We recently sat down with Monica Green, the Director of Learning and Development Strategy at Epicor Software to discuss the importance of customer education and adoption.
Epicor provides flexible, industry-specific software, in both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and On-Premises deployment models, designed to fit the precise needs of manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers.
Like many software companies, Epicor has encountered growing pains of keeping up with training of product enhancements due to various industry changes and customer demands to stay ahead of the competition.
As more features are added and a product’s functionality increases, so does the importance of customer education to learn how to use all of these features.
To address this problem, Epicor has invested into their customer training and education program, leading to increased adoption, higher revenue, and lower churn.
Why Customer Training is Vital for SaaS Growth
Your customers are interacting with all kinds of software in their daily lives, from shopping on Amazon, to keeping up with their friends and family on social media, to using Google to search for answers and information.
You must always keep in mind that your customers view your products through this same lens. These products are what set their expectations for what software should be and how they should be able to interact with it to achieve their desired outcomes.
According to Monica:
“Our customer’s best experience becomes their minimum expectation”.
What this means is, when customers use your product, they expect the same easy, seamless experience they get with all of the other technology they use in their daily life.
Any minor inconvenience when using your product becomes magnified.
However, there comes a point where your product’s functionality can’t be simplified any more. After all, business software is complex by nature, because business itself is complex.
Regardless, a complex product doesn’t have to be a complicated product.
A robust product with lots of functionality doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating to use, especially if customers are adequately trained on how to use it.
How to Make a Complex Product More Appealing (and Less Daunting)
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. They’re spending a lot of money on a product they don’t fully understand yet, and that makes them understandably nervous. To calm their fears, you must assure them that they will receive all the information and guidance they need, in bite-sized portions they can handle.
For this reason, Monica insists that education in the sales process is actually a very important differentiator, and she believes it should be brought up in every conversation with prospects and customers.
Not only does this help remove hesitation in the sales process, it makes customers excited to jump in and learn all the ways your product can help make their lives better.
This excitement not only leads to higher sales, but also increased adoption, customer satisfaction, and retention rates, all things that are key for sustainable SaaS growth.
Companies that focus on customer retention are three times as likely to increase market share as those focused solely on acquisition.
Research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) showed that increasing customer retention rates by only 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
It’s simple; by delivering more value to customers, companies receive more value in return.
In practice, this means learning about the individual needs of customers, recommending products to meet those needs, and then instructing them on how to use those products to achieve their desired outcomes.
In return, those customers will reward your company with loyalty and return purchases.
Training-Led Growth: Epicor’s Real World Results
The process of educating customers on how to derive more value from products proved to be extremely effective for Epicor.
In fact, Monica performed an evaluation of her customers to discover exactly how their customer training program was impacting not only her customers’ businesses, but also Epicor’s bottom line.
Monica discovered that better customer training yields the following outcomes:
- Reduced implementation time from professional services team. Better customer training allow for self-implementation by customers.
- Increased job satisfaction by getting rid of mundane tasks, allowing for more consultative engagements on complex areas of business.
- Reduced Epicor support call volumes by allowing customers to get quick access to support content, solution videos, and knowledge articles.
- Improved customer experience by reducing customer effort. Quick access to training provided awareness of all the product’s features and functionality, and made using the product easy and fun.
- Reduced churn and increased retention by improving customer satisfaction.
The key insight Monica found was that customer training drives revenue, plain and simple.
This is why she believes that the importance of investing into a customer training program must be emphasized to senior executives, including the VP of Sales, Chief Revenue Officer, and CEO.
Check Out Part 2: How Epicor Rapidly Produces Customer Training Content
In Part 2, Monica takes us inside her process for producing customer training content rapidly and efficiently.
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.