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Home > News > March 2005 > 02-Mar-2005

Study looks at customer satisfaction with learning management systems

Bersin & Associates have released its latest research report: 'LMS Customer Satisfaction 2005: An Industry Analysis of the Customer Experience'.

The 90-plus page study analyses input from 660 system administrators, training managers, and executives on 24 satisfaction criteria across 15 different LMS offerings.

"Our mission with this study was to launch an annual, objective evaluation of this important technology category," said Josh Bersin, president and founder. "We wanted to give potential buyers insight into the factors that most significantly influence implementation success and long-term satisfaction so they can improve their decision making processes. The study also provides vendors with direct feedback on strengths and areas where improvements can be made."

Research findings in the Bersin & Associates report include:

* Externally hosted LMS customers are significantly more satisfied than those which run LMSs internally. Outsourced LMS systems reduce cost, complexity, and resource requirements and are much more likely to be completed on schedule and within predicted budgets.

* The LMS market is in a high state of churn. Approximately 15% of organisations are planning on switching LMS vendors or replacing their systems.

* The LMS market is growing fast and still very fragmented. Although the LMS market encompasses more than 70 vendors, the largest has only 15% market share. Forty-five percent of respondents installed their systems within the last two years.

* Older customers are less satisfied then new customers. The study shows that customers with systems more than four years old are most likely to plan on switching vendors. This finding is likely related to the fact that many older implementations are running on old technology platforms or are using outdated software versions (80% of all LMSs in use are at least one version behind and 60% are two major versions behind).

* Overall satisfaction is highly correlated with a vendor’s implementation and support services – and far less correlated with satisfaction with product features. Of those respondents who are highly satisfied with their LMSs, 83% are highly satisfied with their vendors’ implementation services and 82% are highly satisfied with their vendors’ support services.

* Of all products areas evaluated, reporting and analysis received the lowest average satisfaction rating (5.97 out of 10). Reporting is a notoriously difficult area for LMS vendors because of the wide range of data and varied needs of report users. Other areas of customer dissatisfaction are customisation, system upgrades, and HR/ERP integration.

"Our research shows that LMSs are indeed living up to their promise of business value by efficiently managing enterprise-wide training programs and facilitating the delivery of e-learning. However, there’s still significant room for improvement. Approximately 21% of respondents show dissatisfaction," said Bersin. "This is still a very young market that continues to evolve because of significant technology advancements, increasing expectations of system functionality, and new approaches to learning. To perform well in this market, vendors must invest heavily in R&D and customer service and support."

The complete report is available for $795. For more details, including a table of contents, go to http://store.bersinassociates.com/lms-custsat.html.

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