Companies spend an abundance of resources marketing to prospective customers, often times ignoring or forgetting about their existing customers.
“It is easier and nearly eight times cheaper to serve and
retain current clients/customers than to pursue new ones.”
– Ken David
For many companies, customer education is a built-in problem that needs to be addressed before, during, and after the business transaction. Every customer interaction is an opportunity to educate. Customers want to feel empowered and able to make their own decisions based on knowledge and good information from the company.
An educated customer is a loyal customer. When it comes to your customers, there are multiple touch point opportunities that come into play to earn their business. Educating your customers happens primarily through content; blogs, webinars, white papers, videos, case studies, etc. It’s all content, and it should be designed to teach something new and/or solve a problem. It is important to note that just because they have signed up to become your customer does not mean you can stop earning their business. They can still go to a competitor, in fact, earning their business is a daily practice that includes customer support strategies as well as education on new products and services. This is the added value your company can deliver to your loyal customer base.
“Ultimately education breeds successful customers
and success breeds loyalty.”
– Sameer Dholakia, CEO, SendGrid
Showing your customers optimal ways to utilize the full value of your product or service is important. Typically, someone becomes your customer because they have a problem that they believe that you can solve. Once you sell them your product/service their initial problem is solved, but can your product/service solve more of their pain points? Chances are that it can, but they don’t know it. The more you help your clients solve problems and provide solutions the more positive they will feel about your company. When a customer is able to see your added value they become your ambassadors. These customers become your new sales force and will educate potential customers on your behalf. This only occurs when customers are able to comprehend the capabilities of your product/service.
2. Building Trust and Long-Term Relationship
Once your customers see additional value in what your product or service can provide, your company will be able to build a stronger relationship with your customers. These valued relationships will allow your customers to become more open and share more company pain points with you. These interactions come with time, but in these valued customer conversations, it’s important to keep them up-to-date with the latest information. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) should share product notes and case studies to earn credibility, but also to enhance the knowledge sharing experience.
By educating your customers and by showing them optimal ways to utilize your products/services, you are able to build relationships with them; which in turn leads to an ongoing and repeat loyal customer. The end goal is customer retention because it is cheaper and easier to increase the bottom line though existing customers rather than through new customers and that happens with education. Customers will see value in your company if you are able to educate them on your product or service. Constant interaction with your customers and your product will keep your company at top of their mind.
Educating your customers is often overlooked due to the fact that company resources are weighted heavier towards customer acquisition instead. As Ken David has said, it is easier and less expensive to work with customers you already have so why not take advantage of that relationship. You have already put in the resources to acquire and on-board new customers now you need to continue to build for a long-term relationship. Through education your customers will be able to have a better experience. Consumers today are oversaturated with many businesses that are providing the same product or service. By educating customers, they will be make informed decisions and look to you as the subject matter expert. The most important thing is to not lose sight of your existing customers in pursuit of new ones.
By Kyle Tavares (NEPS, May 9, 2017)