Most businesses devote their attention to little beyond the bottom line. If you hope to build a long-term brand that cultivates a high degree of customer loyalty, however, you should look at the big picture.
The Power of Customer Education
Despite having access to more opportunities than ever in the past, all too few brands take the trouble to educate their customers. The only rational reason for this is that they don’t fully understand the potential benefits of customer education.
We don’t want this to be an excuse you take, so let’s quickly outline four of the biggest advantages to educating your customers.
- Pre-qualifies customers. Many customers don’t know what they need (or even what they want) until their pain point has received sufficient prodding. Other prospects believe they need your solution, but they’re honestly under- or over-qualified. By educating the marketplace on the front end, you actually pre-qualify your audience. This saves them time and prevents you from wasting valuable resources on people who will never end up being customers anyway.
- Warms them up. Suitable education can warm up a cold prospect and help him or her understand the person’s precise need for your product or service. It’s an effective precursor to a successful sales call or meeting.
- Establishes preeminence. When you put out educational content, it inevitably positions you as the authority figure in your industry. Providing useful information establishes preeminence and gives you credibility that competitors may have a difficult time trying to match.
- Reduces customer service burden. Your customer service team will love you for investing in education. Good educational content shows people how to use the product and/or derive the most benefit from your service. This will reduce the number of emails, phone calls, and support tickets that come through for very basic problems (which will free up your team to focus on more substantive problems).
When you add up these benefits, the potential value of customer education should become clearer. If you’re willing to lean in and invest some time and energy into this facet of your business, great things are guaranteed to happen.
Three Tips for Educating Your Customers
When they hear “customer education,” some business owners assume you have to build an entire department and create a substantial new line item in your budget to get the job done. In reality, it doesn’t require much more than increased emphasis on quality content.
Here are a few dead-simple ways you can begin to educate your customers.
1. Create a Knowledge Base
The best brands take time to develop centralized knowledge bases that serve their clients in an on-demand format.
As GrooveHQ explains, “A knowledge base consists of an online library filled with guides, tutorials, and answers to common customer questions about a business’s products or services. It’s a self-service portal which can be easily accessed by customers and internal employees alike.”
In other words, it’s an online resource that people can use to answer questions without having to reach out to someone on your team. Building a knowledge base is easier than you might think.
Basically, you gather the questions people have asked in the past and turn your answers into articles and videos. Then you publish this content using a knowledge-base platform.
If you operate a brick-and-mortar firm, where you meet with most of your customers in an office or storefront, you might also create your own physical version of a knowledge base. Think about designing a printed booklet for every major category of your company.
Then, when people have questions, you can direct them to the booklet that will fulfill their needs.
2. Turn Your Blog Into an Educational Resource
Your blog can serve as an unofficial educational resource. Simply use a keyword research tool in order to identify which questions your target market asks the most. Then develop blog posts that respond to these questions.
Not only will this educate your customers, but it also has significant SEO value.
3. Start a Podcast or YouTube Channel
If you think you have the time and resources, try launching a podcast or YouTube channel that directly addresses the biggest questions, concerns, and pain points in your marketplace. This will give you positive exposure and further solidify your brand as an expert in the industry.
Grow Your Authority
A strong customer education strategy can accomplish a lot of different things for your business. Above all else, though, it helps you expand your authority in the field.
When you take up a position as a teacher in the industry, people look up to you. You might even discover that other companies and professionals in your niche will start turning to you for opinions and insights.
When that happens, it’s a huge shift that will put you in a position where you’ll probably never have to beg for business again.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.