Virtual training

10 Ways You Can Increase Customer Engagement in Your Training

The CloudShare Team

Apr 03, 2024 - 5 min read
Increase Customer Engagement

In our experience, most successful customer engagement programs include a customer education strategy. It isn’t difficult to see why. Customer enablement is best achieved through training, and a formalized customer education program can improve key performance indicators across all stages of the customer journey by between 10 and 16 percent

Yet what some businesses overlook is that while education is crucial to engagement, the inverse is also true. You need to know how to engage customers with your training materials. Otherwise, customers are likely to either ignore your training program altogether or tune out while they go through it. 

We’ll discuss why — and what you can do to prevent that from happening.

Why It’s Important to Ensure Customer Engagement for Training?

It’s safe to say customer engagement is an essential part of customer education. Engaged prospects are more connected with your business and tend to be more satisfied with your software. Consequently, an engaged customer is much likelier to remain a customer. According to Wyzowl, 86 percent of people are more loyal to a business that invests in onboarding, enablement, and education. Remember also that it costs between five and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it costs to retain an existing customer. There’s also the fact that even a five percent increase in customer retention can result in a revenue increase of up to 95 percent.

The Best Ways to Engage Customers with Education

Now that we’ve hammered home the importance of customer engagement let’s talk about how you can create more engaging customer training. Below, we’ve compiled a few of the most effective tactics, including gamification, collaborative learning, and analytics.  

Collect Feedback

Want to ensure your customers pay attention to their training? Consider adding a few quizzes or skill assessments to your courses. In addition to helping you identify weaknesses in your training content, it helps keep learners engaged — they know they’ll be tested on their knowledge, which makes them more likely to pay attention.

These tools can be used as more than a test of customer knowledge and skill. You can also leverage assessments or surveys to collect feedback from customers on how they feel about their training.

Are they satisfied with the content and how it was delivered? Did they learn everything they need to know about your product? Is there anything they feel you missed or overlooked? These kinds of surveys give you a more direct window into the experience your training offers while simultaneously providing you with deeper insight into which areas require further optimization. 

Use a Blended Approach

We’ve said before that blended learning is becoming the norm for corporate training. This remains as true today as it did back then, with the global corporate blended learning market projected to reach $96540 million by 2028. A hybrid training model which combines in-person and virtual training, blended learning offers the best of both worlds — the flexibility of digital with the structure and social interaction of in-classroom. 

By allowing customers to choose how they learn about your software and whether they prefer instructor-led or self-paced training, you can provide them with a sense of ownership and autonomy, which both contribute to greater engagement. 

After all, most people are far likelier to embrace a training program if they feel like they’re in control.

Connect with Customers in Real-Time

Even if your business primarily leverages self-paced training, customers must still be able to reach out for help if they need it. Provide them with fast-track access to an instructor or customer success professional both during and after training. We also recommend having your team monitor each customer’s progress and proactively reach out to anyone who appears to be struggling — but more on that in a moment. Email and push notifications can also prove invaluable for keeping customers focused and engaged, providing learners with reminders and suggestions to guide their education. Be careful you don’t overdo it, however. A 2019 survey found that roughly 78 percent of millennial users have deleted an app after receiving too many notifications.

Embrace Continuous Improvement Through Analytics

Monitor, measure, improve. Make that mantra a foundation of your customer education program. Identify your KPIs, then use those metrics to assess the effectiveness of both your training materials and your overall strategy. 

You’ll also want to determine which of your software’s features are essential to product adoption, as this will allow you to both develop more effective training materials and keep a better handle on how well your training introduces people to those features.

Try Gamification

These days, gamification seems to be every training professional’s favorite buzzword. There’s a good reason for that. Introducing elements and principles of game design into educational materials often makes those materials considerably more enjoyable and engaging. 

Features as simple as achievement badges, challenges, or leaderboards can provide ample motivation for learners to progress through your courses.

Make Your Training More Social and Collaborative

Humans are social creatures. We’re at our best when we can work with others towards a shared goal. With this in mind, it’s not all that surprising that collaborative learning can boost both retention and comprehension

Nor is it shocking that roughly 20 percent of learning happens through social interaction

Give your customers a way to interact with one another while they learn. This could take the form of in-classroom brainstorming, virtual breakout rooms, or even community discussion boards.

Hyper-Personalize Your Training Content

Generative artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize customer training. By integrating an AI tool with your analytics, you can enable features such as automatic course recommendations and curated learning paths. Rather than being served the same generic content as every other trainee, learners will be provided with materials tailored to them based on a number of different factors, including:

  • Use case
  • Pricing tier
  • Most compelling features
  • Training performance
  • Needs

Bear in mind that while powerful, AI is far from perfect. You’ll still want to maintain at least some human oversight. Look at it as using AI to enable your instructors rather than using it to replace them altogether.

Speaking of which…

Empower Your Instructors

Look for a learning platform that either integrates readily with an authoring tool or includes content and course authoring as a native feature. More importantly, find one that allows instructors — and anyone else who might be using the platform — to quickly configure and deploy tailored training instances. 

In addition to lightening your IT department’s workload and making life easier for instructors, a platform built for streamlined course deployment can also serve as a powerful sales enablement tool.

Provide Opportunities for Hands-on Learning

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — hands-on training is far superior to passive learning. Give customers the opportunity to actually practice with your software rather than simply describing how it works. Let them explore some common use cases or experiment in a sandboxed environment based on their own ecosystem. In other words, show them the value of your software rather than telling them about it.

Offer Certifications

If your company operates in a highly technical or specialized niche, it may be worthwhile to consider launching a certification or credentialing program for your customers. This doesn’t necessarily have to relate directly to your software, either. Instead, it could provide customers with a way to test and demonstrate technical knowledge in their field — while also allowing your business to demonstrate thought leadership on its own.

Combining Engagement, Education, and Success

Training and onboarding can be an incredibly effective way to engage both customers and prospects. Much of that effectiveness is lost, however, if your training materials or delivery methods are cumbersome or boring. To maximize user engagement, satisfaction, and customer retention, you need a customer education program that not only trains participants as efficiently as possible but also does so in a manner that’s both compelling and memorable. The tactics we’ve described in this piece are a good start — but if you want to know more, check out 6 Tips to Increase Learner Engagement with Better Digital Experiences. If you’re interested in how this advice applies to employees, you can also look at Training New Hires: How to Create Engaging Employee Onboarding.