With growing competition and increasingly knowledgeable customers, it becomes imperative for organizations to launch appropriate customer training programs. The new-age customers of today are very sophisticated, and get all the information they need about competing products, through the internet. So, training programs introduced by companies should be well designed with a customer-centric approach. These programs should not be mere information providers, but also have to be solution providers for their customers. Some of the top organizations are putting up virtual universities, and certifying their channel partners in their products and services. Some of them are even certifying their customers! So, if you wish to win valuable customer support, you need to have training programs tailored to suit customer needs.
There are many ways you can structure such programs.
Traditionally customers were trained by onsite training programs, which are limited to a few hours to a couple of days. Getting oriented to the functioning of a product is required, and that is what the brief on-site training programs provide.
There are many issues that crop up when using products, and more often than not, customers look for online help to troubleshoot problems that they encounter. Therefore, instead of letting your customers fend for themselves through informal online forums, you could provide valuable resources for any issue they may face using your products, through online training programs. These can be in many formats – Webinars, eLearning programs or through online resources.
Organizations are increasingly using webinars to introduce products to potential and existing customers. Some organizations conduct regular webinars to educate their customers on product features and benefits. You could reach thousands of customers spread all over the globe, without incurring any travel expense. This is particularly useful for B2B customers involved in high value products.
E-Learning is another means of training customers. Customers can access training programs when required, and when convenient. Training can be for products, services, or for educational purposes; but having them in byte sized modules to help in using products or services, will be most helpful to customers. M-Learning is also another format which is an extension of eLearning.
Online educational content:
In additional to the above, you can engage with customers by providing valuable information through newsletters, social media, and even micro-blogging sites such as twitter. However, care should be taken to ensure that social media sites are alive and active, providing current and up-to-date information. It is always better to have a dedicated team who respond to queries and post on online forums. This certainly helps in improving your credibility as a customer-centric organization.
To summarize, being able to reach out to customers in multiple formats, and providing consistent and reliable information when needed, earns valuable customer support. This can be achieved through eLearning, m-Learning or webinars exclusively catering to customers.