How to Educate Customers on Your Products (and Sell More)
As a business owner, you want to do everything that it’s in your power to create a product that your target audience will love and find useful.
You spend countless hours and money to make sure your product will have all the capabilities it needs to rise to the expectations and needs of the modern consumer. You consult with your product designer; you discuss potential improvements; you test it and this process doesn’t stop until you get it right.
And it’s only fair, you want to create a product with actual value.
The same principle applies when promoting and selling this product.
But, regardless of what strategies you use, sales aren’t performing as expected or seem to remain at heights for the long run.
So, what’s missing? Hint: customer education.
Investing in your customers and product use creates expert users who use it more, stay with you for longer and upgrade to higher plans!
The relationship you have with your customers is crucial as it teaches them how to view your company and the actual products you sell. While the company-customer relationship has many stages (see sales funnel), the information you choose to share with them every step of the way determines its strength, depth, and quality.
If you want to build on customer loyalty then you need to teach them about your product in the best way possible. Doing so will make your customers love the product as much as you do, or more.
Want to find out how you can educate your customers on your products? Read on.
THE BENEFITS OF CUSTOMER EDUCATION
Customer education describes all company’s activities and efforts to provide their customers with the information, skills, and abilities they need to make an informed decision on their products.
Its purpose is to show customers why they need your product and how they can use it effectively realizing its full potential.
Here’s why you need to invest in customer education:
- It increases customer engagement and satisfaction
- It builds on customer loyalty and retention
- It helps to offer a high-quality customer service
- It helps to transform customers into expert users
- It positions you as a thought leader in your industry
- It helps to reduce customer support-related costs
- It improves product adoption and sales
- It drives lead generation
Customer education has more to offer to companies whose products are complex and require a certain level of demonstration before their use.
It’s also super useful to organizations whose products prompt users to change existing behaviors; products that have regular updates e.g. SaaS products with additional features, or products that need extensive customer support.
WAYS TO EDUCATE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Every company is different but the end goal in designing any product is to help people solve a problem, learn something that will change their lives for the better, or simply make living easier.
Through a customer education program, you help your customers understand how they can put your product to good use and make the most out of it.
Some of the most common – yet effective strategies organizations are using to offer customer education are:
- Case studies
- Online courses
- Video tutorials
Now let’s get into more details explaining what you can do with each strategy.
The best people to convince your audience to buy from you and learn more about how they can apply your product in their daily or work lives are no other than your existing customers.
Make a selection of some of your best and most loyal customers who have put your product into good use, and present your findings to your target audience. Start with preparing a set of questions that you can use as your template for an informal interview. Then reach out to your existing customers and ask them if they want to share their experience with you.
Get them to answer specific questions related to your product like how your product has helped them achieve their goals. Also, ask them to give you tangible examples of its use showing the impact it made in their lives.
By having them share their story, you can fuel others with the desire to invest in your product.
The epitome of online education – online courses have long seen increasing popularity. Before the pandemic emerged, the online course market was already well into its growth.
A study shows that by 2026 it is going to reach $336.98 billion, but while we are still calculating the impact of Covid, this figure is more likely to become bigger.
Not only online courses offer the best way to educate people from a distance, but they are also easy to use and get information out from, provided you are using the right course platform for your business.
If you want to boost your customer engagement, then using video tutorials in your customer training or learning program, is your safest bet.
Apart from the fact that video is suitable for visual learners, most would be in favor of watching a short video tutorial rather than having to go through a long-form PowerPoint presentation. Whether you are hosting live tutorials through Zoom, Skype, or Facebook, or you are recording them, the benefits are tremendous.
And no you don’t need a dedicated team of experienced video producers to create video tutorials. A recorded webinar can be re-shared on YouTube or hosted on your website and will still work wonders!
A webinar is a great educational and conversion tool.
Whether you are using them to carry out a product demonstration, a tutorial to show customers how they use your product effectively, a sales pitch, or simply educate them on the benefits of its use, it can help you get those leads you need and turn them into paying customers.
To get the most out of webinars, you can start hosting webinar series to walk through all the aspects of the product or service that customers need to become familiar with, or need more information.
Apart from educating them on your product directly, you can also consider having your own customers talking about it and its use case, or even an industry expert talking who will promote it to the public.
With podcasts, you can easily raise brand awareness and reach out to an existing audience who has not yet heard anything about you. Whether you are creating podcasts or taking part in one, you get the chance to introduce yourself to an eager audience and encourage them to check out your product.
But that’s not all podcasts can do.
As podcasting is growing, professionals realize podcasts are great for educating customers on a range of subjects. Their audio format makes it easily accessible to everyone, and they can download it on their smart devices while on the go.
