Skilljar Blog

Podcast Recap: Customer Training Best Practices & Quick Wins

Posted by Martin Li on October 26, 2017

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A few weeks ago, Skilljar’s very own Linda Schwaber-Cohen was interviewed by Receptive’s Aly Mahan for an episode of Churn It Up. In the podcast, Linda shares her approach to new customer training and onboarding. You can listen to the podcast recording here.

For your convenience, we’ve also included a few key takeaways below:

1. What should Customer Success Managers (CSMs) keep top of mind?

It’s important for CSMs to consider both content and delivery. When creating your training offerings, think about what is actually important to teach. You have to know who your audience is and analyze specific activities that will make your customers successful. Understanding their goals and what they want to achieve is critical.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself: “What is the smallest thing I can do that will have the biggest impact?” You can learn more about this type of “crawl, walk, run” approach in our recent webinar.

2. What’s the best way to decide on training content?

When deciding on training content, collaborate with your Product team. Take a deep dive into the data and ask what behaviors the best customers have. Similarly, what behaviors do the worst customers have? From there, you can think about how to drive more of them toward best practices. Your goal should be to find out what makes customers successful and what features they find most valuable.

3. Name one surprising thing you’ve learned at Skilljar. 

Training data is often used to find out how many students have completed or registered for a given course. But for many training professionals, additional insights are available. At Skilljar, we ask questions like:

  • Is a customer who takes training more (or less) likely to renew or expand?
  • Do customers who churn take training or do they tend to avoid it?
  • How does training actually impact the customer’s success?

Once you can answer these questions, it’s easier to activate the rest of your Customer Success team around relevant findings.

Remember though, customer education does not only mean on-demand or instructor-led training. There are other ways for customers to learn, which require exploring a similar set of questions. For example, are those who contribute to your customer community “healthier” and more dedicated to your product?

If you’re using additional tools, such as a help center and support tickets, consider how they impact the customer journey, as well.

4. Tell us about your biggest software training pet peeve. 

One thing we see pretty frequently is feature-based training. However, this approach lacks the big picture and does not focus on what customers really want to achieve. Our recommendation: map out your customers’ goals first. From there, you can teach the features needed to achieve each of those goals.

Whether you’re looking to create new content or update existing resources, this Content Planning Map can help.

5. How can you create value in every interaction? 

Unfortunately, the training experience is often inconsistent across software. For most B2C software, it is usually the customer’s responsibility to learn how to use it. But this is NOT true for B2B SaaS companies.

In this case, your best bet is to onboard customers and set clear expectations from the start. If you haven’t already done so, provide documentation, outlining each step in the onboarding process.

Another great way to provide value is by staying organized. Otherwise, you’re missing a huge opportunity to make a great first impression. It’s not always easy, but organization helps maintains momentum and keeps your customers excited about your product.

6. What does a kickoff call look like at Skilljar?

At Skilljar, we have CSMs and Account Managers (AMs) together in the kickoff call. AMs are there to maintain the relationship, whereas our CSMs are implementation specialists. They are essentially product experts, who can help customers with questions and specific tasks that will help them succeed. 

With this in mind, one of the first things we do is make sure we are aligned on what success look like for the customer. CSMs and AMs then get together with customers to review those goals and set expectations for onboarding.

Topics: Customer Success, Training

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