If your organization sells complex products, your customers will likely need guidance on how to use those products to achieve their goals.
For fast-growing tech companies, implementing a customer training program that teaches customers to derive more value from products has proven to be extremely effective at increasing adoption, retention, and profitability.
Adoption and retention should be high on the list of your priorities, as companies that focus on customer retention are three times as likely to increase market share as those focused solely on acquisition.
The Benefits and Downsides of Using an LMS to Train Customers
While one-on-one customer training can be effective, it is also very difficult and expensive to scale. Many technology companies have begun using a Learning Management System (LMS) for the following reasons:
- Enterprise LMSs are specifically built to help organizations quickly implement training programs that are accessible, scalable, and engaging.
- For the organization, adding course content is fast and easy, you can control who has access to the information, and progress can be tracked and reviewed.
- For the user, access to course content is convenient, courses are engaging, and they can progress through the training at their own pace.
Unfortunately, many companies eventually realize that a traditional corporate LMS is simply not an effective solution, and a more robust, online customer training platform is needed.
In fact, a recent LMS trend poll conducted by Brandon Hall found that over 58% of the companies surveyed said they were looking to replace their traditional LMS with a corporate learning tool that would better meet their business needs and objectives.
We’ve written previously here about the 10 reasons why the traditional LMS is failing technology companies.
When developing your customer training program, you will want to look for an online customer training platform that is flexible enough to rapidly and securely deliver up-to-date information, training, coaching, and certifications in an engaging way, accessible by anyone, from any device, anywhere in the world.
Here are the top 9 advantages of using a robust, online customer training platform like Raven360 over a traditional LMS:
Advantages of Using an Online Customer Training Platform
1. Intuitive User Interface
Even if it appears to have all of the basic functionality you need, most traditional corporate LMSs are extremely outdated, slow, and hard to navigate.
Encouraging adoption of these outdated tools is particularly difficult in an age where everyone expects software to be simple, fast, and intuitive.
If you want to maximize the adoption and engagement of your customer training program, it should feel more like Netflix, and less like a traditional course catalog.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will provide a user interface that is modern, intuitive, and easy to navigate.
2. Flexible, Open Content Creation
A traditional corporate LMS is a closed system that does not allow you to incorporate learning resources from outside the organization. You are limited strictly to the training resources created by administrators within your organization.
Because it is very difficult to constantly create a vast amount of up-to-date content, traditional corporate LMSs are extremely limited in the value they can provide learners.
Ideally, you should have the flexibility to create and share training and information in whatever length and format you choose, rather than being limited to the long, rigid, traditional course structure of an LMS.
In addition, your administrators should be able to add relevant and useful content from any source, both within and outside the organization. When content can be sourced and curated from a wide array of sources, learning options expand drastically.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will support any kind of content you already have, and allow you to upload content in any format, such as PDF, video files, Google docs, blog posts, YouTube videos, HTML packages, SCORM packages, and more.
3. Dynamic Learning Capabilities
A traditional LMS provides little more than a static list of resources, laid out much like a college course catalog. Search capabilities are extremely limited, and there’s little in the way of direction or suggestions on what content to consume next.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t how we, as users, interact with technology anymore. Learning is now seamlessly incorporated into the workflow, rather than being a separate, designated activity.
When we need to learn something, we search for specific topics and find information and answers in the form of videos, webinars, blog posts, graphics, and other online content.
In the same way, your customers should have the freedom to select the courses and pieces of content that are most relevant to their individual needs, at that specific moment in time. They should also be able to skip around inside courses to find the exact information they need, in whatever order they prefer.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will provide the following “dynamic learning” capabilities that make learning exciting, engaging, and far more useful:
- Custom Learning Paths: In order to maximize user adoption and retention of information, it’s often helpful to provide your customers down pre-defined “learning paths”, according to their individual needs. This requires that you be able to organize your content based on roles, topics, categories, skills, products, etc. Customers can then select the exact learning path they need, right when they need it.
- Recommended Learning Based on Past Activity: Your customer training tool should provide intuitive navigation that clearly shows users additional content related to courses they are currently taking, recommended courses based on their previous activity, and personalized content tailored to their specific needs.
- Live, Instructor-Led Training and Two-Way Interaction: To maximize engagement and participation, your customer training tool should provide the ability to conduct live, online, video classes where instructors can present information, and customers can engage and ask clarifying questions whenever they get stuck or are confused by the course material.
