University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool improves website with key insights.

university of liverpool

Key Results

  • Increased task completion for over 85,000 website visitors
  • Increased customer satisfaction by 4% for postgraduate students
  • Won best website at the 2017 Heist Awards


The Challenge

Managing a diverse and global audience

The University of Liverpool has a proud tradition of educating well-rounded, enquiring global citizens who connect and engage with the world around them. It has achieved this by establishing multiple physical and virtual campuses, stretching from London to Suzhou to Singapore, and to over 160 countries online.

To support this global and digital focus, the University of Liverpool’s website must provide a rich and enlightening experience to a very diverse audience that includes prospective students, alumni, academia, and businesses, across multiple languages. As a result, The University of Liverpool’s website presence rivals that of a multinational corporation, with over 60,000 website pages attracting over 6.5 million users to the website per year.

Michael Deyes, Head of Digital Communications at the University of Liverpool, noted that, “When you are managing a website of our scale it is a challenge to provide an exemplary experience across the entire website.”

Web analytics and session replay weren’t enough

The only way to provide an exemplary website experience is to continuously monitor and measure the visitor experience and act quickly on the insights. The University of Liverpool went about measuring the digital experience using a range of tools, from web analytics to session replay. But what these tools lacked was the ability to understand their visitors’ needs, wants, and expectations.

The only way to obtain these insights is by directly asking visitors for their feedback through a Voice of the Customer (VoC) solution. Deyes confirmed that, “Tracking the website through web analytics and heat maps don’t tell you what the customers are saying and what they are thinking about. That’s why investing in a Voice of the Customer solution was so critical for us.”

The Solution

VoC methodology was a key differentiator

With Astute (formerly iperceptions), University of Liverpool was able to keep a finger on the pulse of what their visitors thought of their website experience by collecting a representative sample of customer feedback using a pre-post survey, which involves prompting a random portion of your website visitors as they arrive to your website and inviting them to complete a survey at the end of their visit.

“One of the most impressive aspects of Astute is their methodology and how we can get a representative sample of essential metrics like task completion and customer satisfaction,” said Deyes. “For example, with Astute, we can quickly see if task completion has dropped for specific audience segments (e.g. undergraduate students, academia, etc.) and then drill down to see the reasons why. Also, whenever we add a new feature or tool to the website, we can measure the impact on customer satisfaction instantly.”

In reference to the team of experts at Astute, Deyes said, “They are just a phone call away in providing support and expertise in how to run our Voice of the Customer program. When we needed a specific customization, or needed strategic guidance or insight, Astute was there and delivered. The flexibility that Astute offers is why we partner with them.”

A website redesign that delivered beyond expectations

Last year, the University of Liverpool redesigned their website with the goal of enhancing the digital experience to gain an advantage in the highly competitive Higher Education sector. To measure their progress, they had identified a clear objective driven by their Astute data: Improve the performance of the institution’s digital presence by increasing:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Task Completion

Task completion is a Customer Experience (CX) metric that asks the visitor: “Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?”. It is used to measure whether someone completed what they came to your website to do. Typically, it is paired with another key CX metric – Visitor Intent, which measures the visitor’s main goal for visiting your website. Together, these metrics can be used to drill down and better understand the website experience of key visitor groups.

The value of having a team of VoC experts

Astute’s VoC solution is supported by a team of experts, ranging from dedicated Strategic Account Managers to Customer Success Managers to Research Analysts. These experts act as go-to resources for strategic advice, training, and ongoing support throughout the course of running a VoC program.

Due to the scale of the University of Liverpool’s website, they formed a high performance team who efficiently deployed agile projects to deliver quality work at a rapid pace. Based on key insights from Astute data and other sources, the team at the University of Liverpool implemented several key improvements, including:

  • Refining the top-level architecture and revitalizing the look and feel of the content across all devices.
  • Embedding a new template across the website that enabled all audiences to find content faster and more efficiently.
  • Completely overhauling the undergraduate and postgraduate course pages, which included over 3,000 pages.
  • Developing an undergraduate Student Finance Calculator to help prospective students calculate tuition fees.
  • Significantly improving the internal search capabilities with the ability to filter by theme and content type.

“What’s great about Astute’s solution is that it provides a continual stream of data and we get a representative snapshot of what our customers think every day.”
– Michael Deyes, Head of Digital Communications, University of Liverpool

The Results

More satisfaction, more task completion

The impact of these changes was improvement in both Customer Satisfaction and Task Completion. Customer Satisfaction across the three main audiences of the site, which includes undergraduates, postgraduates, and research/industry, averaged a 2% increase, while Task Completion improved by 1.4%.

Following the website redesign, 85,000 more visitors were able to complete their desired task.

Given the huge amount of traffic, even a small uplift in task completion rate impacts a significant number of users. For example, the undergraduate student recruitment content attracts around a million users a year. So, driving an increase of 1.3% in task completion means 13,000 more prospective students were able to complete their desired goal on the website since the redesign.

Beyond the metrics improvements, the University’s website also won “best website” at the 2019 Heist Awards. Judges had this to say:

”The University of Liverpool have delivered an enhanced digital customer experience with this website, which uses beautiful bold images and a very cutting-edge look to exude confidence, whilst creating a community feel and great functionality.”

About University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is a public university based in the city of Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its royal charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees and is also known to be one of the six original ‘red brick’ civic universities.

  • 22,000 students on campus
  • 10,000+ online students from over 160 countries
  • 4 different campuses across the UK and Asia
  • 400+ courses offered to Undergraduate and Postgraduate students
  • 6.5+ million users visit the university’s website per year (