I attended a webinar hosted by Linda Schwaber-Cohen of Skilljar, a learning management system focused on accelerating customer onboarding and adoption, customer engagement and modern training methods. Skilljar teamed up with James Scott of SuccessHacker to deliver the webinar. This week, I would like to share a quick summary from the webinar, titled "How to Create a Successful Customer Training Strategy."
The webinar started with a brief discussion on why customer training is important. The reduced support costs are important, but most of the benefits come in the faster time to value for the customer, the improved product adoption, and the overall better customer experience.
My favorite quote from the hour comes from this portion of the webinar, when James said, "If customer success is the engine for growth, then I think training/education is the fuel."
Once you've decided that you do want to invest in a customer training program, the first step is to figure out what exactly you'll be training. You'll need to know what your customers are interested in learning; therefore, talking to customers is an important part of this, as well as visiting with your support team to identify the most common support issues.
What type of technology do you need to meet the customer's needs? If you need to do live online training, your needs will be different than if you need self-service eLearning content or tutorial videos or plan to do your first phase as classroom training. With this information, you can consider the budgeting needs. In this area, James talked about how to justify the costs to your leadership. An effective tactic James suggests: instead of forecasting what you think you can deliver with the training, think of the "worst case scenario" or the break even point for the training investment. For example, saving one customer per quarter or increasing upsell by 1% a year, what does that equate to financially for the company? You can demonstrate that training is a worthwhile investment with these types of conservative measures.
Now that you have some resources assigned to developing training, you can identify your objectives. Linda and James discussed several ways to come up with your objectives.
The next step is to consider pricing. Should you charge customers for your training? James gave a thorough example showing how charging for your training may not always have the best revenue impact. For example, if you have more customers taking free training than paid training, leading to more upsell ARR and retention ARR, you may gain more overall revenue impact with the increased numbers in training than you do from the actual training revenue. However, there are scenarios in which charging for your training is not only appropriate, but necessary, including a consideration that something with a higher price tag might be seen as more valuable than training that is given away. Linda discussed three pricing models, including a blended model in which some training is free; a subscription model, in which customers pay a flat fee for access to training resources; and a la carte, in which there is a charge per course.
In step 5, the webinar hosts discussed ways to market the training, such as through email campaigns, direct client outreach, and in-app notifications.
Finally, you'll need to consider your timeline of when to open training for registration and when to evaluate your success, as well as planning for updates.
For those who didn't get a chance to view the webinar live, you can access the recording here. If you get the chance, it's an hour well-spent if you are thinking about starting or improving your customer training strategy.