LMS Integrations That Optimize Customer Education

By  John Leh and Brett Strauss

EDITOR’S NOTE: This Customer Ed Nuggets content has been adapted and published with permission from the Talented Learning blog.

LMS integrations can make or break any customer education platform. But why are they so important? Integrations help customers gain easier access to instructional content with a user experience that adapts to their needs throughout their relationship with your company.

Plus, the right LMS integrations drive critical data sharing and analytics that help prove and improve program performance over time.

Many learning professionals are intimidated by the perceived complexity of LMS integrations. Others are concerned about their organization’s limited technical skills or the limitations of their existing platform. Sound familiar? Want to understand more about leveraging customer education LMS integrations?

Check out the second episode of Customer Ed Nuggets, a new short-form podcast from Talented Learning!

Benefits of Customer Education LMS Integrations

Integrating a customer-focused LMS with other corporate systems offers numerous business benefits, such as:

  • Streamlined Data Management: Integrating your LMS with other systems enables a seamless, automated exchange of key customer information, course enrollments, progress tracking, and feedback. This type of automation reduces manual data entry errors and duplication.
  • Personalized Learner Experience: With dynamically driven intelligence from other platforms, an LMS can provide easier access to more relevant instructional content, learning paths, and other resources that speed onboarding and customer success.
  • Measure and Prove ROI: By linking your LMS with business intelligence or reporting systems, you’ll have comprehensive customer education insights. You’ll also be able to gather, analyze, and act on this information more quickly and confidently.
  • Eliminate Manual Administration: Integration with other corporate systems can automate various processes, such as enrollment, certification, and notifications. For example, when a customer completes a training module, the LMS can automatically update their CRM profile, trigger follow-up emails, or issue certificates.
  • Decrease Time-to-Value: Integration eliminates delays when customers move from buying to accessing training, and ultimately begin seeing value from their purchase.

Overall, integrating your customer education LMS with other corporate systems can lead to a more cohesive, efficient learning ecosystem. This improves customer satisfaction, increases training effectiveness, and aligns more directly with your business goals.

Two Types of Integrations

Confusion with customer education LMS integrations often comes from the fact that there are two ways to connect systems and applications:

  • No-Code/Low-Code: These pre-built integrations are provided by an LMS vendor to connect with specific third-party software applications such as Google Analytics, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, PayPal, and thousands of other platforms. These integrations can be deployed easily, with a checkbox, username, and password.
  • Documented API: Using an industry-standard language such as GraphQL or RESTful, an LMS vendor provides a library of calls that can be used to pull and push data into the LMS. Deploying these integrations requires technical skills, services, and maintenance. This comes at a cost, but is generally more powerful than pre-built integrations.

Top 10 Customer Education LMS Integration

Before Brett and I met for this podcast discussion, we brainstormed a list of different customer education LMS integrations that we regularly see. Our combined top 10 list includes:

  1. Single Sign-On (SSO): Until you automate the username and password process, you’ll always see issues with user access and more.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Who are your learners? What is their relationship with your organization? What kind of product education would be most beneficial for them? CRM intelligence can offer helpful answers.
  3. HRIS: Data about internal sales and customer service employees is often stored in a different third-party or custom HR application.
  4. eCommerce: Storefront, shopping cart, payment gateway, and global taxation are important, not only to monetize customer education but also for broader insight into customer value.
  5. LXP: Access to custom learning content repositories can serve up adaptive content in learner-friendly ways, including headless LMS models.
  6. Customer Service: This helps answer customer questions quickly, which drives down support calls and related costs. It also offers helpful insight into issues that front-line teams commonly face.
  7. Virtual Labs: This makes it possible to move from conceptual knowledge assessments to more realistic, practical assignments, experiences, and assessments.
  8. Learning Analytics: Combine training data with business data so you can verify and underscore the effectiveness of training.
  9. Social media: Social integrations make it possible for customers to share content with others in a cohort and provide broader proof of individual success.
  10. Contextual Training: This brings content to learners when and where they need it, by embedding learning with the applications they use every day. Also, you can track their activity and progress.

The Bottom Line

Successful customer education platforms are designed to operate as an integral part of a broader ecosystem. By tying marketing, eCommerce, and other business systems together with learning, you can elevate your LMS from a cost center to a strategic profit center.

About the Authors

Brett Strauss has been leading the way in customer and partner education since its early days. He’s the Founder and President of NetExam. Connect with Brett Strauss on LinkedIn

John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst of Talented Learning, is an independent market analyst, blogger and podcaster that covers the LMS and customer education market. Connect with John Leh on LinkedIn