4 min read

What Is a Digital Academy?

What Is a Digital Academy?

What Is a Self-Service Digital Academy, and Why Does Your Revenue Retention Depend on It?

Humans are consummate learners. If we weren’t, we’d never have moved past the tree-hopping days of our evolutionary youth.

But we did. We came down, learned to use sticks and stones to hunt, discovered fire (we’re guessing that was a good night), and kept learning. Today, we’re no different – if there’s a tool to use, someone wants to learn how.

When it comes to SaaS business platforms, there are a lot of someones who want to learn how to use them. Otherwise, why would they be paying that monthly subscription that forms the lifeblood of your business?

It is, of course, your job to teach those someones. If you want to enhance your product value (and, indeed, the valuation of your company), then you need an effective onboarding process that brings loyal customers in and keeps them around. That’s where a self-service digital academy comes in.

Free online education for your customers is a fantastic retention strategy and helps keep your customer success team from drowning in tickets. Moreover, it motivates referrals, and you can focus your attention elsewhere, and it promotes a strong growth rate. Honestly, what’s not to like?

Today, let’s look at what a digital academy is, why you need it now and for future releases, its primary benefits, and how you can get started with one today.

Self-paced Digital Academy

What Is a Digital Academy for Customer Training?

Training isn’t just for corporate employees; it’s also for the folks who pay subscription costs to use your fantastic product. Whether your app helps people sell more products, generate more leads, or set up more meetings, they can’t succeed if they don’t know how to use it.

Unfortunately, you can’t bring new customers on board and expect them simply to know how. Each SaaS business model and mode of software functionality is different. After all, your uniqueness is part of what makes you worth paying over the competition, right?


That’s where training comes in because customer success – for both existing customers and new ones – depends on people being able to use your product to achieve the outcomes you promised in the first place.

A digital academy is the place to acquire those skills. It’s an online, module-based, progressive learning program that users can use at their own rate. It carefully scaffolds skills so that users aren’t exposed to more knowledge than they can handle at any given time. This enables them to use your product better, increasing customer satisfaction as well as upgrades, upsells, and cross-sells.

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What Is a Self-Service Digital Academy?

Self-service is critical when it comes to a digital academy. If your users have to wait around for a teacher, they can’t meet their customer needs quickly. That significantly reduces the quality of the in-app user experience for SaaS companies of all types.

Instead, you should present your training using an on-demand model, where subscribers can learn new skills and get answers to their questions immediately – 24/7/365. Why? Because learner autonomy really matters.

Why Learner Autonomy Is so Important for Customers in B2B SaaS

Think about it: how much do you enjoy waiting on someone for an answer? Or being laboriously shown how to key in a command on a computer (hello, boomer training methods) rather than getting a simple set of instructions?

Your customer base is no different. The average customer is busy and wants answers to their questions, like yesterday. They're out of there if they can’t figure out how to execute a function that your SaaS product supposedly guarantees.

Digital Academy

Beyond New Customer Onboarding: Feature Releases

Customer retention and profitability – heavily reliant on monthly recurring revenue – requires you to educate users on current products and each new product as it comes out. If you don’t teach your peeps how to use a new product, and if

The same is true for significant updates to your system. Even if you release them quietly, you must ensure the new functionality is reflected in your training. Absolutely no one, barring no one, likes hopping online to learn how to do something only to find outdated information.

*cue hopping rage dance*

On the other hand, if you provide the proper training in the right place at the right time, your churn rate will decrease, your retention rate will rise, your board will love all the happy metrics, and you’ll stride boldly into that sunrise.

Or something. Let’s take a look at those benefits now.

Top Benefits for B2B SaaS Companies Using Digital Academy for Customer Training


1. Churn Reduction and Revenue Retention

A higher customer retention rate is perhaps the benefit of a digital academy. When people know how to use an app or piece of software, there’s a much greater chance it will deliver the results they’re looking for. And that, in turn, means there’s a greater chance they’ll stick around to get more of those results.

Plus, if your users get the training they need upfront, you’ll increase your customer loyalty and net revenue retention rate (NRR rate) – a vital metric to The People Who Matter.

2. Reduced Customer Support Costs

If there’s one thing customer support does not love, it’s drowning in tickets relating to questions that are actually very easy to answer. This also reduces the customer experience.

Moreover, when your support costs go up, you have to adjust that with your pricing strategy, which means your customers will have to pay more for the product. That hurts customer relationships and conveys that you care more about your profits than them.

On the other hand, good instructional design can help ensure that you teach people what they want to know. If they can always reach for a lesson, a webinar, case studies, or other initiatives for education, they won’t have to rely so heavily on the customer success team.

3. Faster Time to Value

Time to value is a critical benchmark that measures how quickly current customers reach the point where the product delivers the promised value. When it doesn’t happen quickly enough, you face downgrades and cancellations, which reduces your customer lifetime value overall.

Happily, a digital academy can help ameliorate this by onboarding people more quickly in the first place and keeping them updated about more advanced features and new products.

4. Better Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Happy customers = healthier presence on social media and the interwebz in general. It also means more word-of-mouth marketing from each satisfied user – otherwise known as a promoter – which will aid in your customer acquisition without upping your marketing costs.

5. Better Customer Engagement and More Effective Updates

One of the best benefits of a digital academy is a higher level of customer engagement. Not only does that lead to all the perks above, it means you’ll get more of their attention in time. And that means if they need something else, you’re more likely to hear about it rather than simply losing a customer.

Et voilà: better updates and happier, more stick-around-ier customers.

customer digital academy

Implement Customer Training with Raven360 Today

Digital academies are a good idea for everyone, from the smallest startups to the most robust international enterprises. No matter how big

With the right customer training tools, you can help them do that – and skyrocket your total revenue while you’re at it. If you’re ready to learn more and get started, all you have to do is request a demo today.


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