In a related article, “The Key Component of Energy Software Success is Missing… (Hint: It’s Training)”, we did not cover training outlines or how to build your binder, but strategies for educating your customers, providing engaging onboardings, and providing learning opportunities through optionality. At Datagration, we believe that training should no longer be a singular training session, instead of an element in the first phases of the Customer Success (CS) lifecycle.
A little background, Datagration’s PetroVisor is a proven software previously deployed with international customers, on-prem, with our team having provided initial in-depth training on scripting and workflows in a 3-day on-site workshop with ongoing remote support. We found that when we trained customers on the basics and then built into scripting and workflows, our customers adopted the platform much quicker than when we began with scripting. Our platform has undergone rapid evolution, and we now deliver web-based solutions to US customers, and our training strategy has evolved along with the platform. We now implement a phased approach to training that syncs with our customer lifecycle. When we ran a 3-day in-depth training, we found that we were more successful when we started with the basics and built upon them. If we jumped straight to scripting, we learned that it took us up to a month to train the customer on the same content.
We believe that the CS lifecycle should be managed by the CS team and that it should be included in the Sales lifecycle as the granular level of the post-sales retention phase. The customer lifecycle in customer service is described as user awareness, engagement, and adoption, which leads to retention and growth. We begin our training throughout the lifecycle's awareness and engagement phase. During this phase, the CS team introduces itself to the user groups, onboards them onto the platform, walks them through the walk-through, and provides an in-depth review and training on the models and methods. The CS lifecycle integrates with the larger Sales lifecycle during the retention and growth stages, when CS aids Sales in managing the renewal and extension of the commercial relationship.
To enable long-term engagement, adoption, and retention; customers must be able to independently work within the platform. Phased training allows for the customer to become familiar, and as they spend more time in the platform their questions will be specific and the subsequent training sessions to follow will be a meaningful and effective use of their time. As the training progress into the review of use-case-specific models and methodology, the client is also becoming more competent, and a partnership begins to develop. This partnership leads to long-term retention.