Success Story: Logan University
Logan University Saves 20% on SMS Texting and Countless Hours Compared with Other SMS Solutions
Logan University may have started as a chiropractic college in St. Louis, Missouri, but over the years, it has grown to offer undergraduate, doctoral, and master’s degrees that primarily focus on nutrition and sports science. While the growth has been positive, it also introduces new challenges, such as keeping an expanding prospective and current student base engaged, informed, and empowered with information for better outcomes.
With a new CRM and a generation of students preferring text messages over emails, the institution recognized an opportunity to modernize its communications strategy. But while they found a CRM that met their requirements, the embedded texting solution didn’t exactly live up to their expectations.
Adding a new CRM was a priority to better manage data from its influx of students, especially as Logan University broadened its degree offerings. Logan chose Microsoft Dynamics to take the university forward. During this process, Kristi Hill, Senior Application Programmer Analyst at Logan University, realized quickly they would also need to utilize texting to connect with students more efficiently.
As they got up and running with Twilio a new problem quickly surfaced. While they could text external students and internal colleagues, they had issues that led to an increased workload and increased resource costs.
“We started to get calls and emails from people saying they weren’t getting important text messages,” says Hill. “We had no idea. We realized, too, that some incoming text messages had phone numbers that weren’t associated with any contacts in our CRM, so we didn’t know who was sending them. I had to go into a different interface to see which messages came back into the CRM and which didn’t, then figure out where the undocumented number came from. There was a lot of back and forth between multiple people to figure all of this out.”
The other issue with the embedded texting solution was it only allowed one administrator to log into the portal. If Hill wasn’t there and someone needed to get into the portal to pull a report, they didn’t have access until Hill manually assigned them full admin privileges, which then put the university at risk for someone inadvertently pushing the wrong button.
Hill and her team looked at multiple alternatives that would have a better integration with Microsoft Dynamics. “I was up to learning anything, but I had so much already on my plate and couldn’t afford to spend a ton of time to make a new system work well with our CRM,” she says. “Nothing we found was easy—it all required a lot of programming, and we couldn’t dedicate the manpower to develop what we needed.”
Hill was determined to find a texting solution that had a native integration into Dynamics CRM, that was more flexible, reliable and efficient. “When we found TrueDialog, they were responsive, helpful and took time to learn our business,” Hill says. “They spent time talking with our admissions director to see what she needed in a system.”
She and her team found the TrueDialog SMS platform was much easier to integrate and use than the other products they considered. They also discovered a significant cost benefit they weren’t expecting. But the main driver to purchase was how intuitive and easy the platform is to use.
Because the TrueDialog SMS text messaging platform is truly native, users can text within Microsoft Dynamics as if it was built into the CRM. Multiple teams use the native texting capability, particularly the admission coordinators who send out a lot of information and keep up with students to invite them to visit, make sure they are completing their to-dos, and know about housing options. Once the student accepts their admissions offer, the registrar and academic success coaches take over. They text them asking if they have questions and show them how to log in to their student portal and register for orientation. Academic success coaches also use texting in the CRM to keep in constant contact with students throughout their academic journey.
Students aren’t great at checking their email, but they always have their cell phones, so that’s where the school wants to be. With a texting capability within its CRM, Logan University has a streamlined way to reach out and stay connected with students and faculty and staff. They have greater confidence messages are being received and opened, which helps keep everyone on track. The best part? The cost of the TrueDialog platform has saved them a minimum 20% in messaging costs along, then their previous texting system, and they were able to greatly reduce resource costs because of its ease of use.
“Everyone loves TrueDialog’s robust features and seamless integration with our CRM,” says Hill. “It makes it so much easier to stay in contact and ensure every message stays part of the student record—that is a huge benefit to us and our students. On a more personal level, I want to know ahead of time if there is a data issue, not an admission coordinator or student telling me their texts aren’t working. Now, I almost never get a call, and if I do, it’s a Microsoft problem, not TrueDialog.”
Today, the university has 25 internal users, including all admissions staff, academic success counselors, and 3 deans that oversee the counselors. They text one-to-one and one-to-many, such as to promote events to their entire student base. While TrueDialog offers short codes for one-way texting, Logan University opted for long codes so recipients can respond.
“I am surprised at how many more text messages we get responses on and more interaction with students,” says Hill. “Texting is a much more efficient and effective way to communicate, and now we have a single system to manage student data and student communications.”
True value delivered
Logan University wants to give students the best experience possible, including good technology and communications that make it as smooth and easy as possible for students to get immerse themselves in the school. Texting has been a huge step forward for the university but integrating a full SMS system into its CRM was a game changer.
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