What is Customer Training? (And how an LMS can help)

• 4 min read

What is Customer Training? (And how an LMS can help)When it comes to eLearning, the most commonly addressed audience is an organization’s internal employees. However, there are benefits to expanding your learning programs to non-employees, otherwise known as the extended enterprise.

One of the audiences for whom training will provide massive returns is your customers – not only will they appreciate having a centralized space to refer to when they have questions, but it will help them see results quicker.

Let’s take a deep-dive into the importance of a customer training program and how you can make it work for your business.

What is a Customer Training Program?

Customer training supports your customers with the materials and information they need to be successful with your product or service and meet their business objectives.

Learning materials can either be guided, self-paced, or a combination of both depending on what your customer-base responds best to.

A great example of customer training is guided onboarding, something that is essential for helping your clients launch new software and start seeing results sooner.

In addition to this support, however, it’s important to provide materials for self-paced learning to empower customers to find the information they require at the point-of-need. Some great examples of this in action include on-demand training materials or a knowledge base.

Related: Why and How to Create a Continuous Learning Culture

Why is Customer Training important?

Customer training can help drive positive business outcomes and is an excellent way to improve customer retention, something that all businesses struggle with from time to time.

Customer Training Courses ensure that your clients can ramp quicker, have enough knowledge of your product or service to leap the most benefits, and, ultimately, see great results. The next step is keeping them around.

With millennials officially surpassing Gen X as the largest generation in the US workforce and consistently proving to be intensely brand-loyal, now is more important than ever to grab and keep your clients’ attention. In fact, a recent study by American Express found that 62% of millennials said that they only ever buy a preferred brand.

By providing an excellent Customer Training Experience, your customers become your advocates and they will continue to trust your brand.

Related: The Importance of Listening to Your Customers (+How It Will Benefit Your Business)

Benefits of Customer Training

According to Brandon Hall Group’s Extended Enterprise 2017 survey, 55% of businesses say extended enterprise learning “improves customer relations”.

One of the top benefits of customer training is fortifying customer loyalty, which allows organizations to:

  • Increase revenue and decrease costs: Great customer training can help to increase revenue both directly and indirectly. It’s estimated that the cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5-25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer.

When executed well, the value provided by customer training can increase customer loyalty and contribute to a more positive customer experience. This translates to increased revenue, as happy customers will be more likely to renew their contract or choose your services again.

Similarly, you can also package and sell training to your customers, which can open new streams of revenue.

  • Improve productivity and innovation: When deployed with the latest learning technology, customer training programs can also help to increase productivity and innovation. When product updates are released, customer training can help ensure a smooth, incident free rollout. Learning technology that encourages feedback and collaboration can also allow customers to provide regular feedback, which encourages innovation.

BHG Extended Enterprise Survey 2017

Related: 5 Must-Have LMS Features To Ensure Return On Investment

Implementing Customer Training With Your LMS

Just as we train our employees with the most relevant and exciting content, your customers will also respond to the same materials. It only makes sense to extend the same privileges of a Learning Platform to your client base and engage them with quality learning programs – the importance of customer engagement cannot be overlooked!

Echoing this, the aforementioned survey by Brandon Hall Group found that 76% of organizations use a Learning Management System (LMS) for extended enterprise learning, and it’s easy to see why.

An LMS can help to:

  • Centralize training materials: An LMS is the central location where your customers can find your training materials. As such, an LMS enables customers to easily access courses, experts, and other learning resources.
  • Deliver content efficiently: An LMS also enables learning materials to be quickly updated and easily delivered to different learning audiences. This allows for product and service changes (e.g., UI updates, new features) to be communicated quickly and easily.
  • Enable formal and informal learning: As a best practice, customer training should support learning as it happens, leveraging both formal and informal learning methods. A top LMS should have features that support social learning so customers are empowered to learn through social channels.
  • Measure success: Perhaps one of the most important benefits of learning technology is that it provides metrics on learner activity. This allows organizations to gather insights that can fuel and improve their learning programs, ensuring customer success.

Related: How to Scale Your Learning Programs to Match the Speed of Growth

The Bottom Line

Providing a customer training experience is a great way to add value for your customers and ensure that they have the most seamless experience with your product or service as possible. Teams will appreciate the reduced ramp up time and centralized space to learn how to maximize the impact of your offering.

To see this in action, read how our friends at Appian opened up a new revenue stream with the Docebo LMS, enabling rapid and scalable growth.