THE BLOG
07/28/2016 10:13 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

15 Methods for Educating Customers About Your New Services and Products

When launching a new product or service, companies need to find the balance between allowing customers or users to dive right into the new tool and first requiring extensive education. At your next product or feature launch, consider these education tips so that you and your users are satisfied with the experience.

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A. Have a Slow "Learn Flow"

It's tempting to throw a customer straight into your app or product ("We built this cool thing, go play with it!"). In reality, your users will value a bit of hand-holding. Try to make it fun, but take the time to show them the different aspects of your product. What happens when you swipe right? Why should they click that circle? Teach them, and they'll get more value from day one. - Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

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A. Promote Across Many Platforms

When our last service launched, we educated customers through all available outlets: email, client platforms, press releases, web articles and radio interviews. Promote new products across a variety of internal and external outlets to reach as many customers as possible. - Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

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A. Show, Don't Just Tell

We're all busy people. Reading about something new feels like a chore. Most people are visual or kinesthetic learners, who need to see, feel and have their hands on something to really learn how it works. Set up ways for clients to watch your new service in action with a live demo, video guides or sample products for clients to test out themselves. - Kelly Azevedo, She's Got Systems

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A. Pitch in Person

I've found there is no better way to pitch someone than to do it live and in person. Whenever we release something big, we try to visit the top 5 percent of our customers. While it's not possible to personally visit the majority of our clients, we make it a priority to visit our top customers. This will also strengthen the connection between both companies. - John Rampton, Due

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A. Use Step-By-Step Starter Guides

AdWords and SumoMe are two services we use that have excellent step-by-step starter guides. When using the products for the first time, there will be step-by-step popups that direct users where to click and what to click on. By showing (rather than telling) users how to use your product, they are much more likely to understand how to use it and will continue to use it in the future. - Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

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A. Catch Users' Attention with Website Banners

A website banner is a great way to grab the attention of any individual who visits your site. These banners are highly customizable and will be the first thing any user sees. Due to the simplicity of these banners, they can be changed at any time to promote the most recent company information. - Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc

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A. Educate In App

Introduce customers to your new services or features when they need it and are most likely to begin using immediately. For example, add a new button on their dashboard highlighting the feature (along with a "Learn more" CTA), introduce it as something they can test when users navigate to a function related to the new feature, or research which clients could use your new service useful and pitch directly. - Jared Brown, Hubstaff

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A. Use Blog Posts and Email Marketing Campaigns

If you stay in touch with your customers/users through compelling and engaging content, they'll be open to receiving information about your new products or services through emails and blog posts. The key is to make every touch with your customers/users full of helpful information that keeps them wanting more. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

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A. Create Video Content

Create a short but engaging video that will showcase and educate your customers on your service or product. Keep it short, simple and to the point, then promote it across all your digital platforms. - Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

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A. Publish Blog Posts and Work with Bloggers

Blogs are your friend when it comes to communicating with customers at a genuine, human level. Where there is a new service or product offer, share the key facts -- including exactly how to use it -- in a post to your own blog. Keep the comments thread open for Q&A, and share the link on social. Go one step further and partner with third-party bloggers to create further reach for your announcement. - David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

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A. Attend Trade Shows

I really like being at trade shows where I can interact with people who want to see what I'm doing rather than hoping that they do. People attend trade shows to see what you have to offer and ask a lot of questions. It makes educating them a really enjoyable and entertaining experience and feels less like selling and more like hanging out with friends who are interested in what you have to say. - Zach Binder, Ranklab

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A. Hold an Online Seminar

Hold an online seminar using Periscope to show customers all your product's features and ways they can use it. This allows them to follow along and ask questions about things they're not sure how to use, and gives you a way to see reactions and get feedback for potential improvements. - Andrew O'Connor, American Addiction Centers

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A. Create Multiple Communication Touch Points

Your existing customers are going to consume information through a variety of different channels, so cater to them. As you have contact information on your customers, it is relatively easy for you to communicate with them via social channels, email, paid advertising, and organically. Put together a messaging strategy that doesn't overwhelm, and encourage your clients to learn more. - Robert Lee, Circa Interactive Inc

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A. Plan Regular Case Studies

Case studies should be one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. Regardless of the nature of your business, case studies can be invaluable when educating your customers/users about new product features or services. One of their key benefits is their ability to capture and represent the view of your customers/users, not your company, making case studies both engaging and relatable. - Anthony Pezzotti, Knowzo.com

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A. Talk with Them

This may sound simple, but it's amazing how often it's overlooked. I'm a marketing and technology executive, so I'm a fan of high-quality and high-impact branding and marketing communications. Talk "with" and not just "to" your customers. The ideal way to educate is through personal outreach and conversation. It may be expensive but what are your customers worth? - Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.