Customer Education? It’s More Relevant than Ever

ServiceRocket’s history with customer education runs deep.  

Shortly after our Rocket launched, a startup called Atlassian came on the scene. Rocketeers supported their first customers and built an Atlassian training program. Back then, customer education was a new concept.

Five years later, Johnny Tu, Senior Consultant, Technical Instruction, joined ServiceRocket’s customer education team. Over the past 15 years Johnny saw the adoption of Atlassian products grow by leaps and bounds. He worked with promising startups like Postman that have since mushroomed.

Atlassian and Postman understood the importance of customer education.

Today, “real people are too busy to learn every product feature,” notes Adam May, VP of Managed Services. Instead, customer education helps people achieve their goals and aspirations using software as part of their journey.

“One of the attributes that customer education calls for and that our team delivers is customer empathy,” says May. “They understand the customers' challenges and clearly explain to them how the software product will make their life better.”

ServiceRocket’s customer education team brings a depth of experience to the task, led by Dave Derington, Director, Customer Education. In addition to Tu, the team includes Nurul Alia Binti Zulkifli, Senior Technical Consultant, Technical Instruction and Marcela Hermansen, Associate, Customer Education.

We asked Johnny why customer education is more relevant than ever.

How would you describe ServiceRocket’s approach to customer education?

No two companies are alike–the same holds true for how we formulate their customer education program.

The first step is to define what success is for each company we work with. Some want their education program to be a highly-profitable business, while others simply want customers to better understand their product’s features.

Users of one of our customers were tapping 5% of the product’s features. Their goal was to increase user awareness, knowing their product could do much more.  

Whatever the goal, we measure the program’s impact three to six months after launch to track its impact.

Why are companies choosing to invest in customer education?

They're seeing increased product usage, improved customer satisfaction, as well as many other competitive benefits, including:

The means to tap valuable product intel: The better educated users are about a product, the fewer problems they will face. That means they’re less likely to raise a ticket, which helps reduce the support team’s workload.

The tickets that are raised are more likely to focus on specific business problems as opposed to simple inquiries. Those issues provide valuable information about the product. When addressed, they can help to inform product iterations.

A path to empower product evangelists: Never underestimate the value of a well-trained product user! As a product evangelist/advocate, they attract more users to the product. Essentially, they become an organically-driven marketing/sales person.

I saw this happen a lot in the early days of Atlassian. Back then, Jira and Confluence were new on the scene. Typically, they were acquired by a specific team or department, led by an individual (someone we would now refer to as a product evangelist.) That lead encouraged other teams to start using Jira and Confluence.

We noticed this pattern time and again. As word spread, other teams and departments would take a keen interest in the product; eventually, product usage would expand across the organization.

That sort of organic growth enabled the widespread adoption of Atlassian products.

Increased customer loyalty: It’s a well-known adage: Customers who know how to use your product are less likely to look elsewhere and more likely to put in a good word for your brand, whether in person, on a Zoom call or with a favorable review and top rating.

In today’s social media-saturated world, user reviews and organic mentions matter.

Improved product stickiness: Not long ago, software acquisition required costly licenses and hefty upfront costs. Companies hesitated to move on, given the required work, time and money.

These days, many products are sold under a SaaS model. Pricing is done on a subscription basis, opening the door to product switching. It’s not uncommon for dissatisfied customers to cancel their subscription and make the switch.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to educate customers about a product.

And it’s why we say, “companies who don’t learn, churn.”

If you don’t understand how a product works, it can’t solve the customer’s problem. Customer education familiarizes users with product features; it also gives them the insight they need to create their own use cases.

Has your work in customer education influenced you?

Professionally, working in training has improved my ability to present in front of large audiences. Over time, I’ve become more comfortable with this and can do so with less prep work.

Another thing I’ve noticed: people say I explain things very well.

Does your product help users solve problems? Is it creating product evangelists? Speak with ServiceRocket’s customer education team about creating a program that meets your product’s goals and meets users' needs.

Learn More: Visit our Customer Education blog.

Education is power.

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