Educating customers is something businesses can benefit from, but most shy away from it due to false assumptions such as – the belief that a more educated customer will be less loyal or ‘know too much’. It’s time to let go of these assumptions and truly empower your customers with knowledge and insights that help them understand your products and how it can be of value to them.
This research by Andreas Eisingerich & Simon Bel debunks the myth that educating customers makes them less loyal, in fact, the research revealed the opposite, educating customers comes with considerable advantages instead.
What Exactly Is Customer Education?
The first thing to you need to understand is that customer education is not the same as marketing. Customer education refers to the set of activities or processes a business puts in place to equip customers with the knowledge & skills needed to make the most out of its product or services.
A business has immense benefits to reap from educating customers, if it fails to do so, the customers will find the information themselves anyway, but the business loses valuable points it could have scored with the customers, or worse – the customers switch to a competitor that empowers and teaches them how they can get the most out of the product at hand. Here are 3 benefits of educating your customers –
1. It Builds Customer Trust
In an era where companies use various marketing ploys to lure as many prospects into using their products. Customers are more likely to trust those brands that make effort to enhance their knowledge about the nature of its products. Research has shown that educating customers strengthens their trust in an organization, and it can act as an important service differentiator for brands.
The smart consumer will opt to buy from the company that’s educated him on the issue and presented him with multiple solutions. That company’s selflessness has built trust — and its ability to teach him has bought his loyalty in the future
– Mark Quinn
2. It Reduces Complaints
Besides building customer trust, educating customers will lead to a reduction in complaints as the customers become more adept at solving a good number of problems related to the product(s) on their own. This eases pressure on support channels and enables support staff to handle other issues.
When support staff can pay more attention to other tasks, they become more productive. This is possible since fewer customers are calling or emailing them for assistance on basic issues.
3. Enhances Customer Loyalty
When customers know and understand a product, it’s features, capabilities & limitations, it gives them realistic expectations on what they can achieve with the product. This deep understanding of a brand’s product or service is very important for building trust.
Educating your customers helps them understand your products better and build trust with your brand. Without this trust, loyalty will not be possible.
3 Ways To Educate Customers
Whenever I think about customer education, one brand immediately comes to mind- Apple. Apple invests a lot of resources in educating its customer base through hands-on-experiences at the retail stores, where customers can feel the products and see how they work, as well as free training classes and workshops that teach customers how the products work and how to use them. As a result, they have a lot of loyal customers who also advocate for the brand both online and offline.
Apple’s investment in educating its customers is paying off, you should do the same for your business. Here are 3 methods you can adopt in educating your customers –
#1. Create Hands-On Experience
Create opportunities for customers to touch, watch or experience your product with live demos or samples for them to test out. Remember that most people are visual or kinesthetic learners – they need to see, feel and have their hands on something to really learn and understand how it works.
#2. Organize Workshops
Depending on the nature of your business, your customers might find workshops very helpful in utilizing your product efficiently. For instance, manufacturers of gadgets like Smartphones and Cameras would do well to in creating tutorial workshops for customers, where they can learn the various ways to utilize the products and get the best out of the devices.
This sort of engagement can be used as a differentiation tool and also as a means to connect emotionally with the customer while creating more value for them.
#3. Create & Share Useful Content
Create and put out content where the customers can easily access them, it could be on your website, via email or social. In your content, tell them exactly how to use the products in very simple terms.
Share the facts and DIY hacks that empower the customers to meet their needs faster or more efficiently using the product. Content could take the form of blog posts, videos or graphics. Share it on social media and try to reach as many customers possible.
When customers are better informed and capable of utilizing a product effectively, it paves the way for a positive and long-term relationship with a brand. Just by investing the necessary resources in educating your customers, your business can build customer trust and long-term loyalty.