Liaison Accelerates Self-Service to Support More than 2.5 Million Applications
How Liaison’s client success team used MindTouch to roll out more application services faster, reduce costs, and elevate the customer experience.
At a Glance
Liaison processes more than 2.5 million applications each year. To support its 25,000+ admissions users and 30+ professional association partners, the company relies on a consistent self-service experience that’s easy to find and easy to use. Before deploying MindTouch, the company’s customer support team was spending valuable time and resources keeping help center content up-to-date across its various sites. The company leveraged the MindTouch knowledge management platform to centralize and standardize all of its help center content for easier internal management, leading to a vastly improved experience for its customers and a significant reduction in common support tickets.
Liaison offers admissions management and marketing automation software and services to help higher education institutions worldwide identify, recruit, and enroll best-fit students. The company has developed more than 40 application services to support its 31,000-plus educational programs on 1,000-plus campuses in specialties ranging from business and engineering, to veterinary medicine and physical therapy. Each application service is backed by an online help center where students can go to find help with tasks such as completing an application, and admissions staff can go for things like customizing their admissions process.
Liaison’s customer support team is comprised of a customer service team, client support specialists, and client success managers. The latter group had been tasked with managing the help centers. This included keeping their associated WordPress sites updated with accurate content. With more than 2.5 million applications processed and about 25,000 active admissions users, keeping the company’s help center content up to date was vital to the customer self-service experience. But the Liaison support staff were struggling with no automated way to do this and no standardization across centers.
“Each of our client success managers was managing between five and seven WordPress sites simultaneously,” says Stephen Naso, Director of Education and Knowledge for Liaison. “This made it nearly impossible to keep them all updated with the latest content. And because different people managed different sites, there was no consistency for content style, tone, or other branding attributes. The net result was a less than ideal self-service experience and an increasing drain on internal resources.”
Liaison set out to find a knowledge management solution that would enable it to centralize its content, while offering ease-of-authoring, content reuse, permissioning, and multimedia support.
“We looked at knowledge solutions from Salesforce and Zendesk, but both were too basic out of the box,” Naso says. “Then we discovered the MindTouch knowledge management platform. After a deep dive, we found all the features we needed and discovered others we hadn’t even heard of. Especially notable was the ability to conditionalize content. We never thought about being able to provide a personalized experience for an anonymous user versus a community user, for instance. We absolutely loved this idea.”
Liaison also liked the platform’s content reuse feature. “We offer application services that help our customers improve the recruiting and admissions process,” Naso says. “The MindTouch platform offered us an easy way to reuse content snippets for dozens of these apps.”
The company was also confident in the ability of MindTouch to be a true partner. “We had large, complex content requirements,” Naso says. “We also answer not only to schools, but to some of the biggest educational associations in the world. We needed a vendor that would be responsive to our issues to help protect our reputation. MindTouch offered this kind of relationship and backed it up with proven experience in knowledge management best practices for content migration, site structure, onboarding, and support.”
Liaison deployed the MindTouch knowledge management solution for customer self-service to make content available for applicants and admissions staff via its online help centers. This included Google-optimized content to extend self-service even further. Support staff also use the platform to better assist admissions customers. For customer assistance, the MindTouch solution is integrated with Salesforce.
A major benefit since deploying the MindTouch platform has been an uptick in self-service. “Since deployment we’ve seen our trouble tickets flatline while user sessions on our help center sites have increased,” Naso says. “That tells us that customers are more effectively self-serving, which means increased ticket deflections.”
Liaison has also seen improved content consistency through MindTouch features such as CSS, which specifies the style of a document. In addition, the company has reported faster content creation using features like global variables, which serve as dynamic placeholders within content so authors can make a single change that’s reflected wherever variables are used.
“Last year we created more than 1,600 pages and edited more than 18,000,” says Katherine Wedgewood, Knowledge Strategist for Liaison. “That’s a productivity increase of about 250 percent. We attribute that to the ease and speed of authoring that MindTouch allows. The added benefit is that support staff now have more time to focus on customers. Equally important, the MindTouch platform is easy to customize so we don’t have to wait for IT when we want to make changes. It’s empowering for our support staff to be able to move quickly to create even better customer experiences.”
The deployment has also helped Liaison grow faster. “MindTouch features like content reuse have helped us roll out new application services more rapidly,” Naso says. “We can now stand up a help center in about an hour compared to a day. As a result, we’re able to grow our business more quickly.”
Employee onboarding has also benefited from the deployment. “Having consistent, relevant, easy to find content has helped us train support staff faster,” Wedgewood says. “We estimate that average onboarding time has decreased by 10 percent since our MindTouch deployment, which translates into reduced staff-related costs.”
According to Liaison, MindTouch service and support also played a vital role in the success of the deployment. “Our use case isn’t the norm so the learning curve for understanding how our business operates is steep,” Naso says. “Despite this, no matter what we threw at MindTouch their service and support staff came back with a solution. And as software trainers ourselves, we can say with confidence that their professional services team not only helped us realize fast ROI, they continue to be trusted advisors that ensure we’re fully exploiting the platform’s wealth of features.”
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Liaison, over the last two decades, has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary processing and support services. Partnering with over 30 professional associations, the company has developed discipline-wide services for a range of fields, including most of the health professions, as well as engineering, graduate management education, graduate education, social work, psychology, and architecture.Visit Liaison