5 Steps To Creating The Perfect Customer Training Program
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How To Build A Customer Training Program That Pays For Itself

Customer training is not a new development. In fact, it's probably as old as commerce itself. See, when you sell something innovative or create a new take on an existing product, you also need to tell your customers what it does, and how they can use it.

This education can take many forms—from the hefty manuals that used to accompany consumer electronics to today's help forums, FAQs, and online customer training programs.

Customer training can also be offered for free, as a courtesy to your customers, or be a profitable endeavor on its own (consider e.g. certification programs from major enterprise software vendors).

The benefits of customer education are well established. They boost product awareness and can serve as a market differentiator (much like offering great customer support does).

So, how can you optimize your customer training program? It helps to start at the beginning. Follow our 5-step introductory tutorial, and you’ll be well on your way to customer training success.

1. Know Your Customers

Ever read a product manual and feel like you need an engineering degree to decipher it? And all you want is to use the damn product you bought. Infuriating, right?

Equally infuriating, though, are those other manuals that give detailed instructions in very simplistic terms, like they are targeted at 10-year-olds. So, unless you’re targeting actual engineers or 10-year-olds, you should avoid this type of content in your customer training program.

The key is to know your customers—what’s their average educational background, how familiar are they with yours or similar products, and so on.

That said, if you're addressing multiple markets (like with the so-called "prosumer" products, that are sold to both amateurs wanting to up their game and to professionals looking for something cheaper), you should consider building multiple versions of your training program.

In the end, you need to know the kind of audience that you are targeting, so that your customer training program stays to the point and serves its purpose.

2. Focus On The Value

Your customer training program is not an academic course. This is an easy mistake to make, and equally easy to avoid, once you've learned to recognize it.

While you could give your customers some theory (if it will help them better understand your product or services), it's not your job to teach them the entire theoretical underpinnings behind its design operation.

Instead, you should focus on knowledge that actually provides value to your customers: the specifics on how to use your product to do what they want to do.

3. Make The Content Interesting

Just because it is 'training', it doesn't mean that it has to be boring. Companies have been striving to make employee training interesting and engaging since forever. You have no excuse for not trying to do the same with your customer training courses.

There are many ways to educate customers besides long somber walls of texts and confusing diagrams:

  • Keep a light tone (you can even throw a few jokes in, for good measure).
  • Cut the fluff (keep only what's essential. Don't say in 5 paragraphs what you could have said in 1).
  • Add some multimedia elements—pictures, videos, audio, interactive widgets, and so on. Long texts are boring.
  • If your LMS offers it, add some gamification elements. Who said completing customer training can't be valuable and fun?

4. Make Sure You Offer Support

People will always have questions that you haven't covered in your customer training program. If you want to offer superior customer training experience, you should be prepared for this scenario and have your instructors or support team members in place to help answer additional questions.

It doesn't have to be real-time support either. A web-based forum can serve the same role just as well and remain as a permanent record allowing future customers to benefit from already given answers.

5. Invest In A Good LMS

A good LMS can make all the difference between a mediocre customer training experience and a good one, and this applies to both sides—yours and your customers'.

An intuitive platform, for example, will make it easier to design, create, format, and update your customer training program content. A cloud LMS makes it easier to deploy your courses and manage them. Plus, it’s more reliable than a platform that needs to be installed in your data center.

Take TalentLMS for example. It can accommodate tens of thousands of customers on one platform and is already trusted by thousands of companies for their training needs.

Then, there are the Branches feature that lets you launch individual (but centrally managed) customer training environments so you can cater to different products, regional markets, and target audiences.

And, as an enterprise training platform, it has all the features you’d expect (and some you wouldn’t):

  • Historical and real-time insight on training statistics and user engagement data (through the Reports system)
  • Extended branding options (including white-labeling)
  • Instructor-Led Training support (for seamlessly integrating webinars, real-time sessions, and physical seminars)
  • Gamification options (that will help make your programs more engaging)
  • Tests and Quizzes (so that you can assess and track your learners' progress)
  • Surveys (to get valuable feedback from your customers)
  • Web page builder (for providing additional material on your products and company, FAQ pages, and so on)
  • Certificates and commercial learning (allowing you to offer certifications to your customers, and even monetize your product training)

Last, but not least, in addition to the web-based platform, TalentLMS also offers native applications for iOS and Android that allow your customers to learn about your products and services on smartphones.

Conclusion

Customer training is a necessity in some industries. In others, it’s a good way to attract customer attention and delight your audiences.

To create a successful customer training program, you'll need to understand your audience, focus on what matters, make your content engaging, and guide your customers with additional support when they need it. You will also need some good customer training software.

Fortunately, it's easy to satisfy that latter requirement: sign up today for a forever free TalentLMS account, and start creating a customer training program that your customers deserve.

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