A Clear Goal
You cannot help your customers be successful unless they understand what their goals are. You probably didn't expect me to say that. You probably expected me to say that you can't help your customers be successful unless you know what their goals are. But that isn't totally true. If you have a low touch sales process and provide a lot for self-service information, a customer who has a clear goal in mind can be successful with your product without ever contacting you. But if they don't know what their goals are then the chances of them being successful with your product aren't very good.
A Clear Path
Once the customer knows their goal they need to have a clear path to reaching that goal. You can provide that through an exceptional onboarding experience and ongoing education. Generalized information here won't be nearly as helpful as information that maps exactly to your customer's goals. Most likely you will have customers of your product that will use your product in different contexts and for slightly different purposes. Creat a separate path for each customer segment.
Once the customer starts down that path they are going to need feedback about how they are doing. So often we, as product owners, request feedback from our customers about our product, but how often do we give feedback to our customers about how they are using our product? Usually a quick glance at a cusotmer's account (with their permission) can reveal some key misunderstandings or mistakes in configuration that if caught early can save everyone a lot of headaches.
Once your customer is on the path to success they are going to need ongoing education. Your product is going to change. Their ability to use your product in more advanced ways is going to increase as they become more familiar with it. By delivering the right educational content at the right time you can keep them moving down the customer success path and even help them discover new ways they can use your product to improve their business.
Take a moment to evaluate your current customer education approach.
- Are you helping them identify their goals?
- Are you giving them a clear path to reaching those goals?
- Do you provide feedback along the way?
- Are you providing ongoing education?