When most people think of online learning, they think of courses offered through the Internet by a local college or university. Or, they think of a corporate LMS (Learning Management System) where employees go to take compliance training. A much newer form of online learning is offered through an Extended Enterprise, or Customer LMS.

Extended enterprise learning is learning offered to those that are outside of the organization.  In this case, a company has determined it would be beneficial to offer training externally, whether it be to their vendors, franchisees, an external sales force, customers or the general public. There are a number of reasons you may find this advantageous:

  • To educate customers on a product.  The more informed and educated your customers are about the product they purchased, the more satisfied they will be. Also, they are less likely to write bad reviews, or call customer service.
  • For marketing/brand recognition. Providing education on topics related to the needs the product serves positions you as the expert, and provides lasting, positive memories in the mind of your customer.
  • To provide continuing education. CE credits, or Continuing Education credits, are required for a number of fields such as nursing, IT, the oil and gas industry, insurance, and more. Providing courses for these fields can fulfill an additional customer need while providing a positive experience associated with your brand.
  • For profit. Some organizations offer free education with a second tier of more in-depth courses that can be purchased. This is especially successful for courses that offer CE credit or certification.  The income can be considered an additional source of profit, or you can use it to cover the cost of the LMS.
  • As a value add for commodity products. Let’s face it.  A lot of products today compete on nothing more than price. This forces companies to look for unique ways to stand out.  Providing education on those products, or topics related to those products, is a unique way to do this.
  • To ensure contractors/partners are compliant. Making sure contractor’s and partner’s education is up to date will limit the number of issues that arise providing for a smoother customer experience and reduced customer service issues.  This will increase customer satisfaction and save money from reduced customer service calls.

Conclusion

Consequently, by using an extended enterprise LMS, you will be able to take your customer relationship to a new level. This allows for a deeper relationship and a more loyal customer. In the long run, it will save your organization money, potentially make you a profit, and provide a significant competitive differentiator.

KMI Learning’s extensive experience in running customer facing learning management systems allows for quick and painless implementations.  You can contact them here to learn more about the benefits an extended enterprise LMS can provide.

Lee Loebman

Lee Loebman

Throughout his career, Lee has focused on transforming new or under-performing businesses into profitable endeavors. In 2000, he helped develop the user experience for the original start-up Art.com. From there, Lee worked on a number of eCommerce sites, including Medical Arts Press (Staples), growing sales to $130 million. In 2009, Lee took on a new project when asked by Medline Industries to build a platform that would offer continuing education for clinicians. He developed MedlineUniversity.com. Today, over 85,000 courses are successfully completed each month, and Medline University has a library of over 300 courses, many incorporating interactive and gaming elements.

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