There are a lot of companies that make great tools. If your tool is great, your marketing is slick and your call-to-action is amazing, you’ll convince people to sign up. Once you have them, how do you keep them?

The funny thing is that, if your tool sounds amazing and your marketing is convincing, you may have your customers expecting a miracle: a tool that requires no effort whatsoever on their part. When that doesn’t happen, they won’t blame themselves. They’ll blame you. You let them down.

The big challenge isn’t getting them to sign up, it’s ensuring they use the tool correctly, improving their odds of success. For many companies, the answer to this problem is to hire account managers.

We Need More Account Managers!

But account managers don’t really scale. If you are truly successful, you’ll never have enough. You can’t hire a limitless number of them. The ones you do hire end up dedicating most of their time to your high profile (biggest dollar) clients. Makes sense, right? Account managers are being paid a salary, and that personalized attention needs to go to the customers who will give you the biggest return.

This has a downside. Because the account managers are so focused on the big fish, the lessons learned from those clients don’t trickle down to the smaller companies using your product. The entire customer base can’t benefit from them because they are locked up with those account managers. This creates a disparity that drives smaller players away.

Bridging the Gap

Community is the answer to this problem. Community is retention. It’s about taking new customers and helping them become successful customers. Community levels the playing field.

You do this by creating amazing educational resources that aren’t static, but are always evolving. They are looped in with your account managers who filter down their knowledge to a team that is dedicated to sharing that knowledge with as many customers as possible. Instead of an account manager having to tell each person about a particular method, that method is now available to all. The goal is to provide every new customer with a college-level education in how to get the most out of the tool.

Create Amazing Resources

This isn’t just a list of best practices; it’s a comprehensive, always growing, always updated educational portal. It’s documentation, success stories, podcasts, video tutorials, Q&A, forums and more. You’re connecting all customers with your collective knowledge, and the collective knowledge of the community. You are taking the lessons that your best customers have learned and giving them to the customers who need them most.

Customer success and education, when done at the highest level, is very community-driven. It’s not you and your knowledge, but the knowledge of your customers, which they share with you and with each other. Beyond building and maintaining these resources, connecting customers with one another is a great way for them to share and learn from the successes that they have. It also shows them the powerful results that are possible through your product.

These efforts will be gold for customer acquisition because you can give your new customers the blueprint. By dedicating yourself to building these resources, you are raising the baseline for your customers. You are making your customers more money, through the use of your tool.

They won’t be the only ones making more money.