— August 27, 2019
Today’s SaaS companies are on a mission to constantly provide amazing products and value to customers. In order to do this, most SaaS platforms require ongoing updates and new feature releases to both keep up with changing customer needs and ensure the technology is running at maximum capacity.
For customer success teams, this means rolling out an ongoing schedule of training and customer support. While some updates, like minor bug fixes or patches, might not need full-scale training, others, like a brand new reporting scheme, require substantial support content to ensure customers can make the most of the update. Here are 5 best practices to keep in mind when training customers on new product updates:
1. Give customers advance notice about new updates.
Keep your customers as in the loop as possible when it comes to product updates. Whether that is a quick side note on a check-in call, an email blast telling customers a new feature is ‘Coming Soon’, or a pop-up banner in the platform, alerting your customers ensures they’re keeping an eye out for changes. This way, when changes do occur, customers aren’t taken aback or worried about their day-to-day processes.
2. Create support resources and content.
CSMs should work in tandem with product and marketing teams to create compelling, optimized support content and resources for customers. When you send out your notification communications, including a quick one-page walk through of a new feature or a demo-esq video can help customers feel more comfortable about the new technology and how to use it. Creating a support library within your platform is also a good idea. Here, you can upload release notes, training guides, and more that customers can access on their own time.
3. Leverage pop-ups and in-product prompts.
After spending time creating these training resources and spelling out the value these new features will bring to customers, you want to make sure people read them. By adding a pop-up banner to your product homepage, every time a customer logs in they will be notified with new content or updates. With pop-ups, customers can start watching training videos or reading release notes in advance of a product release, and then once the feature is live they will be able to quickly access all relevant resources and content. In-product prompts and guides walk customers through a new workflow step-by-step to ensure they know what they’re doing.
4. Host in-person or webinar-based training sessions.
In addition to digital content and resources, CSMs should also offer some sort of in-person training for customers. Most of your modern users should be able to grasp new product updates without too much hand-holding, but offering these personal training sessions is a great way to show customers that you value their time, effort, and investment in your product. For larger white-glove customers, you can offer to come onsite and train users in person, if the update is large enough. Or, offer a live training webinar session to all customers where you will walk through the new feature and answer any lingering customer questions.
As a best practice, make sure you send the recordings of these training sessions out to all customers (in your customer newsletter, perhaps) in case some people weren’t able to make it.
5. Check in with every customer account along the way.
No matter how far in advance you notify customers, how in-depth your training resources are, or how prepared your team is for customer questions, there will always be customer uncertainty around product updates. CSMs should be prepared to check in personally with all customer accounts throughout a new product release. Even just sending a quick email or making a phone call to ask how they’re enjoying the new feature or if there are any one-off questions you can answer can make a big difference.
The last thing you want is for a customer to stop using or become frustrated with your product after an update, so checking in periodically is a good way to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Personalized product training can build lasting customer relationships
Rolling out new product updates and features to customers is exciting because it signifies that your product is growing and expanding to better meet customer needs. With the right training process and resources, customer trainings can become just another step in ensuring smooth, long-lasting customer relationships.