Service-oriented businesses, such as retail stores, restaurants and other companies in the hospitality industry have one main goal: to provide the best service to customers. To achieve that goal, companies need to ensure proper training is given to their employees in a cost-effective way. That’s where learning management systems (LMS) come in.
LMS solutions provide many benefits for retailers and service-oriented businesses. Aside from improving customer service, other benefits include:
- Onboarding new employees is more cost efficient due to high nature of turnover in retail and service industries
- Employees are more knowledgeable about the products/services the company sells, which leads to increased revenue
- Employees can access training materials at their own convenience
- Managers can identify which employees are struggling with performance and require specific training
- Companies can easily send out updates or new information about the business (e.g., new products or services)
What to Look For
Service-oriented businesses that are planning to buy an LMS solution should consider the following factors:
Pricing: Learning management solutions tend to vary in costs. There are several common pricing methods, including pay per learner and pay for licensing. Pricing can depend on the number of users or the number of features offered. Some vendors offer “freemium” accounts or open-source solutions that are free, but those accounts tend to have limited features. Companies need to do a pricing comparison.
Scalability: Companies that plan to train more employees in the future should make sure the system is scalable. They’ll also need to ensure it can hold a large amount of content and that the content can be used again in the future.
Training and support during and after software implementation: You’ll want to ensure the vendor offers implementation assistance, including any training. Does the vendor offer training remotely or onsite? Also, make sure the vendor provides support after the software is deployed, such as 24/7 tech or customer service support via phone or online.
Length of implementation process: The implementation process can vary. You’ll want to speak with the vendor and request details on implementation timelines. You’ll also want to plan for any issues that could arise during the implementation phase.
More information on additional factors is available in our buyer’s guide.
Retail LMS Success Stories
We’ve detailed success stories of six different retail and service companies with their respective LMS solutions.
Vendor: eLogic Learning Client: Massage Envy Spa Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Massage Envy, a national spa franchise, realized its current LMS wasn’t scalable enough to handle its growing business. It also didn’t offer the ability to upload content or advanced reporting options.
The company chose eLogic Learning’s eSSential LMS because the solution offered the features Massage Envy needed, plus scalability. ELogic Learning designed a learning portal with Massage Envy’s branding and color scheme, as well as customized access based on region. Massage Envy’s trainers were able to create their own content and get reports of participation. Students could also repeat specific courses for compliance purposes.
Since implementing eSSential LMS, Massage Envy’s students have completed over 4 million courses, and it currently offers 74 classes. Also, after offering courses on enhanced therapies to its staff, it started earning more revenue nationwide.
Vendor: Latitude Learning Client: VIP Parts, Tires and Service Location: Lewiston, ME
VIP Parts, Tires and Service, an automotive retailer, was looking for an LMS to help train its growing staff in various aspects of automotive sales and service, such as tires and parts. They also wanted an LMS that could incorporate both existing course content and content authoring tools to eliminate the need to access multiple training sites.
VIP selected Latitude Learning for its blended learning model, as well as the ability to add content and schedule and monitor training courses. Using Latitude Learning’s customized portal, VIP was able to track employee attendance at live training courses. VIP also uses the self-study approach for training both new and current employees in soft skills, such as leadership and diversity awareness. After completing the self-study courses, employees can use the LMS to indicate they’ve completed the course and understood the material.
As a result of implementing Latitude Learning, VIP had lower training costs, more efficient training and faster support response times.
Vendor: Litmos Client: Real Mex Restaurants Location: Cypress, CA
Real Mex Restaurants, a chain of Mexican restaurants with eight brands, needed an efficient way of training its 400 managers and supervisors of a new back office system. The company also needed a modern way to deliver its training material.
Real Mex chose Litmos because of, “ease of use and open upfront pricing”, as one of its managers said. Litmos created a branded portal called Real Mex University that acts as a repository of all training content for employees in all locations. With Litmos, training administrators were also able to better track employees’ progress with training and assessments.
Real Mex’s employees reacted positively to the LMS, saying training is now easier to access via mobile devices. The company also experienced a 60% reduction in travel costs associated with training.
Vendor: PeopleMatter LEARN Client: Flash Foods Location: Waycross, GA
Flash Foods, a convenience store chain with 194 locations and 1,700 employees, was looking for an HR solution for automating onboarding and training processes.
It selected PeopleMatter for its integrated human resource management system (HRMS) designed to streamline the hiring process. It specifically used PeopleMatter LEARN to train a large batch of new employees.
After implementing PeopleMatter, Flash Foods had a 73% increase in training completion rates and were even able to complete training for the new hires four months ahead of schedule. Its HR staff also saved close to 4,000 hours on hiring and other HR tasks, which frees them up for other matters.
Vendor: Totara LMS (Kineo) Client: Tesco Location: Welwyn, Garden City, England
Tesco, a British-based retailer, had three requirements for selecting an LMS: intuitive user interface, no per-user license fees, and the ability to manage advanced courses and content. They also needed a scalable solution to accommodate over 50,000 employees.
Kineo was able to offer features that met these requirements with its Totara LMS. Other features include online registration functionality, learning paths and advanced reporting tools.
Tesco’s managers and employees gave positive feedback on Totara. They said it was very helpful with managing training and reminding employees of mandatory recertification. The company also saved 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) per year in costs.
Vendor: Wisetail Client: Bonobos Location: New York, NY
Bonobos, an online clothing retailer, has added 20 physical locations (called “guideshops”) as part of its expansion plan. Not only did it need to train employees in each location to provide excellent customer service, but it wanted to ensure internal communication didn’t fall through the cracks.
Bonobos also wanted a way to track employee learning performance. The company selected Wisetail – its reporting and analytics feature allowed Bonobos to track learning success with real-time data.
Wisetail has a unique social collaboration functionality in its solution that allows Bonobos to streamline all communications into a single system.
Although Bonobos hasn’t fully implemented Wisetail in all of its stores, the company has reported positive feedback from several of its store managers. The store managers liked that all internal communications between each store and headquarters are stored in a single platform.
Whether you’re in retail or another industry, there are many LMS vendors to choose from for your business. To help narrow down your search, head over to our LMS reviews page, where we’ve profiled some of the most popular learning management system solutions.