WITH THE RIGHT METHODOLOGY AND STRATEGY, DECRYPTING WHAT YOUR USERS WANT AND NEED IS A SOLVABLE CHALLENGE
If you were selling through a channel, what would it be worth to you and your company to know that a smooth, improved user experience would lead your partners to choose to sell more of your product?
Let’s use the insurance industry as an example. Coming from a background with the biggest independent P&C insurance broker in Texas, I have experience with dozens of insurance carriers. Some of them have taken the step and made the investment in improving their agent-facing portals. Some haven’t, and it shows.
The overly simplified version of the insurance sales process is that the agent sends a customer’s information to a number of carriers, then compares the responses before choosing what to offer a customer. Who has this coverage vs. that coverage? What are the limits and the deductibles? What is the term? And of course, what is the premium?
In that process, I regularly saw agents opting for a slightly higher cost on the premium for their customers because of the experience of working with one carrier over another. This led to agents selling the easier-to-use-but-more-expensive products up to 30% more often.
For an agent, the insurance business is a quick-turn, high-volume endeavor. Your long-term success is about customer service and retention (another important experience-driven conversation), but in the short-term, there’s no money in it if you can’t work quickly and efficiently.
One of the most frequent terms I heard around the office was “one-call-close,” meaning there was an emphasis on getting potential customers on the phone and having them sign off on a policy before you hang up. The way to do this wasn’t through pressure, but by building a smooth process where you walk the customer through what they currently have and what you’re shifting them to. However, if the system you’re trying to use isn’t updated, it makes this goal nearly impossible.
There are lots of strategies when it comes to shaping and growing businesses. Some – detailed in an article by Jared Spool about UX strategy – include operations, financial, sales and marketing.
Where we land as a company is experience. I’d argue that a UX strategy does a great job of ticking the boxes on a number of those strategies.
Some would argue to automate the whole process, then you don’t have humans needing a good experience to drive their choices. However, there is a great study from Newsweek to dissuade you from that idea. There are lots of good nuggets in the study, but the key one is that when consumers rank what they find to be most important when making a purchase, at the top of their list is a knowledgeable salesperson.
So, with independent agents, you’ll tick the box of having what customers most want in their journey to purchase, which means there is a need to keep the seemingly complex human element. However, with the right methodology coupled with strategy, decrypting what users want and need is completely solvable.
Like I said above, some companies have made the investment into the smoothest, simplest route through the murky waters of insurance underwriting. In the world of UX, we call this a happy path. We ask things like “How do we make this experience as smooth as possible?” or “What obstacles/hurdles can we remove?” with the goal being an optimal journey with no detours or problems along the way.
For the last 15+ years, the projekt202 team has successfully done this thousands of times. The key is knowing what the obstacles are, and that’s where our experience strategists come in.
projekt202 has a whole practice dedicated to understanding users’ needs, desires, and motivations, then, with that understanding, figuring out how to meet their needs and relieve their frustrations.
Better UX leads to increased customer satisfaction, which in turn makes financial and sales efforts simpler and more effective with a greater ROI. It’s a proven, strategic investment that separates you from your competition, and the projekt202 team is ready to help.