Podcast listeners are hungry for knowledge and want to stay on top of things, especially in industry developments, which makes podcasting an excellent option to consider.
Blogging your way to success is possible. Creating informational content can get you the traffic you need on your business website, which in return will bring you more leads and more chances of making a sale.
For customers, the blog is the place to get the advice they need to learn more about your product – how to use it and when – following a written step-by-step process. How-to blog posts that are content-heavy and offer actionable advice are the ones you should focus most on.
Having a content marketing strategy in place will help you identify the core topics you need to write about. Pay attention to industry keywords, search intent, and frequent customer inquiries.
Apart from blog posts, ebooks are also great resources you can offer to your customers. Research finds that ebooks are becoming more popular year by year, and shows that electronic-format books are more easily accessible and preferred by the wider public.
You can offer free ebooks as lead magnets to encourage potential customers to become your email subscribers or paid ebooks that provide exclusive content to community members.
An ebook may cover a range of topics but the more relevant it is to your industry and product, the more useful it is going to be for your target audience. If you are offering email software, for example, publishing an introductory guide on email marketing is a smart choice for an ebook.
Just like in many situations, there is no definite way of doing this. You can try as many strategy combinations as you like to see what’s working for you best in terms of associated production costs, engagement rates, and audience demographics.
5 SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLES OF CUSTOMER EDUCATION
Many companies regardless of their industry, realize how important customer education is for customer retention and are choosing to engage with their customers in a more profound way.
By going the extra mile to educate them on what their organization does, they give customers the opportunity to get more information on the proper way of using their products.
HubSpot – the company that sells marketing tools and software, is doing extensive work in customer education.
With a dedicated resources page, it gives its customers access to many free workbooks, templates, courses, guides, ebooks, and toolkits to help them gain more knowledge in many areas of marketing.
From advertising, analytics, content creation, to e-commerce, web design, and sales amongst many other topics, the HubSpot team has made their resource page the go-to place to learn more about marketing.
The company also offers a range of free tools that potential customers can try out before they decide to buy their products.
Visme comes with a tool that allows you to build exceptional visuals of any kind including presentations, infographics, resumes, graphs and charts, social media graphics and you name it.
To help their customers out, Visme is creating video tutorials on how to design various types of documents that walk them through the process of building them from scratch.
Most video tutorials on their website are up to 5 or 6 minutes long, which makes them easy to watch, understand, and get the information that customers need concisely. Each video also has a tag that explains the level of difficulty (e.g. beginner, intermediate) showing who will find it useful.
Such videos are super handy especially for non-designers or those who have just started using Visme’s platform and need some extra help to navigate it.
Minuttia – the agency that specializes in helping SaaS and technology companies get more organic growth, has launched a training program for content creators, SEO professionals, and marketing teams.
Through Minuttia Learn, anyone can complete an online training course that will equip them with the knowledge and the information they need to boost all content marketing efforts.
The course covers a range of areas professionals need to become more familiar with as well as the stages they need to go through to create and publish content, and ways of measuring its performance.
Minuttia also makes use of blogging and case studies on their existing customers.
Their case studies show potential clients or interested companies the results they can get once they start using their services. The effectiveness of their product is translated into actual numbers, percentages, and figures that prove how it can help businesses increase website traffic, highlighting the real value behind it.
Moosend’s choice to offer customer education is focused on a collection of webinars, a resourceful blog, an academy of online courses, infographics, templates, and many other downloadables.
Email marketing processes and applications can be difficult to understand, especially for someone who is just starting their business, however having an email marketing platform that can help automate the B2C communication process is a necessity.
And, Moosend goes the extra mile to help them learn how to use their product effectively.
A single browse on their website will convince you that the company has invested a lot of time into making this possible for their customers, which only adds more value to the product they are selling.
As a leading company in the elearning industry, LearnWorlds offers a powerful course platform that anyone can use to create, market, and sell courses.
The LearnWorlds Academy offers both free and paid courses that elearning professionals can download and access directly from the website.
Apart from that though, LearnWorlds also comes with free ebooks and checklists, case studies, daily webinars, a blog, and a rich library of support articles that help existing customers learn how to use the course platform.
The company also regularly hosts online events where industry experts share their knowledge and insights with customers who want to learn how they can build their online school or online course business.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO EDUCATE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Having a customer education program in place comes with a lot of benefits for any business at any stage. And, this is the reason it’s hard to ignore it, to begin with.
Customer education has the power to provide additional value to your products and services, so much so that it can get even the hardest-to-convince customers to buy from you instead of your competitors. All that it takes is ongoing dedication, some love, and belief in your product.
Whether you are just starting out your business or want to grow your business and expand your audience, educating your customers is a process that offers a financially sustainable solution in the long run. So why not give it a go?
Try it out and let us know how it goes in the comments section below!
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