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We're back with another blueprint and weekly insight for you in customer education.
This week we're looking at "customer education" and its role as a "service" within a product organization.
Customer education teams often fall under "client success" which makes sense because we help customers get to value in a product. BUT, I'm predicting a shift this year (and years to come) where our education services teams provide strategic value, leverage hybrid delivery models, or impact our clients with direct services and more.
Let's dive in...
Education Services are the New Professional Services
Today's tasks and tactical pieces of work are being replaced by technology, outsources, or automated away.
- Budgets are tighter than ever
- Media is being created at a volume never seen before
- Technology is being released at rates that make it difficult for teams to keep up.
This presents a golden opportunity for customer education teams to expand beyond Customer Support.
Regardless of the AI, automations, or outsourcing - clients will still need:
- Experts who can solve problems.
- An Understanding of workflows and high-level strategies.
- Point solutions to solve specific steps in their workflow.
- The connection ofcritical systems together to realize business value and results.
Historically, services like this have fallen under a larger pro services organization that bills by the hour, creates custom quotes, and is more difficult to scale (without bringing on more expensive experts and consultants...)
NOW, is the opportunity for customer education teams to bridget the gap between traditional "professional services" and "customer support" in a way that provides scale, drives success, and delivers results.
A Practical Example of What I Mean
On a call this week, I had the wonderful opportunity to learn about the customer success and onboarding process of a potential client.
They mentioned their team members were wanting to create a more blended approach and move away from 1:1 programs.
Hybrid Service Models Involve 3 Key Components
There are 3 essential components that every hybrid service model has:
- Services - these are done "for a client" or done "with a client"
- Curriculum - on-demand resources, content, and toolkits to help get results faster.
- Community - peer groups, workshops, live events, Q/A sessions, and more.
This sounds EXACTLY like what many team customer education teams are talking about...
...we want to launch a client community...
...we want to move online, or on-demand...
...we have a 30-day onboarding where we set things up for clients...
Transitioning to Hybrid Services
So what does it take to bridge this gap?
First a clear understanding of the customer you're serving.
- Review the problems your existing professional services organization is solving.
- Review the playbooks used
- Generalize the number of meetings, travel, agendas and measure how effective these are.
Second, alignment of your education products and services.
- Are the programs primarily focused on product support?
- Are they grouped in paths, or organized by client roles?
- Do they deliver frameworks or skills? Or more features and functions?
Third, an operational plan to expand "education" and partner with other team members to deliver exceptional results.
- Look at the first 7, 30, 90, 100 days of a new client onboarding.
- What challenges do they have?
- What would it take to solve these problems with curriculum, community, and services?
This year presents more opportunities than ever before for customer education to reinforce it's place as an essential function with our organizations.
1. Expanding the Impact from Client Success to Client Services is the next step for education teams already meeting success goals.
2. The 3 Pieces of a Hybrid Service Model:
If implementing a "hybrid model" sounds like something you're interested in, our program Academy Accelerator is helping customer education teams maximize their impact and help their organizations become a category of one in the market.
Click here to schedule a strategy call and see if this might be a fit for your goals.
Keep creating - Matt T.