6 Customer Training Best Practices
Customer training can improve product usage, increase customer retention, lower support costs, and make customers and resellers successful with your product – making it obvious why the software companies have made it a priority.
And for years, Appsembler has partnered with the world’s top software companies to implement and launch customer training academies. Read on to learn about their best practices.
1. Describe the Status Quo. Define Your Goals.
The first step is to understand how your customer-facing function is performing. Are you meeting your targets and delivering value to your customers? Then you can set goals for your customer training. Key metrics to think about when it comes to performance and goals include:
- Customer Retention Rate
- Product Engagement Score
- Training NPS Score
- # of course enrollments and completions
- % of customers who have completed training
- MAUs on training site
Make sure you add a timeline to these goals so you can check in and see what progress you’ve made. From there, you’ll be able to implement a training program that addresses the most pressing questions surrounding your product to deliver an effective learning experience.
2. Know What Your Customers Expect
After you’ve defined your goals, next you need to understand your customers’ priorities and what’s important to them. Here are the steps you need to take to understand what your customers expect from your training content:
- Interview at least 3-4 existing customers (ideally 7-10 customers), and ask them what they’d like to see from your training material. Then, go through your organization’s current training material to see how well they align with your interview findings.
- Identify the gaps in your training material, then build a production roadmap for how you’ll fill in those gaps in your training curriculum.
3. Have the Right Tools in Place
The right customer training software enables your customers to discover your courses and access learning materials with ease. Here are the tools you need to ensure your training reaches its potential:
- Hands-On Labs: give your customers the ability to practice using your software in real-world situations; the best way to learn by doing
- Multiple Content Types: adding knowledge checks, quizzes, videos, and other interactive learning content makes for a better learning experience and gives your customers immediate feedback on how they’re progressing through the course material
- Analytics & Reporting: create reports that dig into learner and course data to help you understand which learning content is the most popular, and which aspects of the customer training program can be improved
- Safely & Easily Update Learning Content: Software evolves rapidly, which means that the training on that software needs to change rapidly, too. So when selecting a customer training platform, make sure that you can update, edit, and evolve your training curriculum in an agile yet safe manner. An agile course updating process will help your training curriculum stay up-to-date, while multiple training environments ensure that course updates are deployed in a safe manner.
4. Deliver Immersive Software Experiences
As mentioned in the previous section, to ensure that your customer training is as effective as possible, your content should include hands-on labs which will enable customers to learn by doing.
Research suggests that learning-by-doing results in 75% learning retention, which is why it’s important that you allow customers to apply what they’ve learned and increase their knowledge retention with a hands-on environment. Delivering a hands-on learning experience that allows users to play with the software results in a more informative experience for customers.
Hands-on training environments are made possible by a technology called virtual training labs.
5. Build a Dedicated Training Website
Your customer training program’s tone, voice, and messaging will likely differ from your main brand’s marketing tone. That’s why it’s recommended that you have a dedicated website where all of your customer training courses are displayed.
You need to build a dedicated training website that speaks your customers’ language and addresses their learning pain points. This type of content may clash with your company’s main marketing website, which is why you need to build a space that addresses their specific training needs.
Keep in mind that software companies tend to have a slight preference for self-paced training because of its scalability and user experience, so consider having self-paced courses at the forefront of your training website.
Here are some examples of pages dedicated to self-paced software training:
6. Look for Ways to Continually Improve
Developing a customer training roadmap shouldn’t be a one-and-done experience. Once you’ve rolled out your customer training plan, you need to consider where you can make improvements. Use learner metrics to get an insight into what’s not working. Are your customers getting stuck on a particular module? Are there areas of the course with a low completion rate?
Most customer training software has built-in learning analytics that can help you track and evaluate customer usage, engagement, and satisfaction with your training program. Use these reports and analytics to create a customer training program that is constantly being improved.