Training Your Customers
by Ron Kurtus (revised 16 May 2001)
It is important for a company to train their customers on how to use the product and how to apply it to their benefit.
This area of training is often overlooked, but it will help to improve business and profits through customer satisfaction.
Questions you may have include:
- Why do customers need training?
- To what extent is the training necessary?
- Why bother training?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Problem of poor instructions
Have you ever purchased a product only to find out you could not figure out how to work it properly? You found that the instruction manual was atrociously written? That is one reason why people still can't figure out how to stop the 12:00 from blinking on their video recorder (VCR).
The worst offenders are software companies. Not only are their manuals often indecipherable, but recently they have their manuals in a help-file on a CD-ROM.
Poorly written product instructions and user manuals is a primarily source for customer dissatisfaction.
Providing customer training
On the other hand, there are products that come with not only a well-written manual, but also with an instructive video or a CBT CD-ROM. Such touches add to customer satisfaction and are efforts to make sure the person will learn to operate the software, electronic gadget, or other product.
Some companies dealing with industrial products provide training seminars at the client's site, in order to train the personnel on using the product.
Reason for training
The rationale for training the customer or user is very straightforward: If the person understands how to use the product, he or she will not have problems or complaints. That makes for a happy customer and repeat business.
Also, it is an important way to improve your business, as emphasized in the Total Quality philosophy of doing business, is to satisfy the company's customers.
Customers need to be trained or educated to maintain your business, as well as to see it prosper. It is worth the extra expense to train the customer in order to get more follow-up business.
Resources and references
Questions and comments
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