There are two new trends in the online learning sphere. Experts pointed out an increase in the number of students willing to pay for online courses and the new technologies that make learning faster and more efficient. Therefore, existing educational platforms are looking for new ways to attract customers and investments. Let's take a look at the top 6 best practices for increasing customer loyalty and retention.
How Important Is It To Use an Educational Platform as a Tool for Attracting and Retaining Customers?
Educational platforms allow you to master new skills and get knowledge in a short time. Special tools help you create and edit learning modules, launch marketing campaigns, and track statistics for courses.
The right online learning management system allows you to monitor students' engagement and collect customers' feedback on completed courses. Remember that the basis of a successful e-learning business is access to educational materials at any convenient time and wherever there is an Internet connection.
The online learning platform should have a user-friendly interface. Users will utilize it to interact with educational content. For example, they can watch webinars and recorded videos, send questions to teachers, take tests and much more.
Why is online learning so popular? There are several reasons for this:
- The ability to quickly gain new knowledge;
- Savings on renting premises and hiring renowned teachers permanently;
- Great freedom of action concerning self-development.
Now let's move on to the analysis of popular customer retention techniques.
1. API Functions That Increase Brand Value
Educational platforms offer third-party plug-in solutions that make online learning more effective and fun. Meanwhile, founders of online learning businesses rely on the following features:
1. Platforms for interaction with students
Providing 24/7 multi-channel support and building knowledge bases allowed many brands to better engage with their audiences. Learners no longer feel frustrated with online learning. On the contrary, they feel they can quickly solve problems using an educational platform.
2. Loyalty programs
Customer loyalty software has long been used in many industries, but API-based programs are just getting started in e-learning. They can increase the customer's lifetime value, vital for businesses competing with other e-learning platforms.
3. Built-in API functions
In addition to loyalty programs, there are also cloud-based solutions for various aspects of online learning. For example, there are hundreds of API tools for building educational platforms. They help developers use ready-made solutions for integration with LMS.
2. Effective Content Delivery
Online education platforms are constantly evolving to adapt to market demands. Therefore, the use of LMS allows you to introduce new features, share news about updates on the platform, and promptly add new lessons to the training modules. An integrated approach to content delivery makes it possible to attract more potential students to the e-learning system.
3. Combining UX With LX
Moreover, founders of e-learning businesses pay great attention to the learning experience (LX). It's the core aspect for the proper development and design of any educational platform. Therefore, job websites are increasingly posting positions for LX designers. It's all because educational platforms must take into account the needs of the students.
The successful combination of training, technology and design makes the brand successful. Therefore, it is essential to pay equal attention to both UX and LX. If the developers and designers do everything right, teachers and students will benefit from the online platform. The first will get access to high-quality tools for creating educational content. The latter will be able to optimize the learning process and mastery of skills.
Several categories show the strongest relationship between UX and LX. Here they are:
- Dashboards. They help you track important metrics. They are designed in the same style with convenient data visualization (graphs or diagrams). Further, the user-friendly interface allows you to work with analytics, even those without technical knowledge.
- Bulk Actions. You can use them effectively to manage groups of students, current and final assignments, and educational content.
- AI-powered tools. For example, recommendation systems (similar to those used by Netflix or Youtube) appear increasingly on educational platforms.
- Interactive Interface. It brings together learning modules, quizzes, videos and blogs in one place.
- Social integration. It covers the ability to connect accounts on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, VK, LinkedIn and many others). Users can do it to validate their presence on the e-learning platform.
4. Flexibility of Learning
Moreover, online learning gives students complete freedom of action. For example, they will be able to combine study with work or find more time for hobbies. The traditional learning model concentrates the student's life around the college or university. With the help of online courses, everyone can plan their time on their own.
A flexible approach to learning opens up significant opportunities. First, the courses can be completed by people of any age, social status and skill level. Also, e-learning is suitable for additional education. So, you can work and improve your professional level through new knowledge. Meanwhile, it's absolutely unnecessary to ask your boss for time off or even quit a job. You can work while you are studying and then change your job without losing income.
