If you visit nearly any LMS vendor’s website, you’ll be presented with an LMS features list highlighting everything that their platform can do. Many buyers fall into the trap of assuming that more is better, but this shouldn’t be a question of quantity. You should be looking for specific LMS features your company needs and then checking them off as you see them on a vendor’s site.
Of course, that means knowing exactly what you are looking for before visiting the site. If you aren’t sure what LMS features you need, don’t fret. Industry veteran Craig Weiss, author of the e-learning 24/7 blog read in 147 different countries and founder of FindAnLMS.com provides the following list of LMS features sorted by the types of companies most likely to need them. If you would like further assistance choosing an LMS, you can create a free account on FindAnLMS.com and start comparing the top names in the industry based on your organization’s criteria.
Everybody Needs These
The first category consists of standard LMS features that nearly every company will want. That also means that every LMS vendor will claim to provide them, forcing you to verify how well they deliver on their promises.
- Intuitive UI/UX
UI means user interface and UX means user experience. Nobody will use your LMS if they can’t figure it out, regardless of its other features, so picking something sleek and modern is a good first step.
- Reporting Tools
Similarly, every company is going to want data showing where learners are improving, what they still need to work on, and how learners are responding to specific courses and content. Every vendor includes “reporting tools” or something similar in its LMS features list, so look for “data visualization” and “segmentation” to separate the wheat from the chaff.
- Personalized Learning Experiences
Learners should be treated as individuals, meaning that they receive curated content recommendations based on their role and interests as soon as they log in. AI should power these recommendations, but be wary of vendors who include it in their LMS features lists when all they actually have is machine learning.
In the extremely likely event that your company uses other programs and services, integration with them is among the most important LMS features. You could track everything separately, but keeping your e-commerce sales in one program and the courses you’re selling in another just means operating inefficiently.
- Mobile Accessibility
Learners want to interact with your content on their terms, and that means optimizing it for the smaller screens of smartphones. This is especially important for companies where workers might need to check something in the field, but learners are increasingly demanding it across industries.
- Customer Support
Every LMS vendor includes support among its features, but many fall short of expectations. Craig Weiss created the Customer Support Certification Program to act as an unbiased authority that certifies vendors who truly provide outstanding support while pointing out those who do not.
For Customer Education
These LMS features are must-haves for companies that train their customers, channel partners, or independent salespeople, but businesses interested primarily in employee development can likely skip them.
For practical purposes, multitenancy means that each user can get their own personalized dashboard with the branding and content recommendations their role demands. For example, if you sell dishwashers and refrigerators under different brand names, multitenancy ensures that salespeople will only see the appropriate content.
- Course Authoring Tools
Creating your own courses might sound like something everybody would need, but it is often cheaper and more efficient to utilize courses created by experts on general topics. Such courses probably don’t exist for your company’s products though, making course authoring one of the most important LMS features for customer education.
Likewise, you can’t sell employees mandatory training, so e-commerce serves no purpose in employee development. You might want to sell channel partners courses though, so customer ed LMS features should include e-commerce capabilities.
Finally, this last grouping includes LMS features that are extremely important for specific industries.
If your company is in a field like healthcare, hospitality, or the sale of controlled substances like drugs or alcohol, compliance can be a headache. Many LMS solutions can automatically track who is compliant or who isn’t, sometimes even through an assessment tool that helps learners prepare for certification tests.
- Skill Development
Skills are rarely found among LMS features, but they can be a game-changer for businesses looking to upskill team members or sell new hires on how effective their personnel development program is.
- Collaboration Tools
For industries like retail and HR where human interaction is the job, educational videos and recorded lectures can only go so far. LMS features such as threaded message boards and video chat can facilitate role-play exercises that let you see how your employees will handle customers without risking bad experiences for actual customers.
FindAnLMS.com Makes It Easier to Compare LMS Features
There are many more potential LMS features than those listed above, and FindAnLMS.com makes it easy to compare your top picks head-to-head with expert analysis from Craig Weiss. Simply create a free account on FindAnLMS.com to get started.