A few quick tips to help you find the best eLearning provider

Stephen Miller | 07/24/2013

I’ve recently been on the look-out for a new car. It has been a bit of a painful process, just ask my wife. Most recent evenings have been filled with me boring her about whether I should ‘opt for the heated seats?’ Or, perhaps, ‘do I go 17’’ or 18’’ alloys?’ I try my best at coming across as a ‘petrol head’. Katy humours me, but she doesn’'t really care.

picking a elearning providerWhat we should really care about though is the experience and service. Am I getting the right car for my needs now? What happens when the car breaks-down after 3 months? How am I supported once we’'ve bought the car? Are they just going to abandon us and count the cash once the sale is complete? When selecting a new car, surely we also need to consider the core customer services away from the product or service itself.

Whilst deliberating over my new car, one manufacturer really stood out. Even more so than the car itself, the service and customer care shone through. It also became quickly apparent that this consideration is even more fundamental when looking at my eLearning Projects and requirements. Here are three key tips to help you find the ‘best’ elearning provider for your requirements:

Dedicated Account Manager:

Whether you are assessing new authoring tools available on the market, or have an LMS solution with an existing eLearning provider, there is nothing more reassuring and comforting than having a dedicated Account Manager to call upon. All too often when calling suppliers, I’'ve spoken to different members of staff, and had to relive my entire elearning history with each one, just to get a product demo or trial.

How’'s this for an idea; having someone who can be your sole point of contact for advice, recommendations and support. Having someone who is professional, knowledgeable, responsive and truly understands your needs and requirements. Furthermore, having someone who will visit your offices regularly, for a coffee and an elearning catch-up. That’s really what I want from my eLearning provider.

Your eLearning projects are critical to the business operations of your organisation it helps to speak to someone who understands that.

(Local) Technical Support:

Me: Ok, so I’ve bought my eLearning products and services. I now need support – please help!

My eLearning provider: No problem. Please just call this (really expensive) telephone number, as long as it’s after 2pm GMT, and you can speak with our support team, somewhere overseas.

Me: Brilliant. Thanks. (With a huge helping of sarcasm).

Alternative eLearning provider: I’'ll ask our UK-based (local) technical experts to call you at an agreed time (but asap) to discuss your support questions. They are product experts, and you can contact them anytime you need on a UK landline, via e-mail, or through our professional support ticket service.

That sounds more like it.

The consultative approach:

Often, I’'ll know the eLearning product or service I need. Or at least, I think I will? Maybe? And then inevitably, it might not actually be the right option for my needs.

Whether you’re an independent developer or a multinational FTSE 100 organisation, you need the right products, at the right price and at the right time. To actually have an eLearning provider who wants to understand my needs, my project requirements, my limitations, but can then advise and recommended solutions accordingly? Well, that sounds pretty interesting and worth a conversation surely?

An eLearning provider, in my opinion, should absolutely take this consultative approach. They should draw on (and demonstrate) their industry experience, product knowledge, and together with an understanding of my needs, offer some quantified advice and recommendations on what route I should take. I’'m then hugely more confident of the effectiveness of my eLearning projects going forward, and that I have the right tools for the job.

I'’m happy with my new car, and delighted with the support and customer care I’'m now receiving. I have the right car for my needs now, with a hotline to my account manager if I have any questions. Oh, and 24/7 European breakdown recovery.

Can you say the same for your eLearning provider? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller is Head of Sales and Marketing at Omniplex