Are you ready to discover a valuable tool for fueling your business growth? If you want to grow your customer base and increase recurring customer revenue – the winning strategy may be a product certification program.
In this article, we will cover how you can leverage a product certification program to:
- Build brand credibility
- Increase product adoption
- Improve customer retention
- Reduce customer support costs
- Generate more revenue
Build brand credibility
A 2021 survey of 1,000 consumers concluded that more than 80% consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions. This means that brand credibility and trust are critical in acquiring and retaining customers. A certification program can build confidence in your product and credibility in your brand.
Those who become certified are equipped to become an advocate for your program. In today’s connected professional networks, certified professionals often share certification and exam results on social media platforms and online portfolios. This is impactful because 88% of people trust online reviews from other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts, according to the Local Consumer Review survey. Often, certified professionals will also recommend products for which they are certified when they move on to new organizations. This too builds awareness and credibility for your brand (requiring no added resource or cost to your organization).
Increase product adoption
Product adoption is critical whether you are a seed stage or established organization. A certification program is an effective strategy for increasing brand awareness to fuel product adoption and growth in market share. If you begin the customer relationship by showing customers the right way to use your products, you can help them accelerate adoption, use the product more effectively and reduce overall errors. When offered as part of your product sale, authorized training can save your customers frustration, increase product adoption rates, and set customers up for lasting success throughout the entire product lifecycle. Creating a certification to verify customers have qualified users on staff helps them feel more confident in your product and provides avenues to expand product use when certified users move to new organizations.
Improve customer retention
According to research from Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by only 5% increases a company’s profits by 25-95%. While acquiring new customers is one strategy to grow your business, it is not the only way. A certification program can be an effective strategy to nurture customers and increase customer retention.
When customer are confident in fully utilizing all the features of your product, they are more likely to continue using your product. Certification can increase customer knowledge of your product to an advanced level. This in turn can increase retention and reduce customer churn. Forrester research found that formalized customer education programs, that may include certification, drive an average increase of 7.4% in customer retention. You’re reading those numbers right. A certification program can have a significant upside to your business bottom line.
Reduce customer support costs
A certification program that verifies your customer’s qualifications to use your product goes beyond the basics. Certification that verifies customer expertise pays dividends by reducing reliance on your end user support team. Forrester’s research identified yet another financial benefit. It found that a formalized customer education program, that may include certification, reduced customer support costs by 6.1%.
Where an inexperienced user would more readily seek help from a customer support expert, a certified user would already have the know-how to navigate the issue and problem solve on their own. This is how a certification program has a significant impact in reducing customer support costs.
Generate more revenue
Why invest in a certification program for your organization? According to Forrester’s study, 90% of companies have seen a positive return on their customer education investments. The addition of a successful certification program, can further increase product adoption and customer retention, which adds efficiency in your product’s revenue generation.
Another incentive to consider is the opportunity to create a new revenue stream through the certification program. With a certification program, your organization would collect revenue from each sale of the exam product to an individual or to an organization buying in large quantities for employees or partners. Most credible certification programs also require renewal or re-certification over time. This creates an opportunity for recurring revenue from the certification program.
Top Takeaways on the Value of a Certification Program:
- Certification programs can be an ROI positive tool for increasing product adoption and advocacy. 90% of companies have seen a positive return on their customer education investments, which can be enhanced with the addition of a certification (Forrester).
- Certification programs can be an effective tool to drive customer retention which increases profitability. Increasing customer retention rates by only 5% increases a company’s profits by 25-95% (Harvard Business School).
- Certification programs can build confidence in your product and credibility in your brand. 80% of consumers say they consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions (consumer survey).
Kryterion has over 20 years of experience in helping organizations large and small to start and grow certification programs that improve customer experience, increase customer retention, and generate revenue growth. To learn more about the unique value a certification program can deliver for your organization, schedule a call to talk with our Kryterion team of experts.
As a certification partner to top-tier technology companies, professional associations, and organizations across several industries, Kryterion provides:
- A self-service SaaS platform that gives you in-house control of your exam development and delivery ecosystem in real time
- In-house, world class psychometricians available to support the design and development of certification exams.
- Faster time to market. Publish exams or change test items in minutes – with no annual minimums or test publishing fees
- Multi-modal test delivery: online, online with live remote proctoring, via Kryterion’s 1000+ test center network, or via your own test center or event
- Customer success pros ready to support the successful launch and growth of your program
Ready to take the next step to start or grow a certification program for your organization? Click here to connect with our team.