When we talk about training in the business world, most people think immediately and primarily about training staff members. After all, the staff members are the ones creating products or providing services to customers. But what about training customers?
Customer training, particularly in industries like IT and technology, has become an increasingly popular concept. As the term suggests, it involves educating customers on how to use your product or engage with your service more effectively.
While the concept might seem a bit foreign at first, there are a number of real benefits, which we’ll discuss here.
Using software as an example, customers experience a lot of frustration when they aren’t trained on how to use available tools. Tasks can take more time than they really should, and results can be inconsistent and incorrect. All of this will ultimately negatively impact customer satisfaction.
Realization of Value
With complex services and tools, there may be a variety of features customers may simply not be aware of, meaning they aren’t realizing the true value of what they have. They may even get the impression that the product or service they’re using is overpriced if they don’t realize the additional features available.
Customer satisfaction and realization of value obviously play into customer retention. But in addition to those factors, having a customer who is on a product or service also increases switching costs.
One example involves the loyalty of Android and iPhone® users. One reason consumers are hesitant to switch operating systems—and therefore smartphones—is because of the time and effort required to learn how to use a new device.
Reduced Customer Support Costs
Responding to customer support requests can cost businesses a great deal of money. But when customers are well trained on using a product or service, they will end up using customer support resources less, both because they are less likely to run into issues or have questions in the first place and because in the event they do encounter issues, they are more likely to be able to address those issues on their own.
While companies spend only a small portion of their budget on customer training—roughly 2%—it can yield great benefits. This is particularly true with complicated products or services for which customers might not otherwise realize the full value.