User education is an important part of nearly every business strategy — but as anyone who has attempted to build a user education program knows, it’s often easier said than done. Sometimes, the problem isn’t the content you’re creating. Instead, it has to do with how you deliver the content to your users. Using better tools to manage your user education strategy might be the answer.
One of the best tools you can use to educate your user base effectively is an online LMS. LMS software is sometimes called learning management system software. This is a kind of software platform that can facilitate management and delivery.
This can sometimes even creation of learning content for customers, employees, partners, gig workers, or any other group that needs to be educated about your organization's products or services.
You can educate your users without software, of course, but the benefits of online training can make your training significantly better. Online LMS examples are some of the best examples of software tools that can transform the way you deliver content to and interact with your learners, whoever they might be. A few industries that can benefit in particular from an online LMS include:
Online learning management systems are especially useful for businesses in SaaS (software as a service). New software can be difficult to learn how to use, and when a new customer signs up, you don’t want them to be put off by the steep learning curve.
Many jobs are being done remotely now, but real estate is one industry that’s always revolved around ability. Agents are likely moving around frequently as they meet with clients. An online learning management system can provide remote training for busy real estate agents in the field.
Gig workers are the backbone of many successful businesses. It’s just as important to train these workers as any other kind, but it can be especially challenging because there’s likely a very large number of them spread out across a wide geographic area. An online LMS makes it easy to offer training to every gig worker regardless of their location or schedule.
An LMS can revolutionize clinical and medical product education for the medical industry. It's essential that healthcare professionals are adequately trained to use the most current medical devices, procedures and best practices. The medical industry evolves rapidly, so an on-demand learning program provided by an LMS can be extremely beneficial.
Your customers aren’t the only ones who need to be educated about your products or services. Using an online learning management system to educate employees about the tools they use at work and the products or services they market, sell or otherwise interact with on a daily basis can contribute to creating a more productive business.
Just like there are many different industries that can benefit from an online LMS, there are also many different types of online LMS solutions. Some of the most prominent differences between them involve the kind of experience you’ll have setting up and maintaining your online learning program. Here are a few of the most common types of LMS training software and the most significant pros and cons of each one:
A SaaS LMS is a learning management system hosted by the provider. You pay for access to the software, but you don’t actually install it on your servers.
Pros: You can get your program up and running very quickly because there’s very little setup involved. You also don’t have to worry about maintaining the software.
Cons: While some SaaS LMS providers give you a great deal of control over the way the learning experience is designed, others may only allow a limited amount of personalization.
A custom LMS is a learning management system that you or an outsourced development team build from scratch to meet your exact specifications.
Pros: You get total control over the way the LMS looks and functions.
Cons: Designing and building your own software can become very expensive and time-consuming. If you have limited resources or are on a tight schedule, a custom LMS probably isn’t the right choice.
An open-source LMS is a community-driven LMS that’s free to use and modify however you need.
Pros: An open-source LMS is a good compromise if you want to build a custom LMS but don’t have the time or resources to start from square one.
Cons: Customizing, maintaining, and updating an open-source LMS still requires someone with the technical skills to modify it.
An installed LMS is hosted on your organization’s servers, not on a provider's servers.
Pros: You have complete authority over the data on your server and its security instead of relying on a provider’s security measures — which are out of your control.
Cons: Maintaining an LMS on your own servers can be challenging. As your user base grows, your learning academy will start to take up a lot of server space and the cost of maintaining it will rise.
Online learning management systems come in many varieties — and each of these varieties includes a slightly different set of features. Here are some of the best online training software features you can get from the highest-quality learning software.
Customization is an important factor in any user education strategy. The best learning management systems give you the ability to fully customize the look of your LMS to match your brand so users get a seamless experience.
Almost everyone does at least some of their work on the go now. It’s more important than ever for the tools you use to educate your user base to be mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you make it much less convenient for your users to use your training materials.
The best way to improve your user education program is to track how it's currently working and use that information to fix what isn’t working. Some online learning software comes with analytics features to help you gain the insights you need to develop your learning academy further.
A cloud-based LMS is a great choice for most companies because it enables you to upload all your content to a central online hub where all your users can access it. This allows users to access content whenever they need it from almost anywhere. It’s also much easier to scale a cloud-based LMS.
The best learning management software can be integrated with the other tools you use so productivity is streamlined rather than hindered by incompatible software.
The setup process is a common roadblock that prevents organizations from launching a user education program. Building a learning academy from scratch is a daunting task, but you can make the process more manageable by breaking it down into a few simple steps.
First, think about what you’ll need your LMS to be able to do to serve your organization’s purposes.
Next, put together a team of people who can help design your learning academy. This team will include a subject matter expert, an instructional designer, a graphic designer and possibly others.
Now you need to set some goals for your program. Consider how you want your learning content to impact both your customers and your business objectives.
After that, you can build the content you’ll be delivering via your LMS. Remember to fully utilize any training content you’ve previously created.
Finally, you can test your learning academy — and once you’re sure it’s ready, it’s time to launch it!
After launching your program, it’s important to monitor it using your learning software’s analytics tools and make iterative improvements wherever possible.
You can make these steps even easier by selecting an LMS vendor like Northpass that provides plenty of support throughout the whole setup process.
With so many different learning software options, narrowing down the list of online LMS vendors can seem impossible. However, you can land on the best provider for your organization’s needs by considering a few important criteria.
Northpass is a great choice for businesses that want scalable learning management software that’s easy to manage and customize. Northpass comes with a variety of useful features like content authoring, numerous integrations, and the best support in the industry.
Lessonly is an enablement solution that helps coach sales and marketing employees so they can receive better feedback and improve their skills more quickly. This learning software is a great option for businesses that want to improve internal training and equip their sales and marketing teams for success.
Talent LMS is a learning management system that can be used for many different kinds of training, like onboarding training, customer training, sales training and more. You can use Talent LMS to create your own courses or choose from over 550 premade courses included with the platform.