Many software companies put resources and effort into ensuring that they train their employees, but they don’t allocate enough resources or spend enough time developing their customer training programs.
Delivering effective customer training has a ton of benefits for software companies. Forward-thinking software companies are adopting self-paced customer training as they recognize the benefits that this style of learning offers, as we’ll discuss below.
1. Boost Loyalty
For software companies, the old marketing funnel included pre-purchase stages, such as awareness, consideration, and evaluation. Now, the post-purchase experience is a crucial part of that funnel, as software companies recognize the importance of customer retention and customer evangelism.
With most SaaS companies offering monthly contracts (or even pay-as-you-go), it’s much easier for companies to jump ship if your product isn’t delivering the benefits they were promised. So if you want to deliver a post-purchase that turns new software customers into long-term users and brand advocates, you need to deliver customer training.
But not all customers learn the same way or can take a dedicated block of time to learn how your software works. Nor do all roles and departments need or want to start using your software immediately. A flexible training medium is necessary, which is where self-paced training comes in. Instead of attending in-person training at a scheduled time, your customers can start (and stop) training whenever it suits them. This means that your customer training is both useful and convenient, and is likely to reach more people.
2. Improve Product Adoption
If you want to ensure customer loyalty, you need to make your product indispensable. And if your software is part of your customers’ daily lives, then it’s unlikely that they’ll shop around for another option. To do that, you need to provide customer training that gives users the kind of hands-on, interactive experience that will help them understand not only how to use your product — but also give them the experience to actually use your product. It’s not enough to show them what the software features do; they need to understand and use it for themselves.
Self-paced, hands-on software training shows your customers that you care about their purchase decision and want to help them reap the benefits of your product. It will also deepen their understanding of how your product can be incorporated into their business processes, which means they are much more likely to continue using your software.
3. Tailor Training to Customer Needs
While tech-savvy Millennials make up the majority of the workforce, it’s important not to forget the needs of all your customers. Some may take longer to get up to speed with your software and may need to revisit training materials regularly. If you only offer one in-person training session, your customers might struggle to remember the details and not feel adequately prepared to use your software.
Not everyone will be enthusiastic at the thought of having to learn how to use new software. Some customers might try to continue to use their old software because it’s familiar. But by providing interactive training that they can take at their own pace, you can gradually convince all users of the benefits of your software, rather than overwhelming them with information on features and functionality all at once.
You can also tailor your self-paced training to different roles and departments. For example, if you implement new HR software, some of your customers’ employees will only need to use the vacation and time off functionality, while others will also need to submit timesheets. Managers will use different parts of the system, and the accounting and HR departments will use the software in different ways. Rather than training people on all aspects of the system even if they will never use them, you can provide learning paths that address the specific needs of each learner.
4. Lower Training Costs
Hands up if you’ve got a limited customer training budget. Software training managers, we understand that finding the resources to implement a self-paced customer training program is tough. And trying to justify an increased spend in customer training can be challenging.
But self-paced training can lower training costs, meaning you can deliver more training with your existing budget. By providing self-paced training materials that your customers can access at any time, you’ll decrease your customers’ reliance on your support team. Your customers will only need to contact you about important inquiries, such as if there is a bug in the system or if they need to customize certain parts of your software to meet their needs.
Delivering Interactive, Hands-on Self-Paced Training
If you want to deliver customer training that boosts product adoption, improves loyalty, and lowers training costs, then you need to invest in content that enables users to learn by doing.
Providing your customers with real, practical hands-on training environments instead of stale, outdated screenshots will deliver the best user experience for your customers and ensure they are motivated to engage with and complete the software training.
Hands-on self-paced training overcomes the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional customer training programs while providing a business case for expanding this training even further.