How to Develop an Engaging Customer Education Curriculum: 5 Tips
The traditional view of customer education is expanding and changing rapidly. The explosion of hybrid working and digital-first initiatives have, in some places, wiped out traditional material-heavy and in-person training sessions. This has provoked a shift back to the customer and how best to improve their experience.
This article gives 5 tips to help you develop an engaging customer education curriculum:
- Define Your Goals
- Follow the Data
- Leverage Your Teams
- Easy to Find
- Fun to Use
1 Define Your Goals
Having clear and defined goals at the beginning of your journey is paramount to its success. While this seems simple and straightforward, there are a few steps which are frequently overlooked while goal setting:
- Ensure your goals tie into an empirical benefit. With this in mind you are far more likely to get executive buy-in.
- Look at your customers’ jobs and the problems they are trying to solve, what are their goals outside of your offerings?
- Consider your budget, what resources you currently have, and what you’ll need to outsource. How much will the curriculum cost?
- Build in flexibility. Customers’ needs can evolve over time, this flexibility ensures your curriculum stays relevant.
2 Follow the Data
The next step is to determine exactly what you are going to measure and how you are going to measure it.
These data points should prove the impact of your initiative. To do this, avoid vanity metrics such as pageviews, trainings delivered, or content created. These metrics have no real value when trying to display value.
Instead, try focusing on some of these:
- Support tickets. If your trainings are effective, you should see a decline in the number of customer support tickets.
- Behavior change. You should be able to measure the change in the way people use your product before and after training.
- Improved customer outcomes. Efficient and effective education should decrease the time it takes for a customer to gain value from your product.
In the long term, a well-designed curriculum will positively influence customer retention, product adoption, and ultimately revenue.
Related article: How to Educate HCPs in the Digital World: 4 Strategic Considerations
3 Leverage Your Teams
Sales, marketing, support. These teams don’t immediately spring to mind when you think of customer education, yet they offer vital insights that should influence your content. These teams are subject matter experts, they have first-hand experience with customer queries and are experts in ensuring your message is reaching the correct audience. This will help you create meaningful, engaging, and customer-centric content.
4 Easy to Find
These last two points go hand-in-hand and pertain to the accessibility of your curriculum. Customers are busy and time is precious. Before pushing the content out to your customers, it is important to consider:
- How are they going to register?
- How are they going to connect? Will the content be accessible offline? Can the curriculum be accessed on mobile or tablet?
- How will they ask questions or give feedback?
Having your customer dig through libraries of content to find a learning item is no longer acceptable. Thanks to the likes of Netflix and Disney+, it’s become crucial that content is accessible in as little as two clicks. Serve them the content, don’t make them work to find it.
5 Fun to Use
The average human attention span dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds in the year 2015, to 6 seconds in 2019. This demand for instant gratification and constant connectedness makes it increasingly difficult to hold attention.
There are a few easy ways to make your content less like a sales pitch and more fun:
- Tell a story. This can be especially effective if you can connect the story to your brand.
- Diversification. Using different content mediums can help to keep your message fresh, try including more videos, infographics, or case studies.
- Track the metrics. Once you have found the type of content that your customers prefer to consume, you can lean into it.
Customer education has solidified itself as a key business function and is developing rapidly.
You have to place the customer at the core of the process, make content they want to engage with and make it easy for them to do so.
Above all else, guide your customers to value and make sure their goals are the ones being catered to.