3 Reasons To Invest in Customer Education Before They Buy

September 11, 2014 Marijah Adams-Cleek

Education is a hot button topic in America as of late. College students are experiencing dramatic tuition hikes; people are slowly becoming discontented with the public education system. It’s in the news and laying the foundation for many political platforms. So, it should be relatively un-shocking that this topic is transferable to virtually all sectors of society – health insurance enrollment being one of them.

There’s a lot of empowerment in knowing that you’re making the right purchase, especially when it’s a costly one. Which is exactly why it’s important to provide proper education to your customer base; if you do, they will stay with you, tell the whole world how they feel about you, and save you time and money. What an awesome deal that is.

Here’s how it works:

They’ll never let go – It only seems logical that when a customer is happy, they will keep using a company. Trying to understand all of the components on an insurance plan can be mind-numbingly painful. This is especially true if there is no easy-to-use guide or immediate help available from the insurance company. Consider this, “86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.” Hm. Well, that seems a little unbalanced.

One of the most successful customer experiences occurs when the customer doesn’t understand anything about the product, then the company makes it easy for them to learn exactly what they want to know, and the customer comprehends that information and makes the proper purchase for their needs. In part, the happiness is derived from buying the right thing, but studies show it’s also largely due to feeling important.

When a company treats a customer like the important individual that they are, there is a bond built that people will value. And properly educating people on your product makes them feel like there is no wool covering anyone’s eyes, so they see the company as one they can trust. There is a lot to be said about that sort of satisfaction.

Keep up appearances – Did you know that for every one unresolved negative experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for it? That’s because we’ve been evolutionarily trained to focus on the negative. “Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.” People have a tendency to take to the Internet to let everyone know when bad stuff happens significantly more often than when good happens. In fact, thanks to outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp, bad customer service stories are heard by twice as many ears as good ones. And if there is one thing that we have learned from celebrities time and time again, it’s that bad Tweets live forever in the mystical realm of the Interwebs.  

This experience isn’t exclusive to social media. Just this weekend, I saw a car whose owner was clearly upset with the lack of action from a specific large auto insurance provider. I didn’t know or talk to the owner, but I knew how disappointed they were because they wrote it all over their smashed up car. The back windshield had been replaced with thick plastic on which the entire story had been written out. I then also saw this car on my way to work Monday morning in a completely different parking lot, leading me to believe that the owner is just moving it around town in hopes of spreading the word. And spreading it is.

There is a solid chance that the reason this person’s car isn’t fixed is because the policy they had purchased didn’t cover whatever happened to it. But it is also probable to believe that this person was under the impression that it was covered in their policy plan. This is a perfect example of why it is important to properly educate consumers before they make large ticket purchases with your company. If this person had been fully informed of the coverage their plan offered, their anger might have been contained when the claim was denied. Or they may have purchased a plan that covered whatever happened to their vehicle. Both of these scenarios end without a moving public service announcement warning everyone to not use this company.

Save money – Increasing spending on customer support might seem counterintuitive to saving money, but it’s not. There is a reason why 68% of businesses intend to increase customer management spending in 2014.

It costs 6-7 times less to retain a customer than to attract a new one. Loyal customers are, on average, “worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.” That’s probably because you have a 40-65% higher probability of selling to an existing customer rather than a new prospect. And companies can increase profitability 25-125% solely by reducing customer defection rate by 5%.

If the whole goal of a business is to grow profits, then investing in your current customers is a great way to do that. When customers feel knowledgeable about your product and are happy with the experience you provide them, they will stick around and make your business money.

The only way for a business to truly thrive is to have a dedicated backing of customers willing to keep them alive and growing. And the best way to get said backing is to invest in your customers and show them that you also value their commitment by ensuring they are always happy with their purchases. Educate them on your product and your services, make them their own expert, and tear down the wall that separates the product from the customer. You will never regret it.

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About the Author

Marijah Adams-Cleek

Marijah is the resident Blogger and Script Specialist. In high school, she was given the nickname “The Champ” in reference to her ability to “get it done,” no matter what it is. In college, a very persuasive English professor helped her realize that she had a knack for writing which led to a four-year stint as a college English tutor. She now spends her days blogging, collaborating, and breaking into random dance and song.

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