Essential Tips: How to Create Strong Relationships With Schools and MATs

by | 9 Jul 23

I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly amazing people over the years. These are people who know how to create strong relationships with schools and MATs. They’ve taught me that investing time in building these relationships is the key to driving the value of an EdTech product. And you know what else? It leads to increased retention, which is a major win for your business. In this blog post, I’m excited to share three techniques that I’ve learned from these experts.

These are valuable tips that your Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing teams can put into practice to drive value and boost customer retention. So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Use these links to jump straight to the part of the article that interests you most.

> Tip 1: Leverage Social Media Platforms
> Tip 2: Send Regular Email Comms
> Tip 3: Go ‘all out’ With Disgruntled Customers

Tip 1: Leverage Social Media Platforms

Even though I’ve put this first in this list, to be 100% honest, it’s the last of these tips that I actually learnt. Using social media platforms to communicate with your current users is the most effective way to create strong relationships with schools and MATs. Your Customer Success and Marketing teams should use a robust social selling* framework to build trust. This is done by finding users, and connecting to them in a personal way; then moving on to share and create relevant content. This content should be: sharing stories, successes and tips and even challenges that they have faced.

* Side note: I’ve said this a million times (probably not that many, but I do go on about this – a lot), the term ‘social selling’ seems to suggest that it’s solely for Salespeople. But this isn’t true, the essence of a good social selling method is to build strong relationships and therefore create opportunities for conversations. Conversations are great for Salespeople, obviously, but good Customer Success and Marketing people will tell you that conversations with customers are absolutely key in their roles too.

So my first tip comes in two parts:

  • Use data from social listening tools like Hootsuite, Brand24 and to identify where your users are ‘hanging out’ on social platforms.
  • Implement a ‘social selling’ ethos across your Sales, Customer Success and Marketing people. Meaning all these people in your business are talking with customers much more than they are now.

All of this helps foster a strong sense of community, which in turn drives value for your EdTech product and boosts customer retention. I could go on, and on here and list loads of other benefits. But, here’s just a few of my favourites:

  • Customer advocacy increases
  • Brand awareness increases
  • Lead generation increases

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Tip 2: Send Regular Email Comms

Another important tactic in driving value and boosting customer retention is to send regular Email communications. I learnt this when I was a customer of a marketing agency. Funnily enough, we didn’t use this agency for marketing. They helped my small business with the development of areas of our product.

I learnt from them that regular email comms – although not the most innovative concept – really help keep customers informed and engaged. It also serves as a way to maintain relationships with customers over time.

The key here is consistency. Make sure you’re sending emails on a set schedule; ideally at least once every two weeks. That might feel like a lot of content you need to put together. But – believe me – once you’ve got into the habit of doing this, you will reap the rewards.

Here are some topic ideas to kickstart your bi-weekly email content:

  • Product updates and new feature releases
  • Tips and best practices for using the product effectively
  • Customer success stories and case studies
  • Special offers or promotions for loyal customers
  • Industry news and trends related to your product or services

Just like with social selling, conversations are key here too. So make sure your emails also invite customers to share their feedback and connect with you on different channels.

Tip 3: Go ‘all out’ with Disgruntled Customers

I recently posted on LinkedIn about the times when I’ve made mistakes with customers, and how it’s normal for everyone to experience this at some point. Naturally, customers end up feeling dissatisfied with your product or service. I’ve written some tips outlined in a blog post to help you build strong relationships that can weather these bumps in the road. And I truly believe that if you go above and beyond to help these customers, it can help foster long-term relationships. So, don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and put in the extra effort to make things right.

Whether it’s an issue with the user experience or simply because they didn’t get what they thought they were buying; these kinds of situations have to be handled well.

But this doesn’t mean you should shy away from them. Instead, in my experience at least, I’ve found that turning over every stone to help solve the problem for these customers leads to them becoming your most vocal advocates. I have many examples of relationships that I’ve built with customers after them expressing an element of frustration. And most of these do turn into customers that tell other schools and MATs how much you worked to solve the problem they were having.

Now, I’m not saying go out and upset a few people so you can do this. 100%, do not do that! Ideally, tips 1 and 2 will do everything you need, but if you – or someone in your business – makes a mistake that upsets and customer… make sure you do all you can to resolve the issue and rebuild the relationship.

It will be worth it in the short term, and in the long term too.

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