3 Tips To Create An Outstanding Software Training Strategy
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How To Create An Outstanding Software Training Strategy

All software evolves to add new features and to adapt to ever-higher customer expectations. Despite their frequency, these updates always carry the risk of being misunderstood or improperly used by clients. This can consequently lead to clients terminating their contract or signing with a competitor. With continuous training, you can establish a trusting relationship with customers, a necessity to succeed in this market.

eBook Release: Outstanding Software Training – How To Turn Online Training Into A Competitive Advantage At Each Step Of The Customer Journey
eBook Release
Outstanding Software Training – How To Turn Online Training Into A Competitive Advantage At Each Step Of The Customer Journey
Discover how to develop a scalable training structure and stand out from competitors.

1. Formulate Clear Points About Product Updates

Software is not a static product and needs to evolve as technology develops, new client needs emerge and competitors innovate. This update process is part of the daily lives of software publishers. However, for employees and clients, it is a make-or-break moment.

For clients, updates can be the cause of potential misunderstandings and lower internal usage. There is an additional risk that these misunderstandings result in a lack of usage of new features and, given the highly competitive nature of the software market, that client perception of the product’s value is lowered compared to competitors who were better able to explain their innovations. Formulating clear, articulate points about product updates helps clients understand updates, master changes, and is key for maintaining a successful client relationship.

The impact of a lack of in-house training on product updates is extremely visible. Employees must know the product like the back of their hand.

We can easily imagine the consequences on the customer relationship if a client, seeking help with a new feature, speaks with an employee who has not been trained on it. Exhaustive employee training on new features is fundamental – at least for employees who are in contact with customers on a regular basis.

2. Modernize Training To Improve Customer Relationship

The relationship between clients and software publishers needs reinforcement. For each product update, Customer Success, Support, Training and R&D departments should discuss how to quickly and most effectively train clients and employees.

Once launched, it is crucial to meet and train all teams as quickly as possible. If this is not done, each update will create a gap between the product and its users, whether they are employees or clients.

We can once again reach the same conclusion – options that were only partially adapted to manage onboarding are even less adapted to handle product updates. After initial client onboarding, it is a safe bet (or at least hope) that the client will be around for multiple product updates. In-person training here is unthinkable, especially in an international context. It is all the more necessary to set up a scalable structure capable of answering client and employee questions.

3. Focus On Digital Learning – The Only Way To Manage

Digital learning is once again the best way to tackle these issues. You can efficiently support change and updates without costs increasing proportionally to the number of people involved. Engagement rates remain a core metric, but when considering product updates and change management, the most important aspect is being able to easily create course content.

Though online training is perfectly adapted to making content quickly accessible, it is not always easy to develop or create. The cost of creating a SCORM course is approximately 30,000 euros (this training format requires specific, and rare, coding skills). This is not compatible with the needs of software publishers that include implementing scalable training solutions. Online training platforms, where the expert can create and promote their training content without any technical skills thanks to an integrated authoring tool, should be favored.

Lastly, to efficiently grow at scale, you must be able to build a large, active community around your product. This is a considerable asset for your client relationships. Members of this community will act as trainers who support and guide users when there are product updates. For software publishers, this involves developing and managing communities via online forums like Salesforce Success, or even hosting physical events where users can meet and discuss the product. Social features drive engagement, as Facebook and Snapchat have proven. This remains true for your business, choosing an LMS with social features should be a priority.

These actions also help drive new revenue sources for software publishers. Valuing your community means above all valuing your clients and thus strengthening their ties to your company. This creates information and decision-making channels between you and the client, reinforcing your relationship – vital to ensure the scalability of your business. For the most advanced software companies, upselling (selling additional service to existing customers) accounts for 2.5x more revenue than signing new clients [1].

Conclusion

Training drives growth at each point in the customer journey. The goal is to create a proactive, digital training strategy that enables clients and employees to continuously train without needing the training department, Customer Success, and Support teams to constantly intervene. These teams are then free to focus on higher value actions. This model makes it possible to support growth while keeping costs low, key for creating a scalable business.

Growth is often a game of smoke and mirrors for companies in this market. If in some sectors, growth of 20% is synonymous with success, in the software industry, 92%[2] of companies growing at this speed will disappear in the next few years.

It is by cultivating lasting relationships with clients that software publishers can develop healthy business models to become, or remain, market leaders. This is a real challenge for training departments that need to innovate to incorporate new digital practices and expectations for client relationships. They need to create a proactive training structure that is part of a broader company vision including the idea that you must educate before selling. If this change in mentality seems difficult to put into place, the potential gains are more than worth it when you consider the market shares left to conquer.

References:

[1] Ryan Law, 50 Surprising Saas Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind, Cobloom.com, 2016

[2] Ryan Law, 50 Surprising Saas Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind, Cobloom.com, 2016

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