How to Promote Customer Education to Executives and Improve Customer Lifetime Value

Whether your company is a fast-growing SaaS startup or an established multinational corporation, your customer education program can be the essential driver of product engagement and customer growth. As you build and scale a customer education program, the right data can help you identify patterns, make evidence-based decisions, and adapt strategies to meet business goals. Having ready access to business impact data can also help you raise the visibility of your program and secure additional investment.
In this article, I will share the data and metrics best practices that have helped our customers meet program goals and communicate business impact with a wide range of stakeholders.
Categories of Customer Education Data
Broadly, you can bucket customer education metrics into two categories:
1) Program metrics that help you run and optimize your program, and
2) Business Impact metrics that help you measure and communicate business impact.
Program optimization metrics reflect the current state of your customer education program, while business impact metrics measure the impact of your program on customer retention, lead generation, and revenue. You can think of these two categories as leading and lagging indicators of your program effectiveness, respectively.

Program Metrics

Program metrics are leading indicators of your success and include: course-, content-, account-, and program-level data. This data is often useful when discussing your program with your company’s instructional designers, training managers, education success & customer success managers.

Data Level
Audience
Sample Metrics

Course
Training Managers
New course enrollments
Course completions
Hours spent in training

Content
Instructional Designers
Most popular content
Views, completion rates by content type
Most common topics for user support tickets

Account
Education Services Managers & Customer Success Managers
Active number of users currently taking a course
$ invested per account on training
Training revenue generated
Hours spent in training

Program
Customer Success Managers
Number of net-new customers engaged in training
Training revenue
Net Promoter Score (NPS)

These metrics can also help you assess if your program is reaching the right people and if the content is engaging. You can then adapt your marketing tactics and the creation of new content and courses accordingly.

Business Impact Metrics

Business impact metrics are crucial to help you track if users are successfully onboarding and adopting your product. You’ll want to pay particularly close attention to the delta between the number of software licenses sold and the number of users taking training and logging on to the product. Examples include:

Category
Audience
Sample Metrics

Customer Onboarding
Chief Executive Officer
Time to first value
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Revenue accrual

Chief Operation Officer

Chief Customer Officer

Vice President, Product

Vice President, Customer Success

Customer Success
Chief Executive Officer
Number of students enrolled in training
Number of course completions
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Number of customer renewals/upsells
Customer retention rate
Impact on support tickets
Hours spent in training

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Operation Officer

Chief Customer Officer

Vice President, Customer Success

Vice President, Customer Support

Vice President, Global Services

Industry Awareness (Lead Generation)
Chief Executive Officer
Number of leads generated
Cost-per-lead
Hours spent in training
Cost per converted customer

Chief Customer Officer

Vice President, Marketing

Vice President, Sales

Your customer education data needs will vary depending on the analysis that you seek to conduct and the audience that you seek to address. We recommend that you strategically select the right metrics based on the needs and goals of your audience, keeping in mind their role in the success of your training program. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to data and the more you can tailor your training data analysis to your audience, the more successful your program will be as it grows and evolves.
Once you’ve identified some of the metrics that best show program performance and impact, the next step is to engage with your stakeholders to share these impact insights.
Engaging with Stakeholders
Providing opportunities for executive visibility into a Customer Education Program on a regular basis is a critical step to ensuring that your program is both given the buy-in and funding it deserves and is viewed as an important, beneficial component of the business. When considering how to approach key stakeholders, keep these four core principles in mind:

Use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data, as well as data related to both leading and lagging customers, to correlate customer education activities with business impact
Ensure metrics are tied to specific points in the customer lifecycle
Aim to tie metrics to specific business initiatives and larger metrics being tracked at the corporate level
When reporting, focus on the metrics that have the most variability or the ones showing the most interesting trends

If you’re interested in learning more, you can download the full eBook: The Definitive Guide to Customer Education Metrics.

Whether your company is a fast-growing SaaS startup or an established multinational corporation, your customer education program can be the essential driver of product engagement and customer growth. As you build and scale a customer education program, the right data can help you identify patterns, make evidence-based decisions, and adapt strategies to meet business goals. Having ready access to business impact data can also help you raise the visibility of your program and secure additional investment.

In this article, I will share the data and metrics best practices that have helped our customers meet program goals and communicate business impact with a wide range of stakeholders.

Categories of Customer Education Data

Broadly, you can bucket customer education metrics into two categories:

1) Program metrics that help you run and optimize your program, and

2) Business Impact metrics that help you measure and communicate business impact.

Program optimization metrics reflect the current state of your customer education program, while business impact metrics measure the impact of your program on customer retention, lead generation, and revenue. You can think of these two categories as leading and lagging indicators of your program effectiveness, respectively.

  1. Program Metrics

Program metrics are leading indicators of your success and include: course-, content-, account-, and program-level data. This data is often useful when discussing your program with your company’s instructional designers, training managers, education success & customer success managers.

Data Level Audience Sample Metrics
Course Training Managers New course enrollments

Course completions

Hours spent in training

Content Instructional Designers Most popular content

Views, completion rates by content type

Most common topics for user support tickets

Account Education Services Managers & Customer Success Managers Active number of users currently taking a course

$ invested per account on training

Training revenue generated

Hours spent in training

Program Customer Success Managers Number of net-new customers engaged in training

Training revenue

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

These metrics can also help you assess if your program is reaching the right people and if the content is engaging. You can then adapt your marketing tactics and the creation of new content and courses accordingly.

  1. Business Impact Metrics

Business impact metrics are crucial to help you track if users are successfully onboarding and adopting your product. You’ll want to pay particularly close attention to the delta between the number of software licenses sold and the number of users taking training and logging on to the product. Examples include:

Category Audience Sample Metrics
Customer Onboarding Chief Executive Officer Time to first value

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Revenue accrual

Chief Operation Officer
Chief Customer Officer
Vice President, Product
Vice President, Customer Success
Customer Success Chief Executive Officer Number of students enrolled in training

Number of course completions

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Number of customer renewals/upsells

Customer retention rate

Impact on support tickets

Hours spent in training

Chief Financial Officer
Chief Operation Officer
Chief Customer Officer
Vice President, Customer Success
Vice President, Customer Support
Vice President, Global Services
Industry Awareness (Lead Generation) Chief Executive Officer Number of leads generated

Cost-per-lead

Hours spent in training

Cost per converted customer

Chief Customer Officer
Vice President, Marketing
Vice President, Sales

Your customer education data needs will vary depending on the analysis that you seek to conduct and the audience that you seek to address. We recommend that you strategically select the right metrics based on the needs and goals of your audience, keeping in mind their role in the success of your training program. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to data and the more you can tailor your training data analysis to your audience, the more successful your program will be as it grows and evolves.

Once you’ve identified some of the metrics that best show program performance and impact, the next step is to engage with your stakeholders to share these impact insights.

Engaging with Stakeholders

Providing opportunities for executive visibility into a Customer Education Program on a regular basis is a critical step to ensuring that your program is both given the buy-in and funding it deserves and is viewed as an important, beneficial component of the business. When considering how to approach key stakeholders, keep these four core principles in mind:

  1. Use a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data, as well as data related to both leading and lagging customers, to correlate customer education activities with business impact
  2. Ensure metrics are tied to specific points in the customer lifecycle
  3. Aim to tie metrics to specific business initiatives and larger metrics being tracked at the corporate level
  4. When reporting, focus on the metrics that have the most variability or the ones showing the most interesting trends

If you’re interested in learning more, you can download the full eBook: The Definitive Guide to Customer Education Metrics.

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