Virtual IT training

Why Customer Education is Critical for SaaS Companies

For SaaS companies, customer education is an essential component throughout the SaaS customer lifecycle. Through customer education, SaaS companies can ensure their customers realise the value of their product. This in turn drives sales, increases adoption, and leads to higher retention rates.

Customer education is needed throughout the SaaS customer lifecycle

Customer education starts the very moment a prospect becomes interested in your product. However different methods to educate are used throughout the customer lifecycle.

Providing hands-on access to your SaaS product early in the sales process – at a marketing event or during a product demo – is a proven way to drive greater conversion through the sales funnel. This is because often the feature set is too extensive to describe. This way, prospects can also play around with the features that are most relevant to them, deepening their engagement. SaaS companies who are able to provide prospects with a fully-featured version of software to trial typically also see greater conversion success.

Once the deal is done, it’s not a case of set and forget. Ongoing customer education is a key component of customer success. At this stage of the customer lifecycle, customer education can again take various forms, the most prominent being customer training.

High quality training with hands-on practice is essential for customers of SaaS

High quality training is one of the primary ways to ensure high adoption and give users of SaaS applications enough experience and understanding so they can get full value from their SaaS subscription.

Even then, there are a variety of ways to provide training. With most SaaS applications, hands-on experience is the best method of training to ensure understanding. In our experience, hands-on training is best delivered by an instructor in a virtual or physical classroom environment.

Another, more flexible training option to consider is self-paced training. Many SaaS companies have chosen to create a training curriculum that can be completed on demand. This provides an immersive and safe learning environment for learners to have hands-on practice with their software.

Regardless of how the training is delivered, hands-on practice with real world scenarios should be the cornerstone of any SaaS training program. And in the ever-changing world of SaaS, ensuring customers say up to date and educated is of utmost importance.

Effective customer education improves adoption and retention rates

As you can see, for SaaS companies, a customer education program with different training options across the customer lifecycle provides numerous opportunities to develop strong relationships with employees across their customer organisations. An impactful customer training program increases user adoption, with employees using the product more often, using more features, and working more independently[1]. When done well, it can also reduce customer support interactions and costs.

SaaS companies who focus on making their customer training great see an increase in customer success as measured by high retention rates, which is a key driver of growth[2].

How could your SaaS company’s customer education program be improved?

SaaS companies should be working to ensure their customers have what they need for the software to help them achieve their business goals. This includes regularly looking at ways to improve the quality of their customer education across the SaaS customer lifecycle.

In the next blog post in our Customer Education series, we’ll share six ways SaaS companies can improve customer education.