Education, trust, and sales go hand in hand. In 2023, the realization is clear: establishing a lasting relationship with a customer is impossible without effective education and support throughout their journey.
Education, trust, and sales go hand in hand. In 2023, the facts are clear: establishing a long-lasting relationship with a customer is impossible without effective education and support throughout their journey. So, your mission (should you choose to accept it)? Understand the importance of customer education and integrate it throughout the entire customer journey. In the current economic context and with increasingly volatile customers, customer education is a key lever for attracting, selling, and retaining, especially in B2B and the SaaS markets.
In this article, you'll learn how to integrate customer education at every stage of the customer journey. Let's get started!
Why prioritize customer education in your B2B strategy?
Before delving into practice, a bit of theory is necessary. Do you know what customer education is?
However, education is not a one-time action. Take the example of a SaaS accounting solution for SMEs: it's not enough to train and educate customers on tool usage during onboarding. Education is a form of continuous support that must be integrated throughout the customer's lifecycle. By prioritizing education as ongoing support, the benefits are numerous:
- Gain trust in the brand
- Increase company credibility
- Improve customer loyalty and retention
- Better understanding of customer needs (through exchanges and feedback)
- Accelerate product or service adoption, including new features
- Reduce activation time
- Reduce churn
- Ease the burden on customer support through proactive education
- Increase additional and complementary sales (upsells and cross-sells)
Customer education is particularly beneficial for B2B companies where sales cycles are longer, and products are often more complex to grasp. By integrating education at every stage of the customer's lifecycle, the company addresses customer needs and questions before they reach Customer Success Managers (CSMs) or customer service.
What are the benefits ? Better customer relationships, a more efficient sales journey, and a boost for growth. But to take advantage of all these improvements, it's essential to know how to educate customers. So, what actions should be implemented at each stage of the customer journey?
How to integrate education at each stage of the customer journey?
The customer journey is a set of stages through which a customer passes. This process is an evolving path: at each stage, actions are taken by the company to help the customer move to the next stage.
Customer education is part of these actions. Let's see how to integrate it at each stage of the customer journey, i.e., during the phases of:
- Discovery and Awareness
- Consideration and Comparison
- Decision and Purchase
- Adoption and Post-Purchase Experience
- Loyalty and Advocacy
Step 1 #1: Discovery and Awareness
This is the moment when your potential customers learn about your company. During the discovery phase, it is crucial to catch their attention and establish a memorable first impression. This is where education begins, by raising awareness.
To raise awareness among prospects about your products or services, you can provide them with educational content such as blog articles, webinars, or video presentations. Ideally, you want to make your leads aware of a need, a painful, urgent and obvious need.
By using MeltingSpot, you can address these issues and reach the right platforms, for example, by organizing a webinar. Our tool allows you to quickly organize and broadcast various types of live events. You can stream them to Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitch, Twitter, Telegream, Trovo, and Telegram.
Reach your prospects wherever they are and Prove them with educational content that will help them move to the next stage: consideration.
Step #2: Consideration and Comparison
In a B2B buying journey, the consideration stage is crucial. Here, prospects associate their needs with a solution. They consider your offers but also those of competitors, to compare. Hence, the importance of standing out and showing that you understand their needs.
Once again, customer education is a powerful lever. At this stage, consider producing educational content such as case studies, testimonials, and comparative guides with other products on the market. Highlight the benefits of your offer and how it addresses specific problems faced by prospects.
Another decisive factor is the presence of a community of clients. Corporate messages alone are no longer sufficient; buyers rely more on the opinions and experiences of their peers. With a cohesive community, you give members the opportunity to speak for themselves. And you have the opportunity to value their voice in return.
Through MeltingSpot, you can easily and quickly create your Customer Community. Instead of solely sending content via email to clients and prospects, create shortcuts to educational content no matter where your customer is — a website, blog, or product. MeltingSpot helps you deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time.
Step #3: Decision-Making and Purchase
In this crucial phase, your mission is to make the purchase smooth, fast, and fun. The prospect's decision is leaning in your favor, and you must guide them through the action without friction.
