“The best way to control your customer experience is to intentionally create it.”
Can you run a business without customers? Impossible, right? Customers are the foundation of any business. Customers seek a good service or a good product from you. Their investment in your product or service decides the overall growth of your company.
But your company’s growth is not just about getting new customers, it’s also about retaining existing customers. Why, you may ask? Well, because retention is directly linked to your profits too. The truth is that customers not only seek a product or service, but actually seek an experience. And that’s what retains them to your brand. A five percent increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25% and 95%.
Not just that, it is an easier choice for generating revenue. The success rate of selling to your existing customers is 60%-70% while the success rate of selling your product to your new customer is 5-20%. This means that the effort and time you spend getting a new customer onboard might go to waste most of the time. And not just the time, you lose money too. Every new customer that you add costs 5 times more than retaining your existing customers.
Moreover, you have to bear additional losses when your existing customers switch to competitors. A study reveals that businesses lose $1.6 trillion per year when customers switch to other brands. So, investing in customer retention helps you save a lot of money.
So how do you make your customers feel valued enough to stay with your brand? Traditional customer service practices have lost their touch. Like every other business function, you need to innovate in the way you provide customer service. A good strategy: customer training.
Before we go ahead and find out how to use customer training for retention, let’s first understand what customer training means.
What is a Customer Training Program?
The customer training program is a provision to support your customers with the required information about the product/service you are offering to them. This information is in the form of a training course to help customers learn and then use your products/services efficiently.
Customer training helps you to deliver the value point of your great product easily and in a more detailed manner. It covers every element of your product/service and what makes it the best for users.
Ideally, you should create customer training in three parts. In the first part, explain the features of your product in detail along with their importance. In the second one, explain how to use the product in the right way. And the third part could have details like how long will the product live and what can cause damage to the product. Additionally, you can also add some tips to fix common customer problems.
As a result of the customer training, customers engage with the product with less frustration. Customer training has multiple benefits. Better customer onboarding, increased engagement, brand promotion. However, the most significant benefit of customer training is customer retention.
How Customer Training Can Boost Growth- A Real-Life Example
Orion Advisor Services, a financial service technology company, wanted to offer promising experiences to its clients but their training team had limited resources to make it possible. They wanted an efficient idea to get its clients to expedite its software solutions and see results. Their main focus was to find new ways to provide additional value to their customers.
Orion arranged an online training program using a learning management system (LMS), which allowed the company to upgrade its training experience not just for the internal team but mainly for its clients. It ensured the end-users of the company understood even the most complicated features of Orion’s software solutions. The training process helped Orion achieve more engagement by its customers and high revenue.
Here’s how you can improve customer retention with training.
Steps To Improve Customer Retention With Training
Step 1: Understand your Customer’s journey
A customer’s journey includes all experiences they have, right from finding the product to becoming a loyal customer. Understanding this journey gives you a clearer perspective on the customer’s experience and expectations.
You must also understand that the customer journey is not always smooth. Their road to loyalty has certain bumps too.
What happens when a customer encounters a bottleneck in their journey. They have three paths to choose from:
- They could get frustrated trying to solve the problem on their own.
- Or they could give up and switch to a competitor.
- Make you aware of the problem so that you can resolve it.
Clearly, only the third choice is favorable. But for that, you need to be there for them during their struggles. You need to identify what your customers are struggling with and address them actively.
Understanding Customer Struggles
So how do you go about knowing your customer’s struggles?
As Bill Gates has rightly pointed out, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” A great place to start is to go over records of customers who are not buying from you anymore and identify common patterns. Are most of your customers leaving within the first year? What’s a common complaint that they have?
Being aware of customer issues, you can solve them even before they occur. For instance, imagine you sell vacuum cleaners and you come across a common pain point that your customers find it difficult to clean the machine after use. Slowly, due to lack of proper cleaning, the machine stops working and becomes useless and the customers have to switch to a new product. To combat this, all you’d have to do is include a tutorial on cleaning the vacuum cleaner in the customer training. And your customers would not have to face the same struggle again.
Step 2: Create a Customer-centric university
Once you have understood the problems of your customers or what stands as a roadblock in their customer journey. Tell them all that they need to know. A comprehensive customer training program must have things relevant to them. This includes:
- Product queries: Highlight the key features of the product, and mention the benefits of the product. A good way to present it is in the form of an FAQ or through a video.
- Common issues: Mention the issues that a customer may commonly face with the product and how they can resolve it without much hassle. Like the vacuum cleaner tutorial.
- How to use the product: Give a step by step procedure on how to use the product. This could again be a video of a person using it. For instance, if Trello wants to explain the product to its users, it can simply create a screencast video showing the process.
While a customer-centric university means that you provide relevant information, it is also equally important to make that information easily accessible to them. Thi is where an LMS platform like Siminars can help you. You can simply create a customer training course and share the link with you customers. That way, they can access the training whenever, wherever they want.
Step 3: Evaluate your Customers
How do you know if your customer training program is helping your customers? It’s easy. Just like you used to get progress reports in school after each exam, you should also provide your customers with progress. For instance, Grammarly has a weekly newsletter email, where it shares the personalised weekly stats for each of its users.
These stats give the users a sense of accomplishment. Not just that, the personalisation makes them feel more connected to the brand.
By evaluating your customers on the training you give and then sharing their scores, you do the same. Not just that, it also gives you clarity on which part of your training is not as effective as it was meant to be and you find alternatives for it.
For instance, take the same vacuum cleaner example. If you find that your customers are getting a low score on questions related to assembling the product, you could probably conduct home visits to help them out or add a video tutorial to explain it better.
“There is only one thing that matters, customer satisfaction.”
A satisfied customer would have no intention of leaving your brand. And that should be your main goal. Once you achieve that, you get repeat purchase, brand loyalty, positive word of mouth, according to Heyer and Maclnnis.
And customer training is your first step towards customer satisfaction. It makes your customers confident about using the product and builds a relationship with the brand.
So, don’t wait on delivering customer satisfaction. Start now by creating an awesome customer training on Siminars.