We've all worked with new suppliers or partners throughout our careers to bring innovative technologies, tools, services or processes to our companies. You get that warm feeling of excitement when you finally sign the contract, knowing you, your team and/or organization will soon be reaping the benefits of the new tool or service.
Once you’ve signed the contract, you’re usually assigned a point of contact from the new partner’s company who focuses on customer success, and together, you may start to map out the planning process to launch the new tool or service. But as you know, customer success goes beyond just launching the new technology — it’s also important to implement an onboarding plan geared toward using the new technology once it’s launched. No matter how well designed, a new tool or process isn’t very useful if you and your team/organization don’t know how to use it effectively.
Building Your Customer Success Plan
Considering the perspective of an end-user, you know onboarding is vital to success with new technology, so it’s important to create a useful onboarding experience for your own customers. For technology companies in any industry, building an effective customer success plan often includes a focus on three main components:
- Goals: Knowing what your customer expects from the purchase and use of your technology
- Objectives: Understanding how your customer will measure success based on their goals
- Strategies and tactics: Helping your customer create a plan to use your technology to meet their objectives
One key initiative that can help achieve all these steps is training, as it teaches stakeholders how to efficiently and effectively use the new technology. According to a report from the Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA), 68 percent of professionals are more likely to use a product if they have sufficient training. Further, when provided adequate training, 56 percent of IT professionals use more product features — increasing their productivity and effectiveness — and 87% work more independently, which can lead to faster project completion. Additional benefits associated with adequate training include decreased ramp-up time, fewer errors and improved overall performance. (Therefore, training is equally important for both empowering your team and educating your customers.)
The Impact of Successfully Onboarding Customers
According to another TSIA report, there is a 13 percentage point increase in median year-over-year product subscription growth rate when training is included as part of the customer health scorecard. This means that a partnership between customer training and customer success organizations results in higher year-over-year product subscription revenue, illustrating a direct correlation between subscription (consumption) growth and renewals when training is introduced early in end-customer onboarding.
The report also found that 45.5 percent of organizations surveyed already include customer training as an “an integral part of the documented customer success plan.” If your organization part of the 50-plus percent that doesn’t include training within the onboarding process, this is an excellent opportunity to increase your potential revenue returns. However, building and running your own training program takes time and resources, which are often in short supply. Instead, consider seeking the help of an award-winning education partner who can design, implement and manage an expert training program for you, freeing you up to focus on other core business areas.
Your customers believe in your technology and they’re excited to use it — that’s why they chose to buy from you. Continue giving them the best experience possible, boost product adoption and improve customer loyalty with industry-leading training from an experienced partner like Tech Data Global Lifecycle Management (GLM). GLM understands both your products and the shifting technology market, and offers flexible delivery methods. Entrust certification and training to GLM to rapidly educate and empower your customers, and set them up for long-term success.
About the Author
Matthew George is a Vendor Marketing Manager with Tech Data's Global Lifecycle Management. He's worked within the education industry for nearly a decade, within various marketing roles and countries. He's an advocate for evolving technology and keeping an organization's skills up to date.