What’s the most common complaint from customers?
It might be something about price or a frequently requested feature.
The truth? Customers expect products to work. When this doesn’t happen, customers need help fast. And when they can’t help themselves, they become frustrated, and that’s when they start leaving.
But your Customer Success team can’t be online and on the phone 24/7. It’s time-consuming and expensive.
The catch is that if you have built a great product (and we believe you have), then the issue isn’t that your product doesn’t work or the customer doesn’t “get it.”
The issue is that your customers need proper education.
The Rise of Product Education
What do we mean by Product Education? It’s everything your company does to teach customers how to use and get the most value from your product. And it’s an ongoing process that starts with the first marketing interaction and never ends.
The “Product Education” role has been rising in the last 5 years because of this problem. Product Education used to fall into a gap between Sales and Marketing or Product and Sales.
For B2C or bottom-led B2B products like Zoom or Slack, education was responsible for excellent Product design on the front end and robust Customer Success on the back end.
In the face of crowded marketing channels, endless substitutes, and growing customer exhaustion with an overly complex market, Product Education provides an edge based on your fantastic Customer Success teams.
Let’s explore the benefits.
The Benefits of Product Education
In a word: activity.
Educated customers learn the tool faster and better, bringing them to your unique value and encouraging them to spend more time with your product. The best part? Good Product Education can be delivered asynchronously, meaning your team doesn’t have to train every customer personally.
Happy customers who understand how to use a product will always talk about that product. They will share with their team, peers, and partners, and depending on the product, may even bring it into their personal lives.
Zoom’s historic rise shows this. So whether you needed a tool for global business meetings or calling your mom in another state, Zoom was the solution.
Educated customers who share your product are loyal. They need help believing that another product could match their experience with yours, much less be much better than your product. By bringing customers into the product fast and creating a shareable experience, you inspire customers to stay with your company.
Modern customers want to avoid hotlines, support inboxes, and chatbots. Instead, they want easy-to-find and easy-to-understand product support when a product doesn’t work.
This means customers are expecting to service their own needs from your resources.
Whether you’re building feedback into a feature with the Product team, improving FAQ and support documentation with the Customer Success team, or creating your first “How to Use Our Product” Learning Module in Extelli, you can free your team and customers from mutually time-consuming and frustrating calls and email exchanges by building great Product Education.
The Costs of Product Education
Every choice has a cost. However, these are well worth it.
Knowing How Your Customers Learn
The traditional support model involved writing a long, text-based guide for customers to explore with a table of contents. More modern methods include screenshots, videos, and embedded tool tips.
Next is understanding how your customers learn. For example, if you support a video-based product like Loom, then a text-based guide differs from what your customers expect and helps your brand.
Modern customers increasingly expect Product Education in context so that they understand why action matters, which is a big part of self-service.
Solve this by engaging with your customers to determine how they want to learn about your product. Options include intuitive Product design, 1:1 training, text guides, and videos.
Creating the Education
Once you understand how your customers want to learn, it’s time to create training documents. But there are two main challenges.
First, you typically need to assign your Subject Matter Expert so that the education is as good as possible. But they are also your best resource for all other projects. Assign your least experienced team member and risk completely wasting their effort and having to assign your Subject Matter Expert later to fix the first document.
Second, traditional methods for creating education can take a lot of time. Extelli solves this with a point-and-click screen capture tool to easily make process guides in seconds.
Solve this by exploring modern tools that make creating Product Education in the format your customers prefer as easy as possible.
Maintaining the Education
Processes change over time. It could be a tweak to a button or a complete redesign – either way, you will find confused customers.
Keeping documents up to date over time can be painful.
First, your Subject Matter Expert has to step away from important projects to compare a process document to the current state of your product, which is tedious and prone to mistakes.
Second, it takes a lot of work to track the consequences of changes through a document and a more extensive curriculum. Knowing how it all works together is why your customers spend time with your Product Education.
Solve this by creating a community of feedback so that it’s easy for customers and team members to note issues in Product Education while they are experiencing the document.
We designed Extelli to make product education as easy as point-and-click. With it, your team and customers will always Know How, Right Now.
Point and click to create a Guide in seconds that will live in your Library forever.
Curate your team’s knowledge in a shared Library built around easy search, smart tagging, and valuable Collections.
Collaborate by sharing and assigning Guides and Learning Modules to customers and your team.
Today we’ve explored how to empower your customers on their own time with excellent Product Education.