LMS Best Practices: How Τo Provide Ongoing Consulting Τo Υour Clients

How To Provide Ongoing Consulting Τo Υour Clients

Choosing an LMS is one of the most impactful decisions that an organization makes considering that it is an extremely dynamic, robust application that facilitates the learning process of employees. In a highly competitive corporate world, the need for continuous learning cannot be overstated. As an LMS service provider, once you forget a partnership with a particular client, your responsibility to deliver the specific tangibles is a given. However, a vendor-client enterprise (when it comes to the LMS) is not limited only to the tangibles. There are some intangibles that go beyond the regular service promises, and are essential in underpinning the relationship between the vendor and the client. One of the most important is 'Ongoing Consulting' that goes beyond the regular support that an LMS service provider offers to the clients once the LMS is rolled out.

Here are a few tips to ensure that, as an LMS vendor, you maintain a strong relationship with your client by providing this much-needed support.

1. Provide Regular Consultation Post LMS Implementation

Maximizing an organization’s investment in learning technology does not stop with the LMS roll out. In fact, this is the step where the relation between the organization and the vendor actually kick-starts. This is the time to ensure that you provide your client with the knowledge, skills, resources, and tools to develop a sustainable eLearning experience. Even with the best technology in the world, customers can still fail to achieve the best possible outcomes without experienced advice and guidance. As an LMS vendor, your approach should be to help them understand what can be achieved using your LMS successfully across their business. Once the system is setup, you can help the client in connecting their future requirements to the LMS, and see how to optimize the learning experience for users.

2. Offer Commitment For Training Sessions As And When Required

Now that it has been established that it is essential to be involved even post LMS implementation, the role you may play may keep varying. A lot of your contribution post implementation could centre around providing the right kind of training at the point of need, which is very important because some new clients aren’t prepared, or simply don’t know how to take advantage of all the LMS features provided.

There are various kinds of training that you may have to arrange for the client, which is directly linked with the client's training cycles. For some clients, Compliance Training may be an important mandatory routine which has to be completed within a specified period of time. For some others, there may be specific sessions like Sales Training for skills upgrade, Product Training during release of a new product etc. It's important to be available for your client so as to help them out with their training requirements, when needed.

Another reason why you need to be actively involved during these processes is that there may be a sudden surge in the LMS usage, which can have an impact on the LMS infrastructure, server and system. And being in the know of when, what and why helps.

3. Tender Technical Expertise

Providing adequate technical support is imperative to manage issues that may arise after implementation. It is best to be involved with the client in all their Learning and Development initiatives to ensure that the LMS helps to meet their learning objectives. Once the learning process starts, the client-vendor relationship moves from these boundaries to evolve into a 'partnership'. It helps to have a front-line of dedicated support staff to answer the client calls, and help them with basic questions and general enquiries. Technical support must not be limited to providing a narrow solution to a specific incident, but also informing the client about all the possible options that the software offers to get some particular task done. This way, the client can focus entirely on their Learning and Development initiatives, and leave the technicalities and issues for you to take care of.

4. Make Plans For Future Releases

In the ever-evolving corporate world, a learning system can never be a dormant process. The systems have to change, as per the requirements of a particular time. This means that an LMS, too, needs an upgrade to keep up with technological advancements and changing needs. The process of change, though, has to be a collaborative effort between the vendor and the client. As a vendor, you need to account for future releases and make plans for their smooth functioning. For these releases, you can have your own road map or you can incorporate the client’s wish-list. Combining both of these can create an ideal situation to offer a product for a competitive market.

5. Assist In The Calculation Of ROI

The success of an LMS depends upon its ROI, or else Return On Investment, and the calculation should be an ongoing process. While the client may have its own system to compute the ROI, you can define your metrics based on the objectives and the business case set at the beginning. There can be different levels on which ROI is calculated including reduction in errors, time to effectiveness, reduced training cost, centralized distribution and monitoring of L&D activities, increased productivity, meeting corporate objectives, ability to perform new tasks, increase in role promotions and reduction in skill gap etc.

As an LMS vendor, it always helps to go that extra mile for the client. There are many things that can make an LMS stand out, and some of these aren’t measurable or easy to prove. But they are the ones that truly make a world of difference, and are the reason for long standing relationships with clients. Ongoing consultation and support is one such feature, and is the cornerstone of LMS success!