When Is It Time to Say Goodbye? 4 Reasons to Break Up With Your Current LMS Provider Blog Feature

When Is It Time to Say Goodbye? 4 Reasons to Break Up With Your Current LMS Provider

Finding the right LMS for your organization isn’t easy. You have to determine your program objectives, outline learners’ expectations, and identify the specifications you need in a system—and that’s work you should do before you even start to explore potential vendors.

It’s a time-consuming process. But if done well, the upside is clear. With the right LMS, instructors can automate various manual tasks. Learners can engage with your materials more deeply. You can get data-driven insights to help steer your learning objectives.

But what if your LMS is actually hindering your learning program? In this blog, we highlight four ways an LMS can fail its users and why, sometimes, it’s better to start fresh.

Reason #1: Your LMS Can't Effectively Support Mobile Users

The average person now uses a mobile device 252 minutes per day. What’s more, 15 percent of American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users—meaning they own a smartphone, but don’t have traditional home broadband service.3 Ways to Enhance the Microlearning In Your Digital Certification Training Program inline - mobile learningWhat does this mean for organizations today? Mobile optimization is a critical piece of your LMS’s infrastructure. It can’t be an afterthought (think: just formatting the portals to fit smartphone screens). And it certainly can’t be overlooked by your LMS provider.

But what does it look like when mobile optimization is an afterthought? Or neglected altogether? Here’s a glimpse into that reality.

Let’s say you help lead your association’s learning program. Your current LMS is great on a desktop. There’s a myriad of accessible reporting features and content management is a breeze. But you’ve started to receive complaints about your LMS’s mobile experience. Members can’t jot down notes from their phones. They can’t take practice exams on their tablets. They can’t access gamification features from any mobile device. They can’t, in a word, succeed.

The takeaway: If your mobile learning experience is inferior to the desktop version (and there’s no progress being made to improve), it’s time to break up with your LMS provider.

Reason #2: Your LMS Customer Service Reps Have Deserted You

When you’re searching for a new piece of technology, it’s easy to focus on the bells and whistles. Is it interoperable? Does it have single-sign-on capabilities? Is there omnichannel delivery? No doubt, those tech-related questions are important; but they also fail to consider an important human factor: your vendor’s customer service team. And when that “consideration” often defines your success with technology (in this case, your LMS), you need to vet it just as thoroughly as any other product feature.

For example, if you’re regularly waiting more than 48 hours to hear back from your representative, that’s a problem. If you reach out about product hiccups and all you can get back from customer service is a shrug of the shoulders, that's a problem. If you don’t have a go-to contact, that’s a problem. 

For your LMS to work—for learners and administrators to succeed—you need a customer service team that stays in lockstep with your organization.

The takeaway: If your customer service team isn’t supporting you, from implementation to every forthcoming update, it’s time to break up with your LMS provider.

Reason #3: Your LMS Doesn’t Offer Enough Data

Data should drive every decision you make. But if your LMS’s reporting capabilities essentially begin and end with exam scores, the decision-making process for your learning program will suffer.

Not only that, but without adequate learner-facing data, your members won’t have a way to effectively measure their progress. And that’s bad news for associations looking to retain members and for credentialing bodies that must hold candidates’ attention.

But what level of administrative reporting does an LMS need to support today’s learners? Short answer: a high level—far too many data points to list in this one blog. (Though if you’re interested in seeing all the analytics an LMS can offer, check out this page.)3_Expert_Strategies_inline - dataStill, there are some general guideposts to bear in mind. When evaluating your existing LMS’s analytical capabilities, ask yourself:

  • How quickly does the data update?
  • How easy is it to access and extract the data?
  • Can administrators view comprehensive usage data (e.g., preferred learning modalities, mobile vs. desktop use, average session length, etc.)?
  • Can administrators create and export custom reports?
  • Can administrators track learner behaviors, down to individual exam questions?
  • Can learners access data from their completed coursework and practice tests?

The takeaway: If your reporting dashboard doesn’t clearly present information to help you boost completion rates, learner satisfaction, and more, it’s time to break up with your LMS provider.

Reason #4: Your LMS Is Holding You and Your Learners Back

It’s happened to plenty of organizations. You see an LMS at a trade show. The UI is slick. The salespeople are friendly. The demo is informative. Sure, it’s not perfect. But what system is? You sign on the dotted line after seeing an ambitious product blueprint with promises of everything from blended learning support to AI reporting.

Cut to six months later. None of those enhancements have come to fruition. The system you have, while usable, is a far cry from the LMS you thought you’d have by now. And to make matters worse, you’re starting to encounter dozens of bugs that go unfixed. People are experiencing longer loading times, some administrators can’t view learner confidence scores, and the navigation menu occasionally disappears for mobile users.

What’s more: your LMS doesn’t support features (microlearning modules, gamification, self-paced learning) that you need to achieve your larger learning goals. If this goes on much longer, you risk losing your learners to other learning organizations with better digital experiences.5 Hot eLearning Trends to Adopt in 2023 inline - gamificationAre we saying your LMS needs regular product overhauls? Not at all. But when your vendor isn’t keeping pace with others in the LMS market—or worse, is failing to keep their own system viable—your learners pay the price.

The takeaway: If you’re missing out on new features and creating workarounds to just operate your existing system, it’s time to break up with your LMS provider.

It's Not You—It's Your LMS Provider

Any relationship requires buy-in. It takes work to make it work. But it’s also necessary to know when a relationship has run its course. Maybe your learner engagement rates never grew. Maybe the content management system that you hoped would change never did. Maybe you never got the support you needed to effectively use your LMS. Sometimes there’s nothing more you can do. You have to cut your losses and break up.

It’s important not to let the fear of implementing new tech (we acknowledge it’s not easy to adopt a system) keep you from making a necessary change. Your LMS is a vital piece of your learning program. You deserve a partner who’s dedicated to making it fit your organization.

Interested in experiencing an LMS that has your interests in mind?

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