Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Customer training, also referred to as “customer learning” has become a priority for many organizations as the value of protecting existing revenues through the effective development of these programs has become apparent. While most companies have had employee training in place (at least to some extent) for years, more and more organizations are expanding the reach of these training programs to include external entities, such as partners, suppliers, and customers. This expanded view of the organization that includes, not just internal employees, but external entities that have an impact and interest on it success is often referred to as the “extended enterprise”.
When a company offers a customer learning program, it creates an additional avenue for speaking directly to them in a unique way that is outside of the sales process, marketing channels, and even customer service communications. The most effective customer learning and training programs include a collaborative, bi-directional communication element that benefits both the company and the customer.
The Benefits of Customer Learning Programs
In customer learning, courses are created to help customers to more effectively leverage your products and services. The use of these programs is seen as particularly valuable for organizations whose offerings have some complexity to them, such as software and high-technology products. In all cases, the goal of customer learning is to optimize the overall customer experience.
Some of the benefits of effective customer learning programs include:
As most companies today understand, it is far less expensive to keep a customer than it is to attract a new one. Give this, customer learning programs have proven to be highly cost-effective for the value they bring in helping to ensure that customers remain loyal to your brand and offerings.
In addition to protecting the revenues you have, learning programs can help your customers understand your other offerings and the enhanced value they can bring to their user experience. In this way, customer learning programs can create new revenue through increased upsell opportunities.
Decreased Support Costs
Customer service and support centers can be a significant expense for an organization. In taking a proactive approach to the customer experience through learning programs, companies often find that their service and support demands will decrease as many of the questions customers may have are addressed in their learning courses.
Customer learning programs can help to enhance your overall brand by supporting a user experience that makes customers want to tell their friends, families, and social networks about the great experience they are having with your organization. This word-of-mouth advertising can help drive new revenue opportunities at no additional expense to your company.
An LMS as a Customer Learning Platform
For most organizations, providing on-site learning and training programs for customers is neither feasible not cost-effective. Instead, most companies rely on online learning, or “eLearning” technologies as the backbone for their programs. eLearning-based programs eliminate the need for travel and scheduling challenges, instead allowing your customers to conduct their learning activities at any time and from any place that is convenient for them.
The core technology that supports all types of eLearning initiatives, including customer learning programs, is a Learning Management System, or “LMS”. An LMS provides the software and hardware infrastructure required to build, deliver, manage, and track your customer learning program.
While some companies choose to “stand up” an LMS on their own servers (self-hosted), more companies today are choosing instead to work with a third-party cloud LMS vendor in order to access the features and capacity they need, without having to make a large, up-front capital spend. And this approach shifts the responsibility for the ongoing management and maintenance of the system to the cloud vendor, allowing you to focus your effort and energies around your core offerings and effective training.
A Multi-Tenant Customer Learning Platform
A relatively recent development in LMS technology is in the availability of multi-tenant architecture, an approach that allows you to “spin up” a dedicated instance of the application for each of your customers. A multi-tenant LMS is well-suited for B2B organizations as it allows you to segment and scale your customer learning programs by offering a dedicated, customized portal for each of your corporate clients.
LMS Portals: A Customer Learning Platform
LMS Portals provides our clients and partners with a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows you to launch and manage any number of customized portals to support your eLearning-based customer learning program. Each portal you launch has its own unique branding and includes supporting tools for rapid and simplified course development, as well as user onboarding, learner collaboration, analytics, and more.