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Scalability In B2B SaaS Customer Education Programs

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Why You Need To Say Goodbye To Customized Content

Scaling a B2B SaaS product to reach larger audiences is critical to businesses looking to grow. And while it’s easy to agree that a customer education strategy should be scalable too, it’s just as easy to fall into the trap of wanting to please your strategic accounts with a fully customizable learning experience. However, in order to reach a larger audience with your program, you need to do so without incurring significant additional costs. While customized content may seem like the best way to deliver personalized education, it can actually hinder scalability and make it more challenging to maintain the quality of the product.

By focusing on creating standardized, modularized content that can be easily updated and adapted to meet the needs of different audiences, businesses can ensure that they can handle an increase in demand without sacrificing quality or incurring significant additional costs like additional headcount. In this article, we will explore why building a scalable, generic customer education program is essential for B2B SaaS products and why businesses need to say goodbye to customized content.

The Disclaimer

Yes, sometimes you need to create customized content. The argument is not that customized content is bad, but that it is less important than scalable content, and that you often sacrifice scalability when you elect to customize. Customizability is more sustainable if you have a source of truth to iframe content from, or if you use a CCMS (Component Content Management System). However, if you rely heavily on SCORM files or on uploading local content, you’ll quickly create more work than your team can manage.

Why B2B SaaS Customer Education Programs Fall Prey To Customizing Content

While it’s fairly obvious advice to build in a scalable fashion, typically, it’s the teams with a customer-facing output that know best how to implement scalable practices; meaning technical writers, support teams, and product and development. However, because customer education teams do not always fit neatly into one functional area of a company, they often fall into areas that are not traditionally responsible for producing content, such as customer success or operations departments. While these may be opportune departments in which to grow customer education teams, they often have misaligned perspectives on the need to standardize and scale versus the need to please individual accounts. In order to better align your team’s strategic positioning within your department, be prepared to explain the merits of a standardized program over a highly customized alternative.

Some Factors To Consider When It Comes To Your B2B SaaS Customer Education Program

1. Time And Resources

The most obvious reason customized content is not scalable is that you need to expend more resources as your customer base grows. More customers equal more content, which equals more headcount. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a larger team, but bigger teams create structural inertia, or the increased difficulty to adapt to change or correct course.

2. Consistency

By developing a scalable generic customer education program, you can ensure that all customers receive the same information and training. More importantly, your internal team develops a shared writing style, shared standards of quality, and a common understanding of your organization’s processes. Plus, when one person leaves, the rest of the team can more easily accommodate their workload.

3. Precedence

Once you’ve started creating custom content, you’ve set their expectations as to the level of customization they can ask for. It is much more difficult to backpedal and stop offering customized content after you’ve already set the precedent for customers. Rather than saying, “We can’t support customizations,” try enticing your customers with your existing program.

4. Flexibility

A scalable generic customer education program can be easily updated and adapted to changes in your product or service offerings, industry trends, or customer needs. This flexibility can help ensure that your customers have access to up-to-date information and training. When dozens of customized versions of content exist, updating content in line with product updates becomes a titanic endeavor. Moreover, you lose the opportunity to increase the standard of quality of your content.

5. Cost-effective

Developing a scalable generic customer education program can be more cost-effective than creating customized content for each customer. By creating a program that can be delivered to a large audience, you can leverage economies of scale and reduce your overall costs. If a customized content strategy creates a variable cost for your business, a scalable strategy creates a single, fixed cost.

Conclusion

Creating a scalable, generic customer education program is essential for B2B SaaS products looking to grow and train larger audiences. While it’s understandable to want to provide customized content to strategic accounts, it’s important to consider the potential hindrance to scalability and the additional costs that may be incurred. Developing standardized, modularized content that can be easily updated and adapted to meet the needs of different audiences is the key to ensuring scalability and maintaining quality. Customer education teams should align their strategic positioning within their departments and be prepared to explain the merits of a standardized program over a highly customized alternative.

Teams can also benefit from creating a decision procedure for choosing which content to create to suit the needs of their audience. By doing so scalably, businesses can increase their efficiency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, while ensuring consistency and maintaining the quality of their product or service.



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