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Newsletter #727: The “Educate Your Customers” Issue

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Customers are much more likely to talk about your stuff when they're knowledgeable about it. Try these techniques to get them there:

   1> Have a fantastic user manual
   2> Offer training classes
   3> Make your fans the teachers
   4> Check it out: YouTube EDU

1. Have a fantastic user manual

Focus on making your user manual easier to read (even enjoyable!), and you'll find your customers get more use out of your stuff and are more willing to become repeat customers. Parelli Natural Horsemanship not only instructs customers on how to use their equestrian products, but they offer tips, solutions to typical problems, and even motivate customers to master new skills. Try replacing your boring manuals with pocket guides, instructional videos, and ways for your fans to track their achievements.

The Lesson: Turn your crappy user manual into something that encourages customers to use your stuff to the fullest.

Learn More: Creating Passionate Users

2. Offer training classes

A training class not only lends itself to customer loyalty and satisfaction, but it also can become something in which current customers bring you new, potential customers as well. At Jameson's distillery in Dublin, Ireland, you can take a brief training course (typically alongside tourists from all over the world) in which you sample Scotch and American whiskey as well as Jameson's Irish whiskey, learning which flavors to look for in the different liquors. When you're done, you're able to show off your worldwide knowledge of whiskey with an official Jameson diploma.

The Lesson: A training class gets people to come see you, and there's a good chance they'll bring a friend.

3. Make your fans the teachers

Your biggest fans know your stuff inside and out — and sometimes they have more credibility than your staff because they're a customer just like everyone else. Kraft Foods, for example, has a free community called "My Recipe Box" where members can add and rate recipes, as well as engage with other members. You could take this a step further by giving knowledgeable customers special designation as good sources of information and tips, or by inviting fans to submit photos or videos of themselves using your products in a unique or resourceful way.

The Lesson: Your biggest fans are just as knowledgeable as you are — sometimes more so — and will love to help their fellow fans.

4. Check it out: YouTube EDU

Get your own dose of education through YouTube's new sub-site, YouTube EDU, which aggregates thousands of free lectures from universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. With more than 200 full courses currently available through the site, you now have no excuse for not being familiar with quantum mechanics or the math behind Einstein's theory of relativity.

Check it out: YouTube EDU

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