Sales and marketing are increasingly complex disciplines, don't you think?
Let me start with a little story. I used to work as a salesperson selling data encryption software. My job was simple. I called various companies, told them about our product and asked if they wanted to try it, nothing more. You know what? Pretty much all of them wanted it. After they tried our software, they bought it. Sounds like a dream? The success was in their hunger for any new solution, early bird got the worm. Since then the market situation changed.
Nowadays, the market is full and rich. Buyer’s priorities and standards have changed. They have higher expectations and usually exactly know what they need. They need to understand the value of your product immediately. In order to make them buy and like the product you have to explain it to them: Why they need the product and how they will use it. That’s what we call Customer Education.
I know that my story alone isn’t enough, so I've prepared seven examples to show how customer education can change your entire business - whether it's a small company of 20 people or a corporate with 2,000 employees. I believe that a customer education program can make you a market leader. Let's have a look at it.
1. Raising awareness and telling the market why you're important.
What problem does your product solve? Which customer needs does it fulfill? Customers appreciate it if you know their problems and needs. Create content that puts their needs into the right perspective. Show them that you know their problems and give them ways and tools to solve them.
You may need to educate the entire public community about an issue. One of our clients is a global leader in chemistry. Their area are cyanides, which is a complicated topic. They need to set the cyanide field straight - explain in detail what cyanides are. And that's a difficult task. That's why we're creating an educational program that uses animated videos and other media to shed more light on the issue. See what the educational videos look like here.
2. Educational marketing increases the quality of leads and potential clients. Reduce the cost of acquisition.
Customer education makes sense in every industry. For example: if you sell socks it may seem like all you need is a great design and an attractive price. Don't your socks have any other added value? Maybe your socks are comfortable and have a loose fit that doesn't constrict the foot?
Wouldn't it make sense to educate your clients about the health benefits of a loose hem or, conversely, the consequences that occur when the hem tightens the foot too much? This is just an example. If you sell IT solutions, your potential customer might appreciate an entire e-learning course on network security or data center electricity consumption. You're only limited by your imagination.
3. Onboarding programs make a fantastic first impression on customers.
If customers know how to use your product, they can become satisfied customers. Otherwise, you're on thin ice and risk customers complaining or terminating contracts which means disappointed customers. Onboarding is a process during which you strive to turn your client into a pro at using your services. Cloud software tool providers are already mastering this discipline - adding increasingly intuitive interactive guides and filling their FAQ libraries with answers.
Or read our article: How to build a customer academy.
4. Customers who are masters at using your products can become brand ambassadors.
When your clients become masters at using your products, they're likely to be satisfied, plus they'll be happy to brag about it. They become your brand ambassadors and valuable business partners. If only all clients were like that, right?
5. If you help customers to get stronger, they will be loyal.
Help your customers be successful at what they do. They will appreciate your help and it will come back to you. Loyal clients provide stability to the business and are like your family. They love you and give your business energy. At least that's hwat we all want and how it should work.
6. Teaching customers how to use your products reduces complaints.
If many customers return your products or complain about the quality, it might be because they don't know how to use your products properly. Maybe clients had different expectations. With Customer Education, you can reduce complaints and the amount of unhappy customers and achieve better sales results.
7. Explaining the value and benefits defends the pricing of your products.
If you have to compete with a large number of competitors and are unable to explain why your product is the best, you will be under enormous pressure to lower your price.
I don't want to encourage you to sell your products at too high a price, but I also don't want you to undersell. Low margins can cause fatal problems and are the cause of the downfall of many companies. Customer that understand your products and know why they should choose them are customer who are willing to pay the price you need.
Still not sure?
I have selected seven most important reasons and examples why Customer Education is a key business discipline. The list could go on and on. I believe that a strong customer education program enables companies to achieve exceptional results.
With this article, I started a series on Customer Education. In the next article, we'll look at companies that have become leaders in their industry just by sharing their knowledge with others.
If you are interested to know how customer education can help your business contact us for a free consultation.