How does French Saas-companies make users fall in love with their product?😍 Spoiler: They're using academies
We chose French SaaS companies to write about for a reason:
The AcademyOcean team has a special love for the French!
Here's how we celebrated AcademyOcean's birthday 😊
Our first clients were from France, and the French way of approaching everything from business and products to clients with love truly resonates with us.
In this article, we'll answer the following questions:
What is an academy, and how are they created?
How can you use an academy to make customers fall in love with your product?
We'll also share the experiences of French SaaS companies as they launched their academies.
What is an academy?
An academy is a portal for training content in the course and lesson format.
Sample welcome page from an academy
Unlike traditional knowledge bases and FAQ pages, you can use academies for tests, assessments, and certificates, and you can view statistics on user activity.
In addition, information can be presented in different formats. Instead of long blocks of texts describing your product, your academy can have interactive lessons that combine text with images, diagrams, videos, and/or presentations.
Why do SaaS companies need an academy?
SaaS companies use a subscription-based business model. This means that they need to sell their product to their clients over and over again, every single month!
Sooner or later, these companies realize that a properly structured product onboarding process is crucial for customer retention.
📌The logic is simple: if you don't teach people how to effectively use your product, they're going to stop using it.
An academy is an excellent tool for continuous user onboarding.
If you read to the end of this article, you'll find out why.😉
But for now, let's take a look at some examples of French companies that use academies.
French SaaS companies and their academies
Lemlist is an email service that lets you automate mailouts and helps you write professional cold emails.
Lemlist uses their academy to tell users about their tool's special features and to teach them how to effectively use them.
Their academy is available to anyone interested and contains a lot of useful information about working with email. It contains practical, applicable tips and step-by-step instructions. For example, the academy shows you how to launch your first campaign and how to optimize it.
The Lemlist team did a great job with the academy's content — the courses are interesting and memorable. The academy attracts new clients with its useful information, and it helps existing clients see their first results from email mailouts.
With their academy, the company trains and engages with users of their SaaS, and they attract new clients to boot.
SmartKeyword is a simple and effective SEO tool.
The SmartKeyword team analyzed the needs of their clients and decided to launch a training academy that would help clients learn the basics of SEO and gain confidence using SmartKeyword.
On average, three employees at each SmartKeyword client company complete the academy. For them, it's a convenient online resource they can turn to whenever they need it.
As a result of creating their academy, the company was able to increase customer loyalty and cut support call times in half (two-hour calls were reduced to one hour).
SmartKeyword also uses their academy for new employees. This guarantees that all employees have a solid base of SEO knowledge, enabling them to provide excellent service for customers.
Datananas is a platform for automated email contact search and email newsletters.
The team launched their academy for clients and made it publicly available on their website. Datananas decided to craft training that was more practical than theoretical so that learners could apply what they learned right away.
Their academy is interesting because, in addition to basic concepts and instructions, every topic it covers is accompanied by case studies from real companies that are clients of Datananas.
Learners get more than just useful skills — they also get to learn from the experiences of other companies.
Datananas uses its academy as a content marketing tool to attract and retain customers.
Linkfluence offers a SaaS platform called Radarly for marketers. Radarly is used for brand monitoring and social data analytics.
Linkfluence launched their academy so they could teach their clients how to use Radarly most efficiently and see results.
In addition to their course about Radarly, they also have a course called Social Intelligence for Marketing in their academy. This course is a complete step-by-step guide on the why and how of social intelligence, how to analyze the information you glean using it, and how to apply this information in your marketing activities.
Linkfluence offers clients training to prove their expertise and get certified upon course completion. Interestingly enough, this is the first (and so far the only) certification offered in Social Intelligence.
Learners are eager to share their certificates on social media and networks. For the company, this is a great way to get the word out about their online resources and attract new potential clients.
This is far from a complete list of companies that have launched their own academy. French SaaS companies across many industries use academies: advertising and business analytics (Artefact), email marketing (Sendinblue), business consulting (Hyperlex), recruitment (Malt, Brigad), security (Vade Secure), and more.
How can you get clients to fall in love with your product?
There's no magic potion :)
But there ARE academies!
Academies let you build an effective system for onboarding and user support.
Let's take a look at what's important for effective user onboarding and how it can be done using an academy.
Getting to know the product
Your clients are paying for a SaaS product because they want the product to solve a problem they're facing. This could be tracking client calls, automating mailouts, or effectively managing projects.
Clients should begin familiarizing themselves with your product before they even get started using it.
