Whether your business provides physical products, services, or technological platforms for use by customers and clients, your target audience members will need to understand the functions of these offerings in order to reap their full benefits.
It is very rare that something you sell will not require any form of instruction or education to be delivered to the customer. The information you will need to impart to users may include:
- Assembly or set-up instructions
- A guide to how the product or service should be used
- Registration methods (for a piece of software, for example)
- Where to find new upgrades
- Potential safety issues
- How to resolve technical issues
- Additional uses
- Other available products or services that will complement or extend its uses
If this information – or “training” – is not provided in an effective manner, you run the risk of alienating your customers and losing them to your competitors.
It is obvious that you need to train your employees, but many organizations do not realize that “training” their customers can be just as vital a process.
Here, we explore the best approach to educating customers about your company’s new and existing offerings.
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Why Train Your Customers?
Without some form of instruction, users of your products or services may not utilize your offerings to their full potential.
Worse, they might never quite grasp their basic functions and may abandon them as a result, believing your creation to be faulty, poorly designed, or overcomplicated.
Not only will they be unlikely to buy from you again, but they may describe their experience to friends and family – and even post about their dissatisfaction on social media and review sites – thus dissuading other potential clients from using your brand.
What’s more, if you fail to properly educate existing customers on product updates – or about associated products that may complement or extend the use of something you have already sold to them – you miss out on a huge opportunity to make further sales.
Clear instruction will significantly reduce the workload of your customer service team, too. If you fail to educate consumers about the proper use of your products at the point of sale, you may face requests for refunds that would not otherwise have been required.
So – what is the best approach to “educating” your customer base? Read on to find out.
Keep Instructions to Customers Brief, Accessible and Exciting
Speed and efficiency are vital in the on-demand age. Our time is extremely precious, so ease of use and intuitive processes are always favored.
“To this end, instruction should be simple, clear, and brief. The text should be kept to a minimum – and visuals such as diagrams should be as easy to decipher as possible,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of Property Solvers.
“As an example, we send out property (real estate) valuation reports which clearly display a range of useful data sources that help customers arrive at an objective decision,” he continues.
Ideally, showing your product or service in action is the best way for clients to understand its uses and inner workings. Super-short and clear instructional videos are therefore exceptionally useful in customer training – and can even be made entertaining in their own right.
Training One Element at a Time
Users do not wish to scroll through pages of instructions or trawl through a ten-minute video to find information about one small component that they wish to better understand.
The key is to provide information in clearly-labeled “bite-sized” pieces. This is known as “microlearning”, and enables clients to train themselves on the functions of a product or service at their own pace – and to access the individual aspects in which they are interested easily.
This significantly reduces the potential for frustration and confusion, ensuring that your clients are satisfied at every step of the process.
Implementing a straightforward Learning Management System that is interesting and appealing enough to significantly engage the user in developing further knowledge of the product or service in question can work significantly in your favor.
If this is done well, the customer may begin to feel a sense of loyalty to your brand – and some level of interest in the other offerings you provide.
After all, they will already have invested some time and energy into learning about your product or service without too significant an effort. What’s more, they may consider it likely that any further purchases they make will be equally easy to use as a result of your clear instruction.
Customer Training – In Conclusion
It is very clear that providing proper instruction for the benefit of your clients will help you to build a stronger relationship and a more profound sense of trust between your customer base and your brand.
It will also ensure that the full potential of your products and services is properly realized, preventing users from “jumping ship” in favor of other brands and reducing the likelihood of poor reviews and unnecessary customer service engagement.
To that end, the importance of a strong focus on customer training is very clear.
About the Author
Ruban Selvanayagam is a professional cash homebuyer, private rented sector landlord, auction specialist, blogger, and media commentator. Ruban has been featured in a range of prominent publications including The Independent, The Daily Mail’s This is Money, The Sun, The Mirror, Yahoo! Finance, London News, and Manchester Evening News amongst many others.