miro Customer Education
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.
Customer Training Lessons from Miro
- As with MS Teams, the customer education and training before sign up with Miro is also very good.
- The in-product education, once you have signed up, is excellent for a first-time user. Right away you are able to create your first Miro board and see the value immediately. There are many templates to choose from including partially completed ones to show how to use the tool.
- As well when you sign up you are immediately contacted to take an in-person tour of the site and tools
- There are also helpful nudge reminders (emails to point out features, and helpful tips).
- The training and education includes weekly webinars on ways to help the user see the value in integrating Miro into their workflow.
Litmos Customer Training
Litmos is a Learning Management System targeting mid-sized businesses and organizations. They also offer extended enterprise training.
Features of Litmos Customer Education
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.
Customer Training Lessons from Litmos
- The getting started guide is a great reference to help you set up your own site/instance.
- Litmos works with industry experts to write blog posts about training.
- There are badges for levels of completion (based on the martial arts theme).
- They use their own platform to deliver the training. This helps to see the customization they’ve used which you can apply to your own site.
- Ratings and reviews are also included on the Dojo site. This makes for a quality experience even before you register for a course.
Vyond Customer Training
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.
Features of Vyond Customer Education
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.
Customer Training Lessons from Vyond
- Vyond has good training and education before any sign-up or free trial.
- Product enhancements and extra features are listed in the Help menu. Showing the features offered and that the product continues to improve provides a sticky experience.
- For premium subscription levels there is a community which supports customer training.
- They provide a template library for helping customers, particularly new customers.
- As well Vyond have case studies from other customers to provide insights into how people have modified the templates.
- And they also show how their product could be used with one of their biggest competitors, Articulate Storyline.
Articulate Customer Training
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.
Features of Articulate Customer Education
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.
Customer Training Lessons from Articulate
- While the customer training that Articulate provides before you purchase is good, the Elearning Heroes Community excels. This has become a competitive advantage for Articulate. Users regularly cite the community as a feature of the product that helped them to make a purchase.
- The e-book guides Articulate offer provide excellent customer education. Even if you aren’t an Articulate customer.
- The weekly e-learning challenges they provide show users what’s possible with the software. It’s an opportunity to apply what you are learning with the tool. And a chance for users to create a portfolio, while Articulate gets a stream of marketing assets.
- The use of “superheroes” is a cool way to recognize advanced users for their contributions to the community.
Comparison of Customer Training Resources Offered
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?
For more on the details of what you can and should include in your customer education program read How to Easily Create Powerful Customer Education. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 250 537 9461 to discuss your specific circumstances.