The surprising truth about customer education

• 2 min read

Customer education is exploding in popularity:  The number of orgs training external audiences has nearly tripled since 2020.

And there’s a good reason why: It gets big results. 

How big? Over 6% more revenue and 7% improved customer retention. Just from customer ed.

Do these numbers surprise you? They shouldn’t.

If a customer is learning with you, they’re more likely to be highly engaged, more loyal, and have a higher average spend. 

Of course, averages are funny things. The deeper truth is even more surprising.

Here’s the summary: Customer education is almost always a smart investment. Nine in 10 organizations see a positive return. But for orgs with exceptional programs, customer ed isn’t just smart; it’s genius.

The top quintile of customer ed programs get 300% better results—but spend just 9% more. [Source: Forrester Consulting]

There’s another twist: Very few orgs are training all (or even most) of their customers. That would bring these numbers up even more.

So what’s the secret? There are a few:

Get strategic. High-success orgs are much more likely to have a formalized strategy and the ability to measure success with data. You can’t wing it.

Put your audience first. Don’t focus on your business with revenue and product adoption. Instead, focus on your customer by working to improve customer satisfaction, retention, and post-sale engagement.

Build your content for the audience. Breaking a 30-minute course into six 5-minute modules will significantly increase engagement. Your customers will appreciate the brevity and will feel like you’re respecting their time.

Deliver real value. High-success orgs are more than twice as likely to offer certification programs. Programs like this provide value to customers, helping them build their own brand and develop their skills. 

Don’t go alone. Organizations with exceptional customer education programs are disproportionately using third-party and agency partners, often for content.

The bottom line

Customer education is an incredible growth hack. Even the average program can generate impressive returns in revenue and customer renewals. And if an organization is willing to really focus on creating a top-tier customer ed program, the results are truly incredible—with virtually no increase in cost. 

Amazing outcomes from minor spend. It’s the ultimate no-brainer.

Want to dive deeper? Read about how Wrike used customer education to save time and grow revenue with Docebo.