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Amp Up the Experience: The Alchemy of Community and Customer Education

By Laura Craft

Community and Customer Education are two teams that help customers use a company’s product better, but frequently operate siloed off from each other. At Cloudinary, we brought both teams into the same group early in 2023, and the results have been more than we expected.

In this session, I’ll discuss what the team synergies are and how Cloudinary has capitalized on them, plus offer some tactical information on how to bring these two teams closer. My talk will include sections on Unlocking the Power of Community-Centric Education.

Cloudinary established small (but mighty) Customer Education and Community teams within the customer support organization over the last 4 years. In 2023, both came together as one team.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

    • Our core functions haven’t changed, but we’re both getting a lot better at aligning our projects and using inputs from both programs to drive new projects
    • Creating Educational Resources for Your Community
      • Align with both product roadmap as well as customer needs.
      • Use buy-in from internal teams to get content support.
      • Look at Community signals (search data, feedback forms)
    • Empowering Community Leaders and Advocates
      • Bringing in advocates as part of your education pathway is a win for them, for your company, and your community
      • How community participates in our programs
      • Success Story: Creating the Product Advisory Board
        • Challenges and pitfalls
        • Finding alignment isn’t always simple
        • Customer segments don’t always align neatly
        • Not everything you try is going to be a success
    • Failure story: Developer JumpStart. Why it failed, what we learned.
      • Measuring the Impact
        • How we use data to understand our community
        • Our focus – find a smaller number of key metrics to report on
        • Key data we track – classes taken, questions answered, number of internal teams involved, number of community members involved
        • Tactics for your organization
        • Start small
        • Listen to your data
        • Test, learn, and try again