In today’s competitive environment, for small business and large enterprises alike, one of the ways you can stand out is to educate your customers about your products and services. Consumers today demand that information is accurate, timely and readily available. The question becomes how you deliver this educational content to your market. Here are seven ways to help ensure your customers are well educated.

  1. Web Posting

With the ease of creating and updating websites using today’s technology, there is little reason not to have a website with information meant to keep your customers informed and educated. Besides just a landing page, you need to have complete and timely pages for FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), a knowledge base, and links to relevant information outside of your website. Many times smaller business have the advantage on this front. They are more nimble and able to make these updates quickly. Larger enterprises often must jump through several layers of approvals before the slightest changes can be made.

  1. Tutorials

Whether you want to include a product tutorial on your video blog or in your website, an excellent way to educate your customers is with a detailed page or video showing how to install or use your product. Enterprise gamification can also be used to design and implement a strong tutorial. Keep in mind that high production quality is not always absolutely necessary. Of course, you want the content to look good. But if you’re a smaller business on a tight budget, don’t shy away from shooting the video with an iPhone and recording the audio with a budget lapel mic. Today there are so many cost efficient options for producing media, if you’re not getting in on the game you should probably blame your own apathy.

  1. Blog

Aside from a website, a blog is another method you can use to educate clients. Here the writing is a little more personalized and is meant to be used for relationship building. You are free to write posts that more fully describe the uses for a product or service. Use the opportunity to tell your audience more about your company’s approach to implementing solutions and why that solution may be the best for the purchaser.

  1. Video Blogging

In addition to the written word, blogs can also use video. Upload a homemade video of your products or services being used or explaining the unique features showing why your company is the best. Not only will this help educate the consumer, new media tactics like this go a long way toward increasing employee engagement and employee buy in regards to company culture. This also gives you the chance to show off your staff and put a face with a voice on the telephone.

  1. Online manuals

While tutorials may be a brief introduction on how to use the product, a more robust online manual will allow customers to dig into specifics and the specifications of a product. Product manuals should be detailed and allow the customer to find the answer to any question they may have. If any assembly is required, then the assembly instructions should be included and be simple and easy to follow.

  1. Product Demonstrations

Customer education can be accomplished by the use of product demonstrations, so your customers can see the product in use. A short online video can be invaluable in showing your product off while showing the customer how it works in a real life situation. Better yet are product demonstrations that occur at the customer’s site, or using their data for IT products. When you show the real world use of your product or app, the benefits of your product become clear to the consumer, motivating them to purchase.

  1. Product Reviews

Another way to educate your customers is by including an objective and truthful set of product reviews. These reviews should not all be “5-star” reviews as that would come off as being biased in favor of the product, and suspiciously untruthful. Including some dissenting reviews that show where the product may not be the best solution to every customer’s needs gives the customer a feeling that they can trust you to provide that best solution.

Educating your customer is a vital part of the sales process for any business, and is important in relationship building. Customers have more confidence that your solution is the best for their particular needs when you take the time to ensure they are well-educated. If you can build this trust, they will likely return for future purchases.

Brigg PattenBusiness and Tech Writer