Technology Companies Need a New Strategy for Turning Users into Educated Customers and Passionate Evangelists
While technology companies across nearly every industry have achieved steady revenue growth in recent years, the complexity of their products has increased at a similar rate.
As more features and capabilities are added to a product over time, it naturally becomes harder to use, resulting in plummeting adoption and retention rates.
Even if you manage to keep a steady flow of new customers and revenue coming in, rising customer acquisition costs will quickly erode your profits and wipe out any growth you hoped to achieve.
The most successful technology companies have found that a renewed focus on product adoption, customer success, and retention is the key to healthy growth and long-term profitability.
In fact, research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) found that increasing retention by just 5% can increase your profits by more than 25%.
Why Technology Companies Fail to Retain Customers
Fast-growing technology companies must realize that, in an increasingly competitive marketplace where customers have more choices than ever, simply having a technically superior product is no longer sufficient.
Customers don’t continue using a product over several years simply because it has the most features. Yes, features, capabilities, and technical specs are still important, of course, but equally important is the entire experience of using the product to successfully achieve a desired, end-result.
Even if your product has the cleanest design and most powerful functionality on the market, if your customers struggle to understand how to use it to achieve their goals, they will simply get frustrated and look elsewhere.
Every year, over half of U.S. consumers switch brands because of a bad experience. Accenture estimates that this provider-switching costs companies around $1.6 trillion yearly.
You Don’t Sell a Product, You Sell Success
According to Chargify, “People pay for technology because they want it to solve a problem for them, whether that’s speeding up their invoicing or generating more leads. If you’re too slow in helping them reach their first success, you’re going to see churn, as they look for more immediate ways to reach their goals.”
In order to remain competitive going forward, technology companies must realize that their job is not over when a trial user signs up for a paid subscription or a new feature is released. Customer acquisition and product development are no longer end-goals.
In fact, that’s where your job begins.
For technology companies, 70% to 90% of profits are generated through renewals and upsells, according to Userlane.
You will never see those profits unless you continue building long-term relationships with your customers by helping them continuously achieve their goals.
It’s no wonder why customer experience initiatives are predicted to soon overtake all other product and marketing activities, according to a study by Walker.
How Training-Led Growth Maximizes Adoption, Retention, and Profitability
You don’t just want your customers to become knowledgeable, long-term users of your product.
Ideally, you want to make the entire customer experience so easy and enjoyable that those customers become loyal to your brand and can’t help but tell all of their friends and colleagues about you.
In other words...
Your ultimate objective as a fast-growing technology company is to turn your customers into passionate evangelists for your product.
Can you imagine having thousands of loyal, enthusiastic, volunteer salespeople talking about your product non-stop, both in-person and online?
That’s the power of converting customers into product evangelists.
This will not only solve your retention and churn problems, it will also drastically decrease your marketing costs, leading to unprecedented profit growth.
If creating passionate evangelists for your product is the end-goal, then training customers on how to easily and continuously extract value from your product is how you get there.
Customer training is the secret to growth, plain and simple.
For this reason, we use the term “Training-Led Growth” for the practice of using training to achieve customer satisfaction, retention, and profitability.
Here is a quick overview of how this new, strategic approach works, from initially investing in a customer training program, to reaping the rewards of long-term, sustainable profitability:
Overview: The 5 Stages of a Successful Training-Led Growth Strategy
- Maximize Adoption Through Successful Onboarding:
Implementing a customer training program is the perfect way to walk users through the crucial first steps of getting started, so they don’t get lost, confused, frustrated, and give up. The faster your customers can dive into your product and extract value out of it, the more likely they are to keep coming back to use it over and over again. This initial “onboarding” stage is where most churn happens, so it is critical to get right. The faster you can get customers to a “quick win”, the more likely they are to stick with your product.
- Eliminate Confusion and Increase Customer Satisfaction:
Customers who aren’t given clear guidance on how to use a product typically have to contact support to get help. Oftentimes, they just get frustrated and move on. A customer training program eliminates confusion, hassle, and frustration, inevitably leading to increased customer satisfaction.
- Reduce Support Costs:
Because a customer training program reduces the need for customers to contact support for assistance, you simply won’t have to hire as much support staff, which adds up to enormous, long-term cost savings.
- Hit Customer Success Milestones and Maximize Retention:
Even if you are successful at getting your customers to their initial “quick wins”, you must still be there to assist them in making continual progress toward their long-term goals. By providing training and guidance to help customers become successful every step of the way, you reduce churn and maximize customer retention.
- Create Product Evangelists and Maximize Profits:
Not only are free-trial users who are educated on how to use your product more likely to upgrade to a paid plan, but existing customers are also more likely to see the full value of your product and upgrade to higher plans, as well. In addition, the rise in customer satisfaction from your training program will convert your satisfied customers into outspoken product evangelists, reducing your marketing costs and drastically increasing your profit margins.
Training-Led Growth Requires the Right Customer Training Tool
While one-on-one customer training has proven to be extremely effective, it is also very difficult and expensive to scale. At a certain point, it is no longer feasible to just keep hiring employees.
You will need to find a way to automate the process and provide training to all of your customers in a way that’s easily accessible 24/7 from any device.
The Benefits of Using a Learning Management System (LMS)
- Enterprise LMSs are specifically built to help organizations quickly implement training programs that are accessible, scalable, and engaging.
- For the organization, adding course content is fast and easy, you can control who has access to the information, and progress can be tracked and reviewed.
- For the user, access to course content is convenient, courses are engaging, and they can progress through the training at their own pace.
Unfortunately, most corporate LMSs lack the flexibility to truly place the customers’ needs at the center.
A customer training platform like Raven360, on the other hand, gives you the ability to help your customers build a flexible learning path that fills in all of the gaps in their knowledge.
Why Choose Raven360 for Your Customer Training Program
Raven360 is an enterprise-grade, scalable platform that helps fast-growing companies with high-complexity products painlessly train employees, customers, and partners.
Raven360’s secure, cloud-based platform allows you to onboard faster, train better, and retain more customers with these powerful features:
- Upload content of any format: Raven360 supports PDF, video files, Google docs, HTML packages, SCORM packages and more. You can author your own material from within the platform or bring in outside content.
- Seamlessly integrate with your existing tools: Integrate with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box to access everything you already have from one single dashboard, at the right time.
- Always up-to-date: Upload your training material once and users will always have access to the latest version and you won’t have to update your docs on multiple platforms.
- Accessible anywhere, on any device, 24/7: Allow users to access training on the go and at their own pace. Raven360 works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users can even access content while offline.
- Dynamic learning experiences: Go from open classrooms where users can access all the material at once to pre-defined learning paths where you dictate how the content is consumed. Manage how you feed your content to increase knowledge retention.
- Self-paced labs: Learners can access a virtual machine instance of your software on their browsers —no downloads, no installs. They get hands-on experience using your tech, without compromising real data or breaking stuff.
- Generate extra revenue: Sell subscription-based trainings through a simple e-commerce platform.
- Keep sensitive information secure: Assign individual and group level access to your content. Prevent confidential information from leaving the platform or landing on the wrong hands, with industry-leading security.
Let’s Start Building Your Customer Training Program Today!
Whether you need to train customers, employees, salespeople, or partners, our expert team can advise you on the best way to set up a successful training program.
Our platform is incredibly flexible and easy to personalize, no matter what your specific needs and use cases may be.
Request a Demo (here) or give us a call at 508.786.0500 to have one of our experts help you:
- Determine whether to offer free or paid training
- Identify the right features and customization options
- Provide guidance and an implementation plan