- Self-Labs and Virtual Machines: Your customer training tool should be able to provide learners with access to a virtual machine instance of your software on their browsers with no downloads or installs. This allows customers to get hands-on experience using your tech, without compromising real data or breaking anything.
This kind of dynamic training simply isn’t possible with a traditional LMS.
One of the best ways to incentivize customers to complete your training program is to offer rewards, such as points, badges, and trophies to recognize their progress.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will give you the option to provide dashboards to customers so they can see how far they’ve come, and also see how close they are to completing a course and receiving their next certification.
You can aso spark a little competitive spirit among your customers by providing leaderboards so they can compare their progress with that of their peers.
Not only do these gamification features increase engagement, but they also allow customers to share their progress and certifications with their colleagues and friends on social media, which can attract new customers and further establish your brand in the market.
5. Mobile Learning Options
In an on-the-go, globally-connected world, your customers need the ability to quickly access bite-sized training from their mobile device, as they are used to being able to do with virtually every other service in their daily life.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will allow customers to access learning on as many devices as possible, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
6. Offline Learning Options
Even among traditional corporate LMSs that do provide remote access to users from mobile devices, few allow users to download content for offline viewing.
Unfortunately, most wireless providers impose strict data caps, which means that your customers who are traveling or are without internet access for any reason will be unable to access content and continue their learning on-the-go.
This is why companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon allow users of their mobile apps to download files, documents, and videos for offline viewing.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 can provide similar functionality.
7. Advanced Reporting
While most traditional LMSs may provide simple reports on test scores and display the number of users who completed a course, they typically lack the ability to create in-depth, customized reports on things such as:
- What impact training is having on specific business objectives (customer retention, conversions from free to paid accounts, churn reduction, etc.)
- How much time a user is spending on any given course
- What content was accessed by users (and which content is unnecessary)
- Where in a course users are getting stuck or confused
- What knowledge gaps users have, and where additional training is needed
- Data visualization to help administrators identify patterns and trends
An online customer training platform like Raven360 will provide these advanced analytics and reporting capabilities so you can see the direct impact your customer training program is having, and to make any necessary adjustments or improvements.
If your organization has a strong culture of training and skill development, and you have knowledge that might be valuable to individuals outside your organization, you can monetize this knowledge by selling it as a course.
With high-profile data breaches of confidential information in the new headlines on a regular basis, it’s important that you choose a vendor that you trust and feel comfortable handing over your sensitive information and internal documents to.
An online customer training platform like Raven360 can provide you peace of mind with the following security features:
- Single Sign-On (SSO): SSO gives your users the ability to securely access multiple applications with one login and password, managed independently, allowing you to mitigate some of the most common security threats.
- Individual and Group Level Access to Content: Assign individual and group level access to your content so that only designated people have access to confidential information. With this feature, you can prevent confidential information from leaving the platform or landing on the wrong hands.
Why Choose Raven360 for Your Customer Training Program
Raven360 is an enterprise-grade, scalable platform that helps fast-growing companies with high-complexity products painlessly train employees, customers, and partners.
Raven360’s secure, cloud-based platform allows you to onboard faster, train better, and retain more customers with these powerful features:
- Upload content of any format: Raven360 supports PDF, video files, Google docs, HTML packages, SCORM packages and more. You can author your own material from within the platform or bring in outside content.
- Seamlessly integrate with your existing tools: Integrate with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box to access everything you already have from one single dashboard, at the right time.
- Always up-to-date: Upload your training material once and users will always have access to the latest version and you won’t have to update your docs on multiple platforms.
- Accessible anywhere, on any device, 24/7: Allow users to access training on the go and at their own pace. Raven360 works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Users can even access content while offline.
- Dynamic learning experiences: Go from open classrooms where users can access all the material at once to pre-defined learning paths where you dictate how the content is consumed. Manage how you feed your content to increase knowledge retention.
- Self-paced labs: Learners can access a virtual machine instance of your software on their browsers —no downloads, no installs. They get hands-on experience using your tech, without compromising real data or breaking stuff.
- Generate extra revenue: Sell subscription-based trainings through a simple e-commerce platform.
Keep sensitive information secure: Assign individual and group level access to your content. Prevent confidential information from leaving the platform or landing on the wrong hands, with industry-leading security.
Request a demo (here) or give us a call at 508.786.0500 to have one of our experts help you:
- Determine whether to offer free or paid training
- Identify the right features and customization options
- Provide guidance and an implementation plan