You have a robust knowledge base, a full blog, tons of videos, and a helpful team of customer advocates eager to lend a hand. Despite that, your customers continue to express frustration over how to use your products, and your prospects don’t fully understand the value you could provide.
Sound familiar? Today’s audiences deal with information overload on a regular basis. Consumers filter out advertisements without a conscious thought, while business buyers see stacks of whitepapers on their desks and wonder who has time to read that much.
If you want your company to succeed, you can’t burden customers and prospects in your attempts to educate them. You need clear, helpful, and accessible ways to deliver information, and you need to position that information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your audience.
Education Shouldn’t Be Overwhelming
You know your products and company inside and out, but things that make sense to you can look like a different language to people outside your business. Follow these helpful tips to enlighten customers and prospects without asking too much of them:
Lean on visuals over copy.
Even people who love reading won’t read a wall of text when a picture could do a better job. According to Brain Rules, adding a picture to text increases information retention after three days, from 10% to 65%. By optimizing your visuals and limiting your reliance on copy, you can achieve even greater results.
Instead of lengthy how-to documents, create helpful videos and infographics to guide customers along. Don’t ask prospects to read long case studies — most of them will just skim the headlines, anyway. Create content with a visual pop by making the important points stand out. Add visual elements, including pictures and graphs, even to simple messages. It may feel like excess work, but the rewards will come as customers feel less frustrated. As a bonus, you can reuse these images on other channels when you need.
You don’t have to be a video expert to get started. A smartphone and a YouTube channel can go a long way toward better customer engagement.
Make it interactive.
Think about all the presentations you’ve seen in your life. How much information can you recall from slideshows? Most people don’t remember much from speeches and bullet points, but they do remember the times they participated in activities. More interactive learning means better information retention and less frustration.
Emergency Reporting, for example, recently organized its entire knowledge base into 32 distinct learning plans based on the modules of the system. Now, instead of asking users to comb through a backlog to find what they need, Emergency Reporting’s role-specific classes make it easy for users to learn and remember information.
Use classes and interactive elements in videos to increase user engagement with your teaching materials. You can even provide a certificate of completion for courses to give users a feeling of accomplishment.
Encourage user-generated content.
Customers always find new and interesting problems with products. Not even the best QA teams can replace regular maintenance, so make it easy for people to create and share user-generated content on your owned channels and on social media.
Message boards allow users to talk to one another and share guides. Employees can monitor channels to see which areas cause the most frustration and create new content to fill in the gaps.
Some people may speak harshly about the company and its products or services in comment sections. This is normal for pages that host information about how to solve problems. Customers who are already upset find a place where they feel safe to vent their frustrations, then do so — even when they haven’t taken the steps to help themselves yet. Maintain an active presence on social media and owned pages to invite disgruntled customers to send direct messages and nip negative conversations in the bud.
Inefficient communication shouldn’t get between your customers and your products. You know all they need to know, and they want that information. By following these tips to share more intuitive and more enlightening content, your company will enjoy a happier customer base of people better able to use the products and services you provide.