In your academy, describe how each feature of your SaaS works, what its intended use is, and how it can solve client problems. This will help reduce user churn in the early days of a subscription.
📌 With an academy, day one with your SaaS is unforgettable!
Package the instructions for using your product in interactive lessons with videos and helpful images, and include a quiz on basic product knowledge. After your clients finish the course and take the quiz, they will feel more confident as users of your product and will be able to start seeing results.
All Planfix users go through a special training course before they start working with Planfix. This resulted in a 38% increase in conversions from trial accounts to paid accounts.
Use content to make things simpler
SaaS tools often have complex features, which can be overwhelming for beginners. How do you react when you're faced with a long block of text instructions full of unfamiliar terminology, or when you open an app and have no idea where to start? You want to close the web page or app ASAP, right?
📌An academy allows you to introduce users to your product in an unassuming and fun format and organize training content as you see fit.
You can create separate lessons for each feature and group them by topic and area of business. It will always be simple and easy for users to find the information they need.
Furthermore, your users can utilize the academy with any level of prior experience. There can be users who have never used a product like yours before, as well as users who have.
In an academy, this is easy to handle by creating separate courses for new hires and experts. You can even split users up into teams. Whatever you like! Clients can go step-by-step from the simplest to the most complex information, or they can simply learn whatever it is they need.
Support and train your clients
Let's say you created a knowledge base and have already explained to users how to start working with your tool. But client support doesn't end when clients are familiar with your product! It's critical that you stay in contact with users and regularly remind them of the values your SaaS has to offer.
📌You can use your academy as a tool for communicating with clients, and as a way of relieving your support team.
For example, you can create courses announcing new features or updates and use internal academy notifications to inform clients. Or use email mailouts to invite users to try out new courses.
On average, three employees from each SmartKeyword client company complete their academy. And the number of requests made to their support team was cut in half.
Offer individual approaches
Every client could be solving a unique problem with your product. That's why it's important to use every opportunity you can to personalize things.
📌 With an academy, you can easily share relevant and personalized content.
The dynamic content feature uses user characteristics to make information in lessons unique for each user. This lets you show different content, such as welcome videos, for each experience level your users fall into. You can also refer to each student by name and set up automatic unlocking of new material when existing material is completed.
Les Talents d'Alphonse trains retirees, helping them adapt to life after retirement. They use their academy to share personalized information with retirees about activities available to them based on the previous job experience, retirement benefits, and the city where they live.
Inspire and engage
You need to keep users interested if you want them to continue using your product.
📌In an academy, you can award certificates for completed courses.
Clients will be able to prove their expertise in your product and share their achievements with others. For some, these certificates are a great addition to their portfolio.
Never stop improving the quality of your product
It's obvious that your product needs to constantly be improving. You might be thinking, "What does that have to do with an academy?"
📌Academies let you view detailed reports about user activity. You can also conduct surveys. You can use these features to better understand your audience, deduce which parts of your product are the most complicated for users, and identify points for growth and improvement.
For example, course and lesson statistics could show you what information is most complicated for users, what information they spend the most time on, and what features users read about most often.
You can also create CES* surveys (with questions such as "How easy was it for you to get started with this product?") and include open-ended questions (such as "What prompted you to try/buy this product?").
* Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric that measures how much effort a client needs to expend to get an answer or solution to their problem.
This will not only help you improve the quality of your content, but also define a roadmap for your product.
How to create your academy
Companies typically use an LMS (learning management system) to create their academy.
There are other options, of course, such as developing your own solution or adapting WordPress plugins. But that type of development takes, on average, no less than six months, and costs start at around $10,000.
The optimal route is using an existing platform to support your academy, one that was created specifically for that purpose.
AcademyOcean is a smart LMS that businesses from over 20 countries worldwide have been using for the past five years to launch their training. Our platform has an industry record-high ease-of-use rating.
We have worked with businesses across various industries and countries, the majority of which are SaaS companies. This has allowed us to create unique functionality based on their experiences with our product: unlimited training portals, dynamic content, custom interface, teaser lessons, smart teams, and GTM.
Fun fact: Lemlist, SmartKeyword, and Datananas launched their academies with AcademyOcean.
📌Want to learn more about how AcademyOcean can help your business? Book a free demonstration with an expert from our team!
📌You can find AcademyOcean case studies here.
Want your clients to fall in love with your SaaS? Teach them how to use it properly!
An academy is a great way to do this. Of course, an academy can't solve all your problems, but when it comes to attracting new clients, it works like a charm.
I hope you've gained some valuable insights.
Until next time!