When it comes to customer education programs, most training teams focus on the development and delivery, as that's where their strengths are. Yet there are other equally important aspects that have significant impacts on customer outcomes too. I'm talking about the sales and marketing of training programs, as well as analysis and reporting. And given that there are entire disciplines centered on these topics, it's no wonder many education teams are ignoring them.
It is no secret that learning management systems (LMSs) have low customer satisfaction rates. Brandon Hall's research shows that 45% of customers are satisfied with their LMS, and 47% of people surveyed are seeking a new LMS. Two of the six top reasons why people are so dissatisfied are: 1) poor reporting features; and 2) inability to adapt to changing needs. In a fast moving world, number two is a difficult challenge for any software provider building a product to satisfy customer needs. Customer education professionals have fast moving and unique needs, and it seems LMSs are chasing these needs with little success.
When we looked across our customer base and around the industry of enterprise software companies who run training functions, we discovered and wrote about the top Apps high-performing functions are using in their learning management systems (LMS) to run software training teams. The list of Apps training functions currently use is a list of the usual suspects: virtual classrooms, CRMs, quiz/exam apps, etc. During this research, we also discovered something fun; a list of Apps we think training teams should be using, but are not.
If you lead an enterprise software training function (aka, education services team at a technology company), you probably have a learning management system (LMS) to help you run your training business. Whether you run your training business as a profit center, a cost center, or with a cost-recovery model, you do have training courses that need to be developed, delivered, and tracked. In fact, it does not matter what the business model is because a business model is unique to the needs of a business. Which ever model you choose to run your customer education function, there is a fundamental process of designing, delivering, and tracking customer training.