Goals of customer education
The goal of most customer education programmes is to become a ‘hub’ and valued resource – to create an online community engaged with fresh ideas, new perspectives, and fun approaches to learning. In this manner, you can provide a platform where people can interact with both your brand and each other. But take care to adopt an unbiased approach in your educational content and interactions. Education is about helping your target audience understand the relevant context, challenges, and appropriate solutions. In so doing, you will build brand loyalty and social capital, while opening a valuable new avenue for lead generation.
Remember to be worthwhile, your educational effort has to be entirely focused on providing value to your target audience and not a thinly-veiled sales pitch (which will only promote distrust, and result in frustrated customers and prospects). Don’t solicit. Rather, build a selfless image with vendor-neutral education by providing the full context of issues and available solutions, whether you offer them or not. Employ supporting material from independent and impeccable sources, and invite industry experts to participate in your educational efforts.
3 key takeaways
Develop personas for each audience segment you serve, and do enough research so you understand their needs at each step of the sales process. Talk to your sales people and customer support staff. Interview customers. Your goal is to deliver a winning hand of educational resources. There are no shortcuts.
Focus on teaching, not selling. If you want prospects to consume your educational resources, they must be laser-focused on their needs, not yours. If they make an investment of time to view your educational material, it must deliver value to them. If you lure them into viewing a sales pitch in disguise, they won’t come back.
By analysing data generated by your educational content, you can identify which courses and information deliver the greatest value. Do more of that and fix or eliminate what’s not working.
By connecting learning analytics with your CRM software, a company can collect real-time data about consumer behaviour and discover which features of their product and services are the most popular among their client base. Or, they can even identify pain points when learners/clients need a better understanding. Sharing the learning analytics with the marketing and product documentation teams, an holistic approach will create additional value in comparison to the competition and become a competitive advantage for the "learning" company.