Updated: Apr 25
Typically, when we talk about the use of training technology in the business world, we are referring to employee training to onboard new hires and to help them develop the skills they will need to contribute at the highest possible level to your organization. There are, however, benefits to including non-employees in your corporate training program. This is often referred to as the “extended enterprise” and one of the primary audiences this can include is your customers.
The Benefits of a Customer Training Program
The goal of any customer training program is to support your customers through the creation of learning materials and structured courses that will enable them to successfully utilize your product or service and achieve their objectives. For highly technical industries in particular, customer training programs have become very common as it can provide a number of important benefits to your company.
Customer training can lead to greater and more stable revenue streams for your company. Customers who have been trained on the most effective use of your company’s products and services are less likely to leave for a competitor and more likely to increase their overall spend with your company.
At the same time, effective customer training will reduce the number of calls to your support team. This will decrease your labor spend around resolving product use questions and issues.
If your products and services have a relatively high level of complexity, you need to ensure that your customers are making the most of your offerings. There may, in fact, be a number of features that your customers are not aware of, and therefore not realizing the true value of what they have. You can address this challenge through effective customer training.
Great customer satisfaction and the full realization regarding the value of your product and service offerings will lead to a loyal customer base. And loyal customers are often your best source of new leads through word-of-mouth advertising, great reviews, and more.
Learning Management Systems for Customer Training
Given the remote nature most companies have in their customer relationships, online learning or “eLearning” is typically the preferred approach for customer training programs. This is especially true given the availability of today’s powerful cloud-based learning technologies and in light of COVID-19. And the core technology supporting all types of eLearning programs, including customer training, is a learning management system, or “LMS”.
An LMS is the software application that is used to build, deliver, and track eLearning and training programs. While LMS technology has been in use to support corporate training programs, two relatively recent developments have made the use of an LMS more amenable for customer training programs.
While some companies choose to deploy an on-premises (self-hosted) LMS, they are typically larger organizations that have the (sizable) capital budget available to “stand up” a new LMS as it requires a significant investment in software, hardware, and supporting resources. An on-premises LMS also demands that your company handle all of the ongoing management and maintenance of the system.
In contrast, a cloud-based LMS, offered by a third-party vendor, requires very little in terms of an up-front investment. This is because the cloud LMS vendor has already built out the application infrastructure and makes it available to their clients on a subscription basis. And using a cloud-based LMS ensures that your learners can access the training content they need at any time and from any location, all that is required is an Internet connection.
A relatively recent architectural development from some LMS platforms is multitenancy. That is, the ability to quickly and easily “spin up” multiple, branded instances of the LMS application in order to support unique learning audiences.
While single tenant LMS platforms dedicate the entirety of the software and resources for just one audience, a multi-tenant approach is well-suited for customer training as each customer (or “tenant”) can have their own unique, private, and branded instance of the application.
LMS Portals: A Cloud-Based Learning Management System for Customer Training
LMS Portals provides our clients and partners with a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows them to launch and manage multiple, private eLearning environments (portals) to support all types of corporate training programs, including customer training. Using our system, you can quickly and easily launch new portals to create a private, branded eLearning environment for each of your clients. And each portal you launch includes its own user onboarding, messaging and collaboration tools, analytics, and more.