What is SaaS Customer Training?
Customer training is an engaging customer education experience – which lasts the entire customer journey – conducted by the customer success team. The training is mainly designed to ensure that the customer who’s new to your product/service or the latest feature has the knowledge and confidence to put it to good use. This, therefore, bridges the gap and shortens the conversion between customer acquisition and activation, and active user to upselling.
From customer training, your customers should hit their first “Aha!” moment i.e. the first user interaction that delivers clarity on your product’s unique value proposition and gets them hooked. For example, the “Aha!” moment for Chartio, a smart BI (Business Intelligence) tool without requiring SQL knowledge, is getting users to create a chart or dashboard.
There are many different types of customer training. Here are three major types for SaaS business:
- Walkthrough guide: Guides users to perform a specific work function step-by-step from start to finish. It usually appears automatically when users first arrive at a screen on a SaaS platform. Later, they can access the guide with a single click if they need it.
- Self-training: Customers can read the tutorials or watch the videos that are relevant to their needs.
- Working session: Training session that can be proactive or on demand. Because of technology, nowadays webinar is used most frequently to deliver customer training, which makes onboarding easy and interactive.
A successful training doesn’t cease when the session is over. After you design and deliver a training session, there are some activities you should do to measure its effectiveness, maximize its value, and make improvements. In this tutorial, we focus on the activities after the last type of training i.e. the working session, which is periodic and more of the customer success team is engaged in the process.
What to do After Training
Here are four major activities you should do after the training:
Send survey and collect customer feedback
Conduct a survey right after the training when attendees’ memory is still fresh. Some questions you can include in your questionnaire:
- How useful would you say this training was for you on getting started with our product/service?
- Would you like to see additional training on other topics?
- If yes, what other topics would you like covered?
- Is there anything you’d like to see improved on during the training?
- Do you have any other comments on today’s training?
Track support requests
The effectiveness of a training isn’t reflected in the number of tickets but from contents.
Ineffective training can generate excessive support requests from users who still need guidance to navigate through the software from support representatives. However, if the increased tickets ask about the questions beyond the topics you covered in the training, it means your training was successful.
In short, an effective training should result in:
- Fewer tickets about what you’ve already covered in the training.
- More tickets about further use of your product.
Track product usage
Compare how well and often customers interact with the software before and after the training. Changes in product usage may not all happen right away, but over time.
- Total users: Attracting more users within an account.
- User traffic: Number of users per day or per week.
- User logins: Number of login times for each user per day or per week.
- Time spent using the product: Increase in time customers spend on your product/service.
- Feature adoption: There should be more customers using the specific features covered in the training.
- Customer health score: One of the most common questions that a customer often raises is: “How are other companies doing?” However, due to company size, the level of product usage for each customer can be so different and thereby not comparable. The solution, therefore, is to design a health score configured with several critical product usage metrics. You can then normalize these numbers by calculating the weighted average of each component towards the total health score. In this way, it’s more objective and comparable despite company size.
Track business outcomes
Improving business outcomes is the ultimate goal for training your customers. But keep in mind that beyond customer training, other endeavors inside or outside the customer success team can contribute to the outcomes. So it is important to compare trends over time trend. Specifically, customer feedback, ticket and product usage metrics should give you an idea of the effectiveness of the training.
- Free trial conversion rates: When users who only sign up for a free trial learn how to use the features and realize how these can benefit them, they are more likely to become paid customers.
- Upsell rates: When existing customers understand your products better or see the value of a new feature because of training, they are more receptive to upsells. For an upcoming product release, free training can get the message out to targeted customers.
- Cross-sell rates: If you have different training packages provided to customers, keep track of cross-sell rates from the sales side to identify which customers and/or products to target with new training programs.
- Churn rates: When customers know, like and trust your software, they are more likely to renew their subscription.
- Average revenue per customer: Run cohort analysis on customer revenue. For example, you can compare revenues from customers who received the training with those who haven’t or compare the changes in revenue before and after the training among the attendees.
After delivering your training, following up with the activities above can help you evaluate the effectiveness, maximize the value, and improve the training in future. If you’re providing live online training, at the conclusion, attach the recorded webinar along with the survey, to the sign-ups in case they missed it or want to review it later.