Providing a product is not enough. You need to enable your customers to master it.
Google’s Adwords certification was a game-changer for advertising careers. Why? Because it enabled users to wield Adwords with mastery—not just proficiency. There’s a world of difference between proficiency and mastery. Adwords created masters, leveled up careers, and let employers see the certification as evidence of superior talent.
Creating a new category takes lots of market education. And elevating your stakeholders’ careers is a great way to get them excited about investing in their own education.
That’s why we launched Gong Academy: our comprehensive set of courses that allows customers to realize the full potential of the Gong platform. We also recently added the Gong Certification Program, which allows users to uplevel their skills and gain a competitive professional edge.
Within days of launching, we saw over 450 people enroll in the certification program. Providing product education and certification allows us to extend our team’s expertise to our customers, ensuring they get even more value from Gong and enabling them to become more self-sufficient. Our mission is to make Gong the most valuable platform for customer-facing teams. And for this to happen, we need to build awareness and expertise in the market, and educate a new generation of revenue professionals on how to become more successful by leveraging Gong.
3 reasons why advanced customer education is crucial for your business:
1. Deliver higher customer value
A well designed product should allow users to navigate and use it with little or no training. But in many cases, delivering a higher level of value requires educating users and customers on the strategies and best practices that will allow them to get deeper and lasting value.
For example, we all know how to create task lists—whether we’re using spreadsheets, a task list app, or a full-fledged project management solution. But if you’re tasked with a complex product launch, you’ll gain deeper value if your solution of choice would educate you on how to approach such a complex endeavor in the best way possible.
This is especially true when creating a new category and customers may not have prior experience leveraging similar solutions.
The more value customers get from your solution—and the easier it is for them to realize it—the more likely they are to become raving fans and customers for life.
Empowered customers = less churn = more lifetime value.
2. Turbo-charge your users’ careers
In the financial industry, advisors who hold the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) certification have a significant leg up over uncertified advisors. CFP®-certified individuals have exhaustive industry knowledge and are legally required to act in customers’ best interests—the two things you care about most when looking for an advisor.
Adding a robust certification program for your own solution plays the same role.
Achieving certification becomes proof you’re among the most qualified members of your industry. People then become proud to showcase their certification publicly—on LinkedIn profiles, email signatures, and personal websites. They will become your advocates—your raving fans—and will take you with them to each company they may join in the future. As your certification program’s credibility grows, so does your product’s reputation and adoption.
3. Transform your market faster
So, you’ve built a game-changing product that can deliver unparalleled value to your customers. Now what? Change is hard and many customers may be slow to adopt new solutions, especially if they’ve never experienced anything like it in the past.
Making customer and market education a central part of your marketing, sales, and customer success processes will have a long-lasting effect beyond the deals it would help you close in the short term. Every user of your product will become an advocate that will educate others, driving awareness and adoption not just for your product, but for the change it brings to your market.
Delivering deep value to your customers, especially when creating a new category, requires much more than a great product. Great companies enable their customers to truly master their products, and gain a deep understanding of the processes and methodologies that unlock long-lasting value—and ultimately further their users’ careers.
Providing deep product education and certification allows you to do just that. And everybody wins as a result.