Training Automation Is Your Ticket to B2B SaaS Growth in 2016

September 7, 2016

 

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An examination of your customer base will most likely show a variance in the profitability of your customers. In one category you’ll find the cream of the crop, the top performers who are optimizing their use of your B2B Saas product to grow their own businesses while requiring minimal assistance. The other category are customers who are not yet fully utilizing your platform’s potential and are generating a higher number of support tickets.

What if there was a way to boost this second group and make them as profitable as the cream of the crop?

Training automation should be a critical part of every company’s strategy for increasing customer performance and profitability. How are you currently training customers? Are you waiting for support requests and dealing with each on an individual basis?

Or are you proactive, educating customers to deal with common issues on their own before they come up and guiding them into more efficient use of your product?

Customer training isn’t new, but old methods like holding in-person trainings and webinars don’t work for many modern companies. If your model is SaaS or on-demand, you need a method that’s scalable and effective — and doesn’t require your constant involvement.

Meet training automation

Customer training is often designed as a standardized, structured way of teaching all new customers about your product or service. Using onboarding courses or certifications, customers are led through specific pieces of content designed to both increase their mastery and profitability of the product and to decrease customer support costs.

Traditionally, it’s been hard to tailor that content to the needs of an individual customer — but this can be solved with training automation.

Training automation is triggering highly contextual educational content to be given to customers at certain appropriate times, based on their behaviors. This content, for example, could display as a popup tutorial when a user accesses a new-to-them tool on your platform. Or the guidance could be sent via text or emails based on what funnel stage they’re in.

What does this do?

  • Helps your customer out in the instant they need it — rather than leaving them to flounder or overwhelming them with information at the wrong time.
  • Provides value to your prospects and customers.
  • Streamlines your company’s operations and reduces support calls.
  • Reduces onboarding time and customer churn.
  • Accelerates adoption and deepens product usage.

Related reading: 5 Ways Seller Training Automation Can Fuel Marketplace Success

Three ways training automation maximizes customer profitability

Smart automated customer training can be used to turn less profitable customers into more profitable ones in several key ways.

First, training automation can result in higher profits because it helps customers go deeper. Picture this: A customer who has been using your product for a few months gets an automated email highlighting a feature they may have been unaware of. After moving through a quick training on the feature, they find even more uses for your product in their day-to-day, which increases the likelihood they’ll stay active users and sign up for a higher tier.

Second, customers who are well-versed in using your product will become evangelists for your company. Their increased competence, understanding and enthusiasm will make them articulate and well-informed spokespeople — thereby recruiting more of their coworkers onto your platform.  

Third, and perhaps most significantly, training automation can result in lowered customer support costs. A recent survey by McKinsey and Co shows maximizing customer satisfaction within their journeys can not only lift revenues by up to 15 percent, but can also bring down the cost of serving customers by as much as 20 percent.

Well-trained customers require less in terms of customer support costs. Consider two customers both paying $3,000 per month for your subscription-based SaaS service. You’ll be making more off the one who requires only a few hours of customer support time each month versus the one who requires $1,000 worth of customer support help.

When these customers receive triggered automated training in the moment they need it, the instances of contacting customer service will decrease. They’ll find the help they need exactly when and where they need it.

Related reading: How Companies in the On-Demand Economy Are Embedding Provider Training into Their Platforms

Training automation streamlines the customer lifecycle

For most companies, implementing training automation is a relatively easy solution. It can be as simple as a series of autoresponder emails or as sophisticated as training content embedded seamlessly in your product, triggered by your customer’s actions.

Each stage of the customer lifecycle will require a different set of educational resources. Start simple, from the moment they first begin to use the product, then build on that training throughout the entire lifecycle of the customer — to the point when they become an expert.

With a layered approach, training automation can present information in an ever-deepening way so customers can dig down according to their own level of expertise with your product.

By letting a customer make their own way through your training with just-in-time information perfectly tailored to their skill level, you’ll inevitably streamline the customer lifecycle and achieve maximum operational efficiency. Customers will be able to immerse themselves in your product in a way that feels natural, and strengthens your relationship.

Related reading: Drive Contract Renewals With Online Customer Training Opportunities

Seamless automated training builds partnership with customers

Savvy companies understand the customer’s experience must be exceptional or those customers won’t continue to use the product — which is why automated training should be seamlessly woven into that product experience. Investing in your customers’ success with just-in-time educational resources builds trust, knowledge and loyalty.

When companies view their customers as partners, they understand that growth happens only when their customers are successful — whether those customers are users on a SaaS platform or providers on an on-demand economy platform.

By automating your training and integrating it seamlessly with your customers’ experience, you’ll make it simple for you both to succeed.

 

Are you ready to reap the benefits of elearning? Learn how to implement your own training program by reading our step-by-step framework.

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