It is not enough for organizations to devise a few marketing programs to build brand awareness and elicit customer loyalty. A Product become successful when customers are well-informed about it, learn about its features and how they benefit from them in an educative tone. Sectors such as banking, financial services, pharma, healthcare and hi-tech companies are investing a lot of time in online customer education through eLearning programs that have no sales obligation.
Online training for customers helps to:
- Build brand image: Helps the organization to create a communication channel that can be used to correlate customer pain points to the solutions provided by organization. Since the education does not have any sales obligation, prospective customers are more willing to listen and accept the information shared. Existing customers who have had a pleasant user-experience are likely to share the same with their peers and contacts, earning valuable word-of-mouth publicity. This helps the organization build its brand image.
- Educate customers in the correct usage of products: Products are becoming increasingly complex and their improper use can prove costly for the customer and might attract legal hassles for organizations. This is particularly so in case of pharma, health care or other such sensitive domains. It is important to educate customers on the appropriate use of equipment, or drugs, so that the products give desired benefits.
- Reduce burden on service hotlines: Customer service hotlines are always over burdened with calls that may not be of a serious nature. Simple troubleshooting videos or eLearning modules uploaded online, can be accessed by customers, resulting in reduced number of calls to the helpline numbers. Service hotlines will be in a better position to handle queries that require the help of a specialist technician. Not only that, customers also will save a lot of time and will be better empowered to handle minor problems on their own. It saves a lot of time for both the organization as well as customers.
- Increase customer loyalty and sales: Customers are spoilt for choice when they explore the market for any product or service. An organization that takes pains to educate them on the products and the value addition they bring is likely to be better accepted. It also instils customer confidence which translates into loyalty. Organizations that value customer education are in fact sharing their intellectual property, which instils customer confidence and helps in generating more sales, as customers are likely to provide repeat business. In fact, a survey conducted by Next Century Media states that education out performs marketing efforts, and when organizations educate their customers, the chances of them buying your products are 29 times higher when compared to media advertisements. They are 92% more likely to share the information about the products with their friends and peers, earning valuable brand mileage.
- Generate credibility of products with certification: If customers are confident about the ease of usage of a product, they are more likely to purchase it. With eLearning, it is possible for customers to be trained on the usage of a product which could help in better product acceptance and reach. This is particularly true in the IT domain where software training needs are high. Companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and SDL Trados have been adopting eLearning training programs to train their customers on use of their software for many years now. eLearning provides a viable training solution for multinational companies that have their customer base across the world.
Therefore, a targeted customer training program is something that organizations cannot afford to ignore these days – more so in case of products that are highly technical and complex. This can be achieved through planned customer education strategies that help customers make educated choices.