The SaaS world for long has ignored customer services. Basic after sales services are part and parcel of every product. But, SaaS product users consider it a luxury service. This article discusses the importance of LMS customer support in the books of enterprise-level LMS licensors (vendors) and how that affects the user!
How important is customer support to LMS users?
Customer support or after sales service is very important to new LMS users. Data integration, adding learners, course setup, advanced reporting functionalities, and the likes of such are difficult to master in a day or even a week. Even the most experienced LMS administrators need reliable support when switching to a new platform.
Organizations need customer support for more than switching platforms or new users. Simple integration between external applications can break an LMS or stall training initiatives. Customer support is the only solution here.
Enterprise-level software like an LMS have multiple functionalities and abilities, hence the chances of not understanding something or a breakdown are many. In short, customer service for LMS users is very important through all stages of a user’s lifecycle.
So, what’s the problem with SaaS-based customer service practices?
The straight answer is ‘large SaaS companies do not have their own customer servicing teams, and the ones that do, charge you for it.’
This is because such companies consider customer addressal and servicing teams as added expenditures. Instead, they focus more on marketing, sales, development, and operations side of the business.
Such practice is very common among large enterprise-level vendors. Their primary suite of products involves human, vendor, stock, and resource management software, and learning management systems are secondary bolt-on products, offered free of cost sometimes.
What do SaaS product users do then?
In the general marketplace, an organization that can afford a large SaaS based enterprise-level software can also afford a full-time specialist trained to manage the software and ensuring it works.
These professionals possess core skills like operating, coding, diagnosing, and technical-based problem solving as a result of receiving highly specialized, product-specific training.
Additionally, enterprise software predominantly improve the profit-center side of the business. As a result, hiring a dedicated specialist to operate, manage, and maintain the software is justified.
That’s what most SaaS product users do. Hence, smaller organizations sometimes find it difficult to hire a full-time product specialist.
But, why does the same principle not work for LMS users, even the larger organizations?
As mentioned before, the LMSs offered by large SaaS vendors are secondary products acting as bolt-on modules. As a result, even seasoned administrators find bolt-on LMSs poorly designed, over expensive, complicated, and difficult to use.
In fact, managing these software demands decent experience in programming with technical background, which most L&Ds are not experienced in because their job roles do not entail the need to learn programming. Rather, programming is an additional skill needed to operate a handful of LMSs on the market and is only pursued by very few L&D enthusiasts.
So, if an organization needs to manage and operate an enterprise-based, bolt-on LMS, they probably need to hire another product specialist to manage the LMS in addition to an L&D professional.
Organizations can also hire one person to manage the enterprise resource and LMS software. However, it rarely works well because LMS-based (cost center) issues will always take second place to operation needs (profit center). Here, managing LMS issues will take backseat and so will the training initiatives.
Most small businesses cannot afford to hire system specialists to manage the enterprise software. Let alone hire a system specialist and an LMS administrator to manage a single platform.
So, what solutions do LMS customers have?
LMS customers can choose one these four solutions:
Hire a dedicated system certified specialist
As discussed earlier, these system specialists are certified in managing and operating the software. However, only large organizations can afford to hire such specialists. Even then, profit-center related issues is their first priority and eLearning will take the second position.
Not to forget, new updates and changes in system features sometimes also renders these specialists helpless. In such cases, there are other options available as discussed below.
Raise tickets with the SaaS partners and third-party service providers
Large SaaS vendors completely understand their lack of a customer service. They intend on making up for this by signing up with third-party solutions and services providers who they call certified solutions partners.
However, the most critical problem here is that:
- These services are paid, i.e.: Customers need to pay in order to have a query answered or problem solved by third-party service partners.
- Partners are unregulated by the SaaS organization; hence they may charge any amount independent of the SaaS organization’s interference.
- Turnaround times and responses can take up to 3 days or even more and depends on the size of your ticket. Bigger tickets receive quicker turnaround times.
As a result, the time to solve a problem can range from anywhere between 3 to 7 days based on the priorities and vendor standards.
Purchase special service-based licensing plans or dedicated customer service packs
Sometimes, these large enterprise-level vendors do have customer support teams of their own.
LMS users are needed to purchase additional customer support packages along with their regular LMS licensing to receive these benefits.
There’s no surprise here that the two costs together may turn into exorbitant amounts over multiple years of licensing. And for smaller organizations, it’s a cost they must consider with great thoughts, as it may lead to financial bleeding.
Select a system that offers customer service
The final solution is to choose a platform developed by vendors with free customer support. These services are usually offered by comparatively smaller organizations whose primary products are learning management systems. They rarely levy any additional costs for the support you may need. The only extra costs that an organization may incur are with regards to additional development and integrations which are minimal in nature as well.
Such services are economically sound for smaller organization, not to forget that most LMSs developed by eLearning experts are built keeping L&D skills in mind. Hence, the need for coding or technical background is non-existent.
Conclusion to Importance of LMS customer support
Abara LMS is a straightforward, easy, and robust learning management system, built by eLearning specialists. It has all the features you need to train with minimal hassles involved. To know more about our offerings, reach us at https://abaralms.com/contact-us/ or activate a free trial at https://abaralms.com/free-trial/.