For CELab’s 100th episode, we’ve decided to celebrate by discussing the hardest-won lessons for Customer Education Leaders. Dave and Adam have both held several roles on their journeys as customer education leaders, and now they are looking back at their journey to dissect mistakes they made and what they learned from them. We also asked Customer Education leaders who have appeared in our previous episodes to call in with their valuable advice to their past selves, which you’ll hear throughout the show.

Enjoy a bit of nostalgia, and an all-star line up of amazing leaders: Christy Hollingshead, Alessandra Marinetti, Daniel Quick, and Jesse Evans.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we share even more great stories …

Image by DALL-E 2

Customer Education teams must remain adaptable in times of change. After all, we support ever-changing products for diverse audiences, and we drive ever-changing business strategies. In this episode, Lisa Rothrauff, Director of Customer Education at Amplitude, walks us through how she builds and develops teams to balance different skill sets and remain resilient and adaptable through changes in business strategy, skill requirements, and economic landscapes. She talks about the balance between “constant skills” and “fluid skills” in hiring and developing team members’ careers and gives advice on building high-performing teams who thrive in ambiguity.

In this episode we discuss …

  • Importance of product telemetry
  • What is it that you need from your team?
  • How to design for how people learn
  • Hire for attributes or potential over experience
  • Hiring a generalist or a specialist
  • Differences between theory and practice instructional designers
  • The value of contextual awareness and curiosity in content design
  • Creating a specific type of experience that supports instructional goals
  • How to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Personal operating manuals and team agreements
  • The value of learning from your team
Image courtesy DALL-E 2

With this episode, we’re joined by Tiffany Taylor to talk about the overlap between Customer Success and Customer Education. Tiffany leads both the Customer Success and Customer Education practices at Handshake, and what better way to discuss:

  • The role of education in implementation
  • Leading and lagging lagging indicators
  • Investing in customer education and customer success
  • Making customer education a part of the solution
  • How customer education is the scale engine of customer success
  • How to cultivate a community of customers
1997 Customer Education by DALL-E

And finally … our “book club” discussion on Peter Honebein‘s book, “Strategies for Effective Customer Education“. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 and Part 2, check those episodes out now. We finish up this series with

  • User-centered design and multi-faceted team
  • The importance of customer education and compliance
  • Product training for professionals and users
  • Is customer education expected to be free?
  • Strategic thinking is really important
  • How to promote your training programs
  • Measuring the different levels of customer education
  • Why certification and credentialing is important?
  • How to formalize customer education
  • What’s different about customer education today?

At the end of this journey, we feel more connected to our successors and have a better understanding that what we do as Customer Education Leaders and Practitioners. Let’s work together to make this field a crucial part of any organization.

We’re back for Part 2 (of 3!) of our discussion on Peter Honebein‘s book, “Strategies for Effective Customer Education“. If you haven’t listened to Part 1, check it out now. We pick up the thread and continue exploring:

  • Intuitive product design and user experience
  • The “art of the possible” and gap analysis
  • How to connect with our customers
  • Crossing the chasm!
  • Correcting consumer misconceptions
  • How to look at the customer journey
  • Product systems and customer support
  • How to integrate customer education into a product

Part 3 is coming soon and we’re moving quickly towards our 100th Episode!

A rendering by DALL-E 2 of Customer Education in the 90s

The clock is winding back, once again! On a previous episode, we covered Claudia Gaillard Meer’s book on Customer Education from 1984. And now, we’re jumping forward in time 13 years to the year 1997. And we rejoined the state of customer education with the book “Strategies for Effective Customer Education” by Peter Honebein

Some highlights from this episode:

  • Customer Education is one form of Customer Education, but it’s not the only form.
  • Customer education has never truly gone away, it’s just been renamed.
  • What does customer education mean in this time period?
  • Why sales and marketing has less of a role in customer education today than in the past.
  • Customer education as a means to stimulate sales.
  • Customer education is only helpful when it’s about lacking knowledge or motivation.
  • The importance of customer education and how to measure it.
  • What if it’s not about your desire to use the product? Is it extrinsic or intrinsic?

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 (yes this is a long one) for even more insights!

Back to the Future via DALL-E 2

This episode is a continuation of our discussion of Claudia Gaillard Meer’s 1984 work on Customer Education. Customer Education has been around for at least 40 years by now, so we continue our conversation – what’s new? What’s not new? Enjoy Part 2 of two deep-dive discussions where we consider the past, present, and future of Customer Education. 

The future of Customer Education? DALL-E seems to think so …

It’s 2023! Dave and Adam share predictions for the coming year – what are the big trends to watch, and what are the ones that might not pan out? We’ll share our predictions and trends. But first … we’re counting down the top episodes of 2022 and sharing our learnings, including how we’ll use them to inform our future programming.

Happy New Year from Dall-E 2 and CELab!

It’s the end of 2022 and we’re recapping the year with reflections on what we, and our peers in the Customer Education world, have learned. We start by hearing reflections from Customer Educators around the world about the biggest thing they learned in 2022, and then Dave and Adam share personal reflections about what we’ve learned this year as well.

Dall-E’s rendering of Customer Education in 1984 (“Spert“)

Customer Education is, as Dave Derington says, “Both new and not new”.  We review the book, “Customer Education” by Claudia Gaillard Meer and take time at the end of 2022 to reflect upon what has changed and how this practice – often thought of as adjunct to Customer Success – has resurfaced and is now ready to help organizations achieve scale.

We can trace the origin of the phrase at least back to 1984 – nearly 40 years ago!  What’s new? (And … what’s not new?) Why did Customer Education not become a standard practice throughout our market?  This is Part 1 of two deep-dive discussions where we consider the past, present, and future of Customer Education.