3 Challenges of Customer Training (and How Successful Brands Overcome Them)

Rachel Alexander
Rachel Alexander
3 mins
Customer training

A good customer training program has the power to fuel business growth and build a positive brand reputation. It helps your customers successfully use your product, which makes them more likely to turn into repeat buyers and even raving fans who help you win new business.

But there’s a problem: most organizations run into a few common customer training challenges that, when not properly addressed, can derail the entire program.

Fortunately, that doesn’t have to happen to you.

Below, we’ll cover three of the most common customer training challenges organizations face—and give you tips to successfully overcome them.

1. Making a Negative First Impression

New customers are some of the most vulnerable. They’re unfamiliar with your product, and if you aren’t there to help them successfully navigate their first few days with it, you’ll likely lose their confidence and may even inspire buyer’s remorse.

And worst of all, their negative experiences can impact future deals. According to customer experience expert Shep Hyken, “There are some customers who, when they don’t get the service they feel they deserve, complain. But, not to you. To the rest of the world.”

That’s obviously not great. Not only are these customers unhappy and convincing other potential customers you’re not worth their time, they’re never even giving you a chance to correct your behavior.

But here’s the thing: that’s not their job. It’s yours.

You need to develop a strategic customer onboarding program that gradually introduces customers to your product, getting them more and more familiar with its capabilities.

Make sure to start the new customer training slowly and repeat key information often. This will help your customers retain as much information as possible.

You should also focus on mini wins. What are the little things your product can accomplish early on that excite your customers? Make sure new users experience these moments early and often so you can build momentum as you guide them through the onboarding program.

This will help you create a positive customer experience that starts on day one and lays the foundation for a longstanding, mutually beneficial partnership.

2. Burning Out Your Training Staff

The happier your trainers, the better the customer training experience.

It’s a simple and intuitive concept, but too many organizations push their training staff to do more work than they should reasonably be expected to do.

Don’t fall into this trap.

While it may save money in the short term—by helping you avoid additional technology or salary expenditures—it’ll quickly harm your bottom line.

According to Gallup, “Burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job. And even if they stay, they typically have 13% lower confidence in their performance and are half as likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager.”

Burned-out employees are also less friendly. It’s difficult to project positivity when you feel worn down.

All in all, these aren’t the kind of conditions that lead to a positive customer training experience. In fact, they’re more likely to create an environment that drives your customers straight into the arms of a competitor.

To avoid these issues, consider investing in technology that makes life easier for your customer training team.

The most effective way to do this is by implementing an external-facing knowledge hub your customers can use to self-educate or review lessons learned during previous training sessions.

An internal knowledge sharing platform can help as well. With key information at their fingertips, your training staff will no longer have to dig through multiple spreadsheets or track down subject matter experts to find answers to difficult questions that customers may ask.

3. Using Outdated Training Manuals

Once you have technology in place to support your customers and training staff, there’s one last roadblock to overcome—stale content.

Training materials can quickly go out of date due to product updates, rebranding initiatives, changing industry regulations, and more.

So, how do you ensure your training content stays current?

In most cases, it comes down to carefully selecting which knowledge sharing platform you invest in.

The most effective solutions will empower you to:

  • Mass update content
  • Set review reminders
  • Auto-expire time-sensitive materials
  • Schedule posts in the future

Features like these make it easy to keep your content fresh and informative, so you can ensure training materials provide customers with the information they need.

Make Customer Training a Priority

While it may be tempting to keep all your focus on new business, it’s just as important to keep existing customers happy so that they’ll continue using your products and, ideally, recommend your business to others. If your company is encountering friction in your customer training program, it’s time to rethink how you can make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for your customers to learn about your products or services.

May 15, 2019

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