5. Student Analytics
Good business analytics is essential in the education industry as well. Thus, it allows redoubling efforts to increase the profitability of the e-learning business and improve the UX. There are tens of thousands of analytics tools, including the most famous one - Google Analytics.
However, it wasn't long before founders of educational businesses took the concept of data analysis seriously. Data analysis on the online learning platform has three aspects:
1. Informed decisions based on data
Analytics tools in LMS allow you to set business goals more clearly. In addition, they can be used to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the e-learning platform. For example, what stage is the most challenging for students? What is the most successful learning model? You can get answers after collecting the relevant analytics.
2. Student engagement
The old linear online learning methods are a thing of the past. They were replaced by a fun and exciting tracking of personal progress. Thanks to the friendly interface of the analytics section, teachers and owners of online learning platforms can improve training modules based on the interests and needs of students.
3. Data visualization
Marketers were the first to use visual representations of data. Infographics, charts, and other types of visualizations are great for getting complete information about your ad campaigns. The same tactic applies to online learning platforms as well. Owners of educational services can monitor trends, patterns and pitfalls in the learning process (involvement, growth or decline in the number of students, the most popular training modules, etc.)
Game mechanics have come a long way, from innovative learning models to modern e-learning platforms. As for now, gamification is the main engine of online learning. It is deeply integrated with analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Further, game mechanics are critical in promoting educational services. It's all because online platforms with gamification elements perform well in mobile app stores.
Here are the top 6 gamification features that are most used in the education sphere:
- Virtual currency. Students can earn it for completing tasks and other activities in the learning process. They can spend coins unlocking the new content or profile design that distinguishes the student from other users.
- Multiplayer game. That's the reason why online platforms offer to connect profiles on social networks. Students can make friends and compete in various tasks.
- Rating. The summary table adds elements of competition to the learning process. Therefore, the amount of time spent on the app increases significantly.
- Special badges and indicators of levels. They help teachers and students confirm the level of knowledge and skills. Moreover, badges confirm their status as the best, motivating other users to reach for their level.
- Skill tree. It shows the progress in learning a particular skill or the way that remains to go to complete the course.
- Daily tasks. They usually come together with push notifications. It motivates students to visit the educational platform every day to complete tasks and turn learning into a useful habit.
Creative Interactions With Brand Advocates
There is a separate category of users among the online learning platform users called 'brand advocates'. And the core task is to build a special relationship with them. Here are five methods to strengthen relationships with active users:
1. Increase interest in the e-learning platform
Reach out to your customers and talk about the educational platform. It is the most critical piece of advice for good communication. It will generate interest in your business and increase the number of advocates for your learning approach.
2. Make your service perfect
Offer unique and quality courses that students will share with their friends and colleagues. After that, your audience will grow dramatically.
3. Collaborate with influencers
Indeed there are some people among your brand advocates whose words are valuable. Ask them to provide feedback on your platform to increase student enrollment in your microlearning courses and modules.
4. Track new brand followers
Sometimes it doesn't take much. Just mention brand ambassadors to attract new students. Moreover, track which learners are using your services the longest and encourage them to get on the side of brand advocates. Tell them that their opinions and words matter.
5. Sell brand values
Show your students that you share their values and beliefs. It's important to set not only financial but also other learning goals. For example, social responsibility, mental health, inclusion, equality, etc., are considered crucial in society. Only a brand that understands its customers will become truly successful.
As you can see, proper communication with the audience is the primary key to success. Meanwhile, you also need to invest in an online learning solution. There are top products that will make the scaling process as convenient and efficient as possible. Further, they will help you identify the most critical customer pains and make your business stand out from the competition.
Above all, some educational platforms allow you to create your first course in 30 minutes. You can get information about the success of the training module after the first stream. Detailed analytics with convenient data visualization will help identify the pros and cons of training to improve the quality of education and attract even more clients.