Helping a State Government Department Scale Its Critical Compliance Education and Certification
How the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) moved its program to Bridge LMS to escape an overwhelming customer support situation caused by the limitations of its legacy solution.
The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) oversees the sales of spirits and lottery products throughout the state. The department is focused on preventing the misuse of alcohol and tobacco through controlled distribution, enforcement, and education. Furthermore, the State’s alcohol and tobacco sales are operated by State licensed corporations. Those corporation’s owners, managers are required to have DLL training for licensing and all employees involved in the sale and service of those products are statutorily mandated to receive training and recertify every two years.
Rising Customer Support Burdens Caused By the Limits of a Legacy Platform
The Department of Liquor and Lottery began offering an online route to training and credentialing in 2009, allowing its customers to purchase content via Vermont’s ecommerce solution, and opting for a rudimentary open-source learning management system to deliver compliance training courses. Though the legacy platform allowed the team to meet rising demand and take its important first steps into online training, it failed to keep up with long-term demands.
Over time, team members found that the legacy platform lacked user-friendliness, and was unscalable for their growing audience. This was particularly true in the case of its larger client organizations—such as convenience store chains with hundreds of employees—that needed to train multiple individuals. The DLL was spending a lot of time answering calls from customers unable to access content, both because the path to accessing content was unintuitive and because the platform was introducing technical issues.
With a range of competing responsibilities—content creation, in-person content delivery, and general system administration all being critical tasks within the team’s remit—team members lacked the time to fully understand the full range of issues they encountered or guide users through solutions.
Inevitably, as the customer base continued to grow, the number of support calls continued to increase. This focus on customer support issues created by the legacy platform’s shortcomings ultimately led the team to seek a more robust solution, one that wouldn’t just reclaim the time it was currently sinking into avoidable usability issues with its current technology, but would also create new efficiencies and ways of working.
Whenever we attend training events with other learning and development professionals, it’s clear that we’re often doing the work of a wide range of different specialist roles. We’ve realized that we can’t always be across all of it. We needed to be able to outsource some of that stuff to provide a better product to our customers. The ease of management with Bridge allows us to work on our content without having to concentrate on the management of the system.-Jen Fisher, Education Manager at the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery
Helping Enterprise End-Users Manage Their Employees and Exploring New Possibilities in Learning
The more robust solution that they found was the Bridge LMS, which the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery moved to in 2017.
With the Bridge learning management system, Vermont DLL is now better able to deliver a frictionless learning experience. Customers purchase the course appropriate to their license and log in via the DLL’s ecommerce storefront. This storefront is integrated with Bridge, allowing users to seamlessly launch the course and start learning. Certification is available to print and/or email after completion of a final exam module. Furthermore, the DLL is using an API to share completion data with the storefront and its data management system, allowing it and its clients to more easily track certifications.
Bridge’s account and user role features helped to solve DLL’s issues surrounding the requirements of organizations with hundreds of their own users to administrate. DLL is able to provide these organizations control over their own sub-accounts. These sub-accounts are branded appropriately for the organization, and controlled by key individuals with administrative privileges. In this way, clients gain self-service capabilities for actions such as adding new users, assigning them to required programs, and accessing employee certification—all tasks that would have required intervention from the DLL team on the legacy system. Bridge also tracks this activity to support DLL’s billing processes.
Internally, these user roles have helped DLL apply flexible and common sense privileges across the wide-ranging work it performs. For example, when the administrator needs someone to pull data from a certain account, an appropriate role can be assigned to make that possible. These permission controls ensure that the right people have the right access and that accidental changes are avoided.
Bridge’s stability and interoperability have proven invaluable while DLL has searched for the optimal storefront solution—despite changes in storefront provider and model, Bridge has ensured account holders enjoy uninterrupted access to their accounts and their courses. Bridge additionally provided support that helped DLL understand some of the technical issues it had on legacy SCORM packages, providing remedies and workarounds that ensured full synchronization and improved customer experiences.
From a content creation perspective, Vermont DLL benefits from the analytics reporting Bridge provides, using insights on overall test performance and scores for individual test questions to inform future content production. The DLL is also a user of Bridge Advanced Video, which it uses to deliver video to licensees with a more professional feel than would be possible via mainstream video platforms such as YouTube. It also uses Bridge Advanced Video internally to provide access to video how-tos for key procedures.
- Firstly, it has greatly simplified the way that customers are able to access the training, saving them time and removing a significant source of frustration from the process.
- Secondly, the lower volume of support calls and time spent on troubleshooting has allowed the DLL to focus on improving engaging content and improving the overall learning experience.
Most importantly, since moving training to Bridge, the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery have seen a 90% reduction in support calls.
I don’t actually get a ton of feedback when things are really easy, except for folks just saying, “Hey, that was easy. We got in. We did it. It’s done.” If they can make it through the login experience in a couple of quick, easy steps, they’re happy, because they get to just concentrate on learning, and getting the certifications they need. That’s really the best possible experience they’re looking for, and with Bridge we’re in a far better position to offer exactly that.-Jen Fisher, Education Manager at the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery
Eliminating Support Issues and Freeing the Team to Improve Its Training Programs
Overall, a combination of the platform’s superior ease of use and customer service has removed a number of administrative burdens from the DLL team. The DLL’s education manager didn’t have a formal background in LMS administration, but she found she was able to easily teach herself how to use Bridge, and she now has considerably more time to focus on her other responsibilities.
Bridge has improved the DLL’s customer experience in two major ways:
Bridge has never been a “here it is, and off you go” company. We’ve been meeting with our Customer Success contact regularly since the start. That relationship speaks to how connected we feel to the product. The support that Bridge provides for us on the admin side whenever anything happens has been one of my favorite things.-Jen Fisher, Education Manager at the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery