Not your father’s Learning Management System – LMS’ aren’t just for your employees anymore
Learning Management Systems have evolved since first development in London during the 1970’s
. Later that decade, LMS’ were adapted to adult learning in corporate employee training.
Today, Learning Management Systems provide training solutions for customers as well as vendors.
What types of training makes sense for customers? Software (and SAAS) companies provide an excellent example of how a LMS can add increasing value to a client’s software choice. While different clients each have their own unique customer needs, some general categories have proven valuable for customer end-user training. Customer-side ROI:
In today’s economy, business software (and SAAS) vendors have a tough sell. Often, it’s all about ROI. As corporate IT budgets have come under greater scrutiny, ROI has an increasing influence on a client’s decision process between competing vendors. In addition, demonstration of increased ROI may be necessary to surpass current client finance department internal hurdle rates for capital investment.
End user e-learning is often offered by software vendors, but what does a Learning Management System add? e-Learning on its own can be a cost-effective delivery method, which is why many software vendors provide some sort of web based training. Can a software/SAAS vendor develop additional value adds to build competitive advantages through a Learning Management System?
Software vendors who deliver training through a LMS platform can provide additional ROI to their clients. Savvy business application development companies can deliver additional ROI to clients through tracking/reporting completion, knowledge gains, basic competency, retraining schedules, and training on new software features. Software/SAAS vendors can allow their clients to schedule training notification emails, reminders, and management reporting by adding a learning Management System to the customer experience.
Well designed web training delivered through a modern LMS can increase compatibility with client LMS systems, providing the client an integrated experience (look for SCORM compliant systems).
Once Software/SAAS vendors estimate the ROI added by the LMS, they can then determine how they want to deliver that value. This value can be realized by offering as an additional free service to clients, utilizing as a feature to close client on the cusp of a decision, or by monetizing it through additional fees or subscriptions. Software application vendor-side ROI:
Well designed and deployed Learning Management Systems can actually save hard dollar costs for application development companies. Better trained client users make fewer technical support calls.
Software vendors who make LMS provided training information available to technical support staff can gain insight to end-user proficiency, which may decrease call times. In addition, technical support staff noting high number of user error generated support calls can notify client management of productivity increase opportunities by providing retraining feedback. Since retraining is typically more efficient than gaining education through repeat technical support calls, the vendor can reduce costs, as well as the client.
Think about that for a moment … A well designed LMS with built in feedback loops can reduce vendor-side costs by making the client happier.
Some might call that the holy grail of training … would you?
Readers, please share your comments below about how you’ve applied e-learning or Learning Management Systems to drive customer ROI.