So, you’ve done the hardest part of choosing your LMS software and are now, going to buy it. However, what should your expectations be of the after sales services by your provider? Have you ever thought of looking this up before you make that purchase decision? Typically, most buyers do the necessary check – customer support services and think it’s a done deal. However, what else should be on offer?
Checkpoints for the LMS Buyer
All or a majority of these services should be given by a good LMS provider.
An account manager may be assigned to you for addressing your specific requests- such as a solution to a particular problem, and customization of the platform, among others. These managers give you time and attention as their job entails providing a personalized customer service experience. Account managers usually have a wide perspective of the markets, LMS trends and thus have focused approach to customer service due to data insights they get from their teams. Also, account managers work closely with the client and have a better understanding of their requirements. These data insights and understanding of their clients enable account managers to help the client with the right solution. Hence, account managers are able to solve for issues better.
For example, account managers make informed decisions: Nicolle Paradise, (Senior Director- Client Experience for ADP) says that she uses the model called Listen, Action, and Pilot (LAP). She listens (makes inferences from) to ‘data’, learns lessons and creates an action plan. Nicolle then conducts a pilot run of her strategy to ensure that when she rolls out the plan to her other clients, they are happy. A customer success manager is responsible for implementing these initiatives to have a positive impact on the customer experience with the product. For you as an esteemed customer, the support that an account manager will provide is important.
Product training after product purchase
While researching about an LMS, do check to see if they have exclusive product training services or something better than that to take your questions live. You will require this service to use the product better and clear your doubts in a virtual face-to-face interaction. These demos (Example of Duolingo) are usually conducted over a video conference. You will be able to access recordings of such demos for future reference.
The LMS provider may also have knowledge resources such as online manuals, guides, help files and help videos of the product. Be sure to look for these or find out online, from other customer forums, if such support exists. These videos will help you to understand the workings of the product in detail. WizIQ offers some very useful video tools to help its customers get started with detailed video guide and short help videos.
SaaS products need knowledgeable, full-time tech support to have the product running seamlessly for the clients. When purchasing an LMS, you must first read the Service Level Agreement or SLA with regards to a) turnaround time for fixing bugs or putting in patches and b) how are upgrades installed (automated or manual). On the website, look for the type of technology your LMS uses – so if its cloud-based, it’s simple to service vis-à-vis a server-based LMS. It is advantageous to use cloud-based LMSs as these
- Can be maintained easily as any problem on the platform is solved remotely.
- Will fit into your budget, as costs for cloud based LMS are low.
- Are scalable and accommodates growing number of learners quickly.
Legacy LMS are those LMSs that have in-house servers (will be in your office) and you may have to hire a team to handle technology, maintenance and upgrade. Changes made to the Legacy LMSs are time-consuming and costly (as you are charged for upgrades). Also, you might have to hire resources exclusively to maintain the server for the Legacy LMS.
In an online open community or forum, customers who’ve bought the same products can communicate with each other in case of specific questions that they may have. Such forums are overseen by LMS provider customer support teams who give their inputs and solutions.
There are many benefits of such a forum. Such as a) customers have insights and workarounds that the LMS team would not have thought of b) innovations impacting the learners community can only come through such forums c) product development updates are posted by the product providers here too d) issues that other customers have faced and have received solutions for are listed here. Google, for example, has for each of its products has an online open community where customers can ask each other questions.
Live Chat, Email, and Telephone
What is the fastest way to get help if your LMS isn’t working correctly? Alternatively, if you have encountered a bug – is it serious? Live chats, emails and telephones are the quickest way to get in touch with the customer support in case of an issue with the product. The customer support team’s availability is required 24×7 if the product has global clients.
Only stable forward-looking organizations can deliver stable, robust and sustainable products. A big ticket purchase which impacts your business’s future should be thoroughly researched. You don’t want to buy a solution which doesn’t have a clear roadmap. Why? Because you will spend hours setting up your processes and training your employees around the product. If the solution is not sustained by your vendor a few years down the line, you will have to redo everything with a new solution. So, check your prospective vendor’s health – through news, company account statements (if available) – and even read reviews of the product you are going to purchase. Ask for the product roadmap. The internet has made it possible for people to share their experience with a product almost immediately on social media, review sites, etc. Understanding updates on latest technologies being used in the world around us in the EdTech space should also be taken into consideration pre and post your purchase. You can always request for some new tech features to be added to your LMS, post your purchase. The after sales service should douse your doubts and build confidence in using the LMS and help you create a positive impact on the learner.