The purchase is another key step in the process of educating the new customer. Throughout the purchasing phase, emphasize the unique advantages of your solution and your value proposition. Reassure your future users by offering product training, demo video, or free trials with tutorials.
These educational contents encourages the prospect to take action and helps them build a relationship with the company and use the product. Highlighting the presence of a community is also a good initiative to ease decision-making.
The existence of a customer community is a decision-making driver. It is also estimated that, on average, the sales cycle for a community member is 3 times faster than for a regular customer.
Customers no longer just want transactional experiences but also relational ones. Show them that you can make it happen. If you need help launching your first community, check out our guide:
Step #4: Adoption and Post-Purchase Experience
Your client has clicked "buy": congratulations! But the experience doesn't end there. Their education is as important as it was at the beginning. During this phase, the client will be using your solution for the first time. Offer proactive support rather than waiting for them to contact customer support or your CSM with numerous questions. The most suitable educational content includes integration guides, interactive tutorials, or even training sessions (individual or group).
At this stage, it's essential to show clients how to get the maximum value from their purchase as quickly as possible. Our platform, designed to simplify onboarding and customer education, helps by reducing activation time.
There's more: community features, webinars, and all your content are integrated into one place, namely your product or website. Your clients no longer need to search for content on other platforms. This content is available where they are (or at least where you want them to be). So your customers can learn quickly, without wasting time... And get the most out of your product.
Step #5: Retention and Advocacy
You have succeeded in attracting, converting, and satisfying the needs of your clients. Now it's time for retention: the most enduring strategy for your company. On average, retaining a customer costs between 5 and 10 times less than acquiring a new one.
So, at this stage, consolidating a strong relationship is crucial. Additionally, your active customers are likely to be asking for evolution, skill enhancement, and improvement. Customer education will remain a priority!
To build customer loyalty, you can offer advanced training, regular webinars, and updates on new features. You can use the community to communicate with them and invite them to provide feedback. This way, you identify the most engaged members to transform into potential ambassadors.
By grouping all your animation, communication and education actions on a single platform like MeltingSpot, the outcomes are obvious: your clients benefit from all the education they need to make a better use of the product, and you benefit from a reduced churn rate.
62% of customers think that companies consider them as mere numbers (source: Gladly). It's up to you to change that, by educating and guiding each customer throughout their journey!
Customer Education: The Best Tools
In summary, education is a priority throughout the customer's lifecycle. The benefits of such guidance are numerous: customer satisfaction, retention, increased sales, customer skill development, and improved product, marketing, and sales strategies.
To integrate education at each stage of the journey, various levers are relevant for B2B companies, including:
- Online courses and training programs
- Webinars and seminars to gather clients during an event
- Helpdesk: Beware, customers are demanding and no longer settle for a series of articles to read. They seek more interactive or even playful experiences.
- Written or video content to be consumed asynchronously, at their own pace
- Discussion forums to promote education through collective support
All these interactions, often digital, make up what we call a Customer Community or a Customer Academy. This Community-Centric approach is at the heart of new expectations from buyers. More and more customers want to be able to rely on the power of the community to progress, adopt a solution and achieve better results. They want to be learn independently. Being able to exchange with their peers (as well as with the company) in one place has become a decisive criterion in the purchasing decision. However, the community is not only for attracting; it also ensures retention and building a lasting relationship with the company.
Discover the steps and challenges of a quality Community Funnel in this article.
Ready to take action?
Do you want to educate your clients throughout their journey? Do you no longer want to provide them with static, one-way education and guidance?
You now know the various options available to you. From the discovery phase, their integration offers many advantages for both you and the customers.
Webinars, content, Community, or Customer Academy—whatever solution you choose, your priority is to embed this tool at the heart of the customer experience. Thanks to a single platform (via SSO and embedding), such as MeltingSpot.
The key to effective customer education lies in the absence of friction.
So, stop making your customers create accounts on external platforms. Don't burden them with a complex customer journey. Choose to educate and support them efficiently, without friction. With the right tools, at the right place.