I was nervous when I got home from work and saw the envelope lying on the counter. It was clearly a bill from the hospital where my daughter was delivered.
With a sense of dread, I opened the letter. My suspicions were quickly confirmed – the delivery and hospital stay was astronomical. Although they did ensure my wife and baby were healthy, I still felt like they owed me something more, especially considering the size of this bill… Did I mention it was astronomical?
6 weeks later as our daughter broke out with a rash. That’s when it clicked. The hospital did everything to take care of us while we were there, but that was where their service stopped. What I needed was continuing education. This hospital system had delivered hundreds of thousands of babies, seen hundreds of thousands of rashes, and they had the expertise and experience that could help us long after we had left that hospital.
But why weren’t they? And why aren’t other companies providing education online to their clients on an ongoing basis? Here are 3 ways providing online education to customers can positively impact a business’s success:
Engagement. Regardless of industry or product offering businesses miss the opportunity to engage with their clients every single day. Customer Engagement by itself takes on many different meanings but at its core it’s about having an ongoing relationship or dialogue to improve a business’s relationship with their customers.
Differentiation. In this “copy cat” or “me too” world we live in today it is harder than ever to create long-term product differentiation. Businesses have to come up with creative ways to differentiate themselves over the competition. I was recently shopping for a ceiling fan. I found the model I wanted, and both Lowes and Home Depot had it at the same exact price. A great way to earn my business would have been to provide me education on how to install the exact model.
New Revenue Stream. Yes, you read that right. Organizations can provide customer education and monetize it! Every month I pay $100 bucks to the YMCA of Charlotte. What if the YMCA added online education so I could do home workouts on the days I don’t get to the gym (which happens often)? Could they charge me $5 more a month to have access to “15 minute home workout” series that one of their trainers creates everyday? Take any B2B company as an example. A service-oriented company could put their expertise or intellectual property in a series of online courses and charge their customers to access it, interact with their in-house experts, ask questions, and receive feedback.
This is just scratching the surface of the potential impact client education could have on businesses, whats sad is more organizations don’t make it a priority.