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There’s no question that organizational performance relies on training and development. Onboarding and continuous learning are crucial. But, success isn’t just about educating your employees. Customer education and training can be just as important. And embedded in the practice of customer education is the idea that an informed customer (or potential customer) is more engaged with your organization, which is often associated with increased sales, improved customer experience, and brand loyalty.

Engaging Learning Experiences for Customer Education

Depending on your business model, customer education and training may entail showcasing products, services, solutions, building competency around systems and platforms, or highlighting key elements of a brand. Essentially, its the process of providing customers with all of the information they might need throughout the buying cycle and then while using your product or service to meet their organizational or personal needs. Most customer training takes on a hybrid learning model, with assets like learning repository, customer forums, digital learning activities, and instructor-led training with customer success managers.

Training Content Accessibility

With so many digital learning options for engaging customers, customer education has become much more scalable. Research by RetailDive found that 67% of consumers research a product online before they buy. Much of that research is found through social proof and third-party reviews, which are difficult to control. However, as a learning consultant for your organization, you can ensure that your content is just as easily accessible on partner sites, online forums, and externally facing learning portals. functions and features, For example, digital learning assets can be accessed at the point of need, whereas check-ins with customer success managers may be more difficult to come by. But

Pre-boarding Customers

It’s important to capture the attention of potential customers early on in their research. Typically, the first engagement is with a marketing asset. So, consider partnering with your organization’s marketing department to make sure marketing content offers some educational value. Think of it as preboarding customers, and create a learning strategy that spans the entirety of the customer experience. For instance, what content would a potential customer need to know in the initial stages of their research or while choosing between products?

Products vs. Services and Best Practices

The biggest difference between selling a product versus selling a service is having a tangible item to give someone instead of a concept or idea. Products often fill a want of a customer, whereas services are about building a relationship that will be maintained. B2B or business-to-business sales focus on companies as their primary consumer. B2C or business-to-consumer sales zero in on individuals rather than whole companies as their customers. Based off whether you are a B2B or a B2C and whether you sell a product or service could change how you go about your customer education.

If catering customer education in a B2B realm you will want to make sure you focus your attention on building strong personal relationships. This allows you to demonstrate to your fellow business that your ideals are the same thus making a long-term relationship appealing. You will also want to focus on finding your niche. The better you understand who needs your product or service, the better you can gear your consumer education to them. Going along with that learning your clientele’s vernacular is beneficial. Again, the more you demonstrate you understand your customer in the B2B realm, the more likely you are to land and keep the sale.

Within the context of eLearning, it will be important for you to provide materials that can capture the above listed B2B ideals. Because the B2B realm relies heavily on relationships, keying in on how other companies have used your products, found success and stayed loyal to your brand can be particularly impactful. This can be as simple as video testimonials, or demonstrations of how a product/service was used, to fix a problem to diving into learning theories and why specific methods work better than others.

If you need your customer education to the B2C realm it will be important to streamline your process as much as possible. B2Cs essentially run on efficiency and the better you are at giving them what they need (whether it’s a product, service or the education surrounding those things) the more likely they are to keep coming back to you. Because your customer base is more broad it is advantageous to make the information you provide in your customer education appealing to a lot of different groups and funnel it down from there. Circling these B2C ideals back to eLearning it will be beneficial to focus in on product specs or functions of a service. With B2C being much more technical infographics and 3D models are a great way to help educate your customers on how to use their purchase. Instructional videos and demo sites that allow for some trial and error on a product without the possibility of messing up actual data needed for work are other good options to consider when building your customer education eLearning.