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  • Writer's pictureTamara McKenzie

Why Customer Education is the Key to Competitive Advantage in the Digital Technology Industry

Whether you’re B2B, B2C or B2XYZ, your customers have higher expectations and more choices than ever. In the business of digital technology, the barriers to entry get lower every day. As a result, your customers are on the hunt for the best tech with the most features—at the best price (obviously). One wrong move and yours could be headed the other way. With competitors popping up left and right, it’s never been more challenging to hold onto existing customers. For this reason, customer experience is moving to the forefront. Today, it must be at the heart of everything you do. In our opinion, this is the last true competitive moat for digital technology companies and one of the most reliable ways to develop a defensible brand.

What's customer education?

Customer education or customer training helps companies onboard, train and retain new and existing customers. These resources provide value to customers by fostering their success, ultimately increasing loyalty. The best customer education programs impact measurable business metrics such as product adoption, customer retention and LTV. Why's Customer Education Important? We already mentioned that some of the benefits of customer education are product adoption, retention and CLTV. Before we get into more benefits, let's take a step back.

What's causing the surge in customer education?

A few things: Customer expectations are higher than ever (they need to see value) Competition is increasing competitive advantages are harder to come by. Looking at these a layer deeper, they tell a compelling story. Every single person on earth buys something — whether it's a product or service — to fill a need or solve a problem. If someone doesn't see this value, they'll move on. Delivering this value is precisely what customer education aims to do — show people value quickly and continue to do so long term. The competition is also why differentiators are harder to come by — gone are the days when a flashy marketing campaign or a few new features was enough to sway buying decisions. Companies that can show their customers (and prospects) that they have their back will stand above those that view customers as nothing more than a number.

The Business Benefits of Customer Education: Increasing Product Adoption, Engagement, and Retention

We’ve covered the fact that customer education is booming, but how, exactly, does it benefit your bottom line? After all, getting and maintaining leadership buy-in relies on your ability to demonstrate clear business value to the decision-makers. From a fundamental level, customer education aims to increase product adoption, engagement, and retention. It does this by decreasing time-to-value and empowering customers to learn whenever and wherever they want. Customer education also benefits internal teams.

For example, it can improve marketing-sales alignment. Enablement materials (i.e., providing your teams with the information they need to be successful) is paramount. With the proper knowledge, these teams will fulfill their duties and promises to your customers. Customer education is a driver of product adoption and engagement. When your customers know about your product, what it’s capable of, and how to make it work for them, they’re more likely to use it, gain more value, and promote it within their network. An investment in customer education can translate into considerable savings in support costs later on. The sales-marketing relationship is often under fire. Historically, these teams work in friction-filled siloes void of any semblance of an effective and efficient revenue-generating program. Customer education breaks down the walls and bridges the siloes. Your customer education initiative seeks to add value for a specific audience through informative content. The key here is that content is geared toward customers and a wider audience referred to as potential customers. can give you a competitive advantage by building your CX department

Four Steps to Creating a Customer Education Strategy

Creating a customer education strategy can generate measurable business impact across the entire customer lifecycle. Here are four simple steps to launch a successful program:

1. Set Goals: Align your customer education program with the strategic business impact of your company by setting realistic goals with buy-in from leadership. Consider the impact on sales, marketing, and customer success, and remember to show how customer education can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

2. Allocate Resources: Optimizing your customer education initiative will take time, but focus on gains that can be made now. Don't fixate on world-class academies, borrow resources from other departments, and communicate often to create momentum.

3. Create & Deliver: Identify learning objectives that will lead to the desired business outcomes and map out the learning journey for customers. Consider the subject matter, format, and delivery of the education.

4. Measure & Optimize: Measure the impact of your customer education program using metrics that align with your goals. Use the data to optimize and improve the program for maximum effectiveness. Customer education is critical for any business looking to increase product adoption, engagement, and retention. With the right strategy in place, companies can improve their bottom line and stay ahead of the competition. However, creating a successful customer education program can be a daunting task. That's where our team at Smoothen comes in. Our CX solutions firm specializes in helping businesses navigate the challenges of customer education and develop a program that works for them. Whether you're looking to onboard new customers or retain existing ones, we have the expertise to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create a winning customer education strategy.


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