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Analysis

Customer Education: The Secret Sauce To Customer Retention

Having trouble ensuring your customers stay loyal to your business? Spice up your customer retention strategy with customer education

Adebisi Adewusi
May 24 2018

You’ve mastered the art of acquiring new customers. Now, you can bask in the success of your efforts…until you realize it’s not always clear how to convert those new customers into lifelong customers.

A few reasons why retention is becoming a priority for an increasing amount of brands:

Companies that focus on customer retention are three times as likely to increase market share as those focused solely on acquisition. And by increasing customer retention rates by 5%, you can increase your profits by as much as 95%.

In this article, we’ll show you how customer education comes into play when examining your retention strategy.

Why You Need Customer Education For Retention

Consumers Buy From Brands They Trust:

In a world of data breaches, and marketing ploys, consumers don’t trust easily. Brand trust in the US dropped to five points – the biggest decline of the countries surveyed. Despite the negative sentiment towards brands, consumers are more likely to trust brands that make an effort to educate them about their products. A study from Conductor shows that there is a relationship between educational content and brand trust. One week after reading a piece of educational content from a brand, there was a 9% increase in the number of consumers who identified the brand as “trustworthy” (64% to 73%).

(Source)

Consumers Love Transparency:

Like you, consumers don’t like being deceived to make a purchase. In fact, 94% of consumers are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency. Consequently, by providing your customers with the information they need to make smart buying decisions—the capabilities and limitations of a product, for instance—they’ll know what to expect, which will help build trust with your customers and create valuable relationships.

Consumers Expect Outstanding  Customer Service:

96% of respondents say customer service plays a role in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. And 90% of respondents say they expect brands and organizations to offer an online portal for self-service. How you serve and educate customers plays a key role in your customer retention strategy.

Now that we’ve covered how customer education helps build trust, enhances customer loyalty, improves customer service and ultimately leads to customer retention, let’s take a look at actual ways you can use customer education to drive retention:

 Customer Onboarding:

Like in all relationships, first impressions matter. A customer’s first app session or site visit determines if they’ll continue to do business with you or tell the world to take their business elsewhere. Smart brands use onboarding to educate customers on the value of their product, build trust, instill loyalty, and boost customer retention.

More than two thirds of marketers who’ve created onboarding journeys for customers say they’ve had a positive impact on business. To make customers stick and prevent churn with the help of customer onboarding, here are few things to note:

  • Carefully consider what and how much information is absolutely necessary to help customers reach their goal
  • Use updates to keep customers informed about new features and products
  • Pinpoint (through customer feedback) how you can better explain how your product can help consumers and how to use it
  • Use feedback to improve your onboarding process

Customer onboarding is about cementing loyalty early and leveraging that critical honeymoon period in the relationship to build trust and drive retention.

Invest In Emotions:

You can tell consumers that your product will make them sleep better, sharpen their mind, or help them achieve a healthier body, and they still wont give your product a glance. On the other hand, if you educate them on the benefits of your products or how to use it, you’ll build an emotional connection with them and earn their loyalty. Why do emotional connections matter? A recent survey from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute found that 82% of consumers always buy from a brands where they experience high emotional engagement. And 70% of respondents spend twice as much with brands they are emotionally attached to.

(Source)

Wondering how to engage customers emotionally? Hold workshops or training sessions to help customers understand how your products meet their needs. By inviting customers to exclusive events, you can increase emotional engagement by 17%. One massive brand using emotional connection to spur growth is Apple.

The tech giant recently launched Today at Apple- a program of daily workshops, events, and experiences. Available at 495 Apple Stores around the world, the program teaches customers everything Apple related from how to take the bst photos from their Iphone camera to in depth training sessions on how to edit videos with a Final Cut Pro.

(Source)

Emotional connection is the core of developing loyalty to your brand. Invest in it.

Build A Self Support Center

Gone are the days when customers had to listen to an IVR or a live agent to solve a problem. The Harvard Business Review states that across all industries, 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. Widen, a digital asset management company, uses its educational arm Widen University to help customers master the complexities of topics like metadata, governance, and analytics through trainings and webinars. The company attributes its  customer retention rate of greater than 96% in part to their educational efforts.

(Source)

If you want to deliver terrific support and improve customer retention, check out these tips to keep your self support in shape:

  • Identify the top reasons customers contact your support team and use this to form FAQs and tutorials
  • Make it easy for customers to find the solution they need, and take  a cue from MailChimp:

(Source)

  • Optimize your support content for all devices. 79% of millennials have a more favorable view of brands that offer a mobile responsive customer service portal.
  • A knowledge base is not a one-off project. This means you need to keep your content fresh and continuously improve your resources.

Customer issues and needs always evolve. So, lookout for new issues and update your database with solutions.

An Educated Customer Is A Buying Customer

Placing a premium on customer education is key if you want loyal customers. So, start a relationship that lasts forever with onboarding, build a connection with training sessions and teach them how to serve themselves. Invest in customer education. Your customers will appreciate your transparency and willingness to invest in their success.

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Adebisi Adewusi

Adebisi Adewusi is a freelance B2B writer and a Huffington Post Contributor. When she’s not creating compelling content for businesses, you’ll find her capturing moments with her Nikon d600.

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