Why customer education matters

Your customers expect a lot from you. And rightly so — there is plenty of competition out there, and your company needs to stand out. So how do you give yourself that competitive edge, increase the value of what you offer to your customers and get them excited about your company? You teach them. Here’s how the low-down on the what, why and how of customer education.

Knowledge is definitely power. In fact, customers are 131% more likely to buy from a brand after engaging with early-stage educational content. Connecting with your customer’s hearts and minds means solving their problems in unexpected ways. They crave convenience and ease without compromising on quality, and education is the answer.

What is customer education?

It isn’t simply teaching them about your product or service. It’s enriching your customer’s experience by communicating the value, functionality and characteristics of your offer, making them want to come back for more.

Why it matters to your business

1. Competitive edge

Today, two-thirds of companies compete solely on customer experience, and 73% of people view customer experience as a key factor in their purchase decisions. By making customer education a priority, you’re enhancing their experience, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty, reduced churn and fewer product returns.

2. Quick adoption

When it comes to online customer service, 73% of customers say that a brand valuing their time means a lot. Providing on-demand educational content shows your commitment to efficiency and means that customers can boost their knowledge at their own pace. And the fact that they’ve already taken the first step by researching your product or service, means they’re likely to be keen to get up and running.

3. Enriches experience

Education sparks understanding, trust and confidence in your brand and business. The more specific and valuable the information, the more customers will trust your integrity and want to engage with your product or service. See it as an opportunity to address FAQs; once the basics are covered, you can focus on more meaningful conversations.

Some smart education examples

An effective customer education strategy blurs the lines between marketing, sales, training and customer service. So it’s important to find the right style, format and delivery for your company. Here are a few examples that we particularly like:

1. Ikea product guides

Blogs, articles and guides are a great way to educate customers with relevant content that speaks to the customer’s interests without focusing directly on the product. By sharing product guides covering relevant and interesting topics like sustainability and how to prolong the lifespan of furniture, Ikea pitch the value of their products without any hardsell. A smart approach that combines education and sales as well as inspiring the customer to get creative.

2. Joseph Joseph recipes

Another great example comes from the kitchen brand Joseph Joseph. By sharing inspiring and vibrant recipes online with videos that complement their kitchen products, they combine education with online sales.

3. Canva video tutorials

For technical or more complex products and services, a visual approach makes sense. Canva is a good example, with simple video tutorials and Canva Design School, the customer is guided through features and use cases using bright graphics and illustrations, showcasing the product, while also teaching the customer a new creative skill. 94% of marketers have found that videos improve customers’ understanding of products and services.

4. Google Cloud OnAir webinars

Google’s Cloud OnAir host a curriculum of webinars and digital events to help you get the most out of Google Cloud products and solutions. This calendar of webinars creates a sense of community and gives customers the choice to attend a wide range of topics on Google Cloud, a complex product.

Webinars effective for several reasons — they allow you to engage with your audience for longer periods of time than a 5 minute video or a blog post. They provide you with a chance to ask questions to your audience, gather feedback and understand better how best to serve your customers. Your audience can voice their opinions, chat, ask and answer questions, which increases customer intimacy.

Plus, 73% of marketers consider webinars to be a great source of quality leads. Partly because if someone has registered for your webinar and set time aside to attend, then they are willing to listen to what you have to say.

Conversion rates for webinars are often way higher than for other content types, converting between 5% and 20% of viewers into buyers.

5. Glossier user-generated content

User generated content gives people an authentic view of your business while increasing your brand visibility at the same time. Glossier is a prime example. The popular make up brand describes itself on instagram as a ‘people-powered beauty ecosystem’, which puts customer education at the heart of their strategy. Glossier has over 500 consumer ambassadors, who create their own content about Glossier, celebrating their stories and sharing how they express themselves with Glossier products. These ambassadors allow Glossier to put their brand in front of influencers’ audiences, who typically already have a large social following.

6. Fossil watch virtual try-on

70% of us struggle to find clothes and accessories online that fit us, making returns a seriously costly business for retailers. A problem magnified by the global pandemic in 2020. That’s why in 2021, we partnered with Fossil watches to create a Wear OS by Google, smartwatch virtual try-on experience. Using a customisable wrist-builder on desktop or mobile, customers could try a product on using a personalised wrist representation, adapted to suit their skin tone, gender and size. Using augmented reality, the customer was being educated through play. They could experiment with the features and apps available using an interactive operating service (OS) replica. Over 75,561 website visitors engaged with the experience.

So if you’re looking to upgrade your customer experience, education is a great place to start. It adds value to your brand, helps you engage and understand your customer base better, leads to faster adoption, and ultimately showcases you as a trustworthy expert in your field.

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