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Thursday, 05 September 2019

3 Steps to Providing Great UX in Insurance that Actually Make a Difference

by Paul Murphy
User Experience

More than 40 percent of home and vehicle insurance is now purchased online. 

Clearly, customers are embracing self service in insurance. 

What’s more, there is fierce competition amongst traditional carriers and emerging InsurTech.

So providing ease of service is more important than ever. 

Where these trends intersect is user experience (UX). 

Insurers simply have no option but to create online and mobile platforms with user friendly and intuitive customer journeys. If they don’t, customers will simply move to another insurer with a more seamless interface - more increasingly, one of the new Insurtech startups. 

In this blog, I take a look at what good UX means in the insurance industry, why its becoming increasingly important, and some of the challenges that emerge for insurers trying to take the giant leap towards making their customer journey as seamless as possible.

Why UX?

User experience is a relatively simple way to increase user engagement, satisfaction, and achieve significant boosts to ROI. For the insurance sector, investing in UX improvements is  also more cost effective than increasing advertising spend or engaging in price cutting wars with competitors to try and boost market share. 

While the concept of UX has been around for awhile, there has been a clear shift in insurance from ‘bad’ to ‘good’ UX practices. 

It’s no secret that claims used to purposefully involve bad UX in order to minimise the number of people making claims. This short sighted approach didn’t seek to aid long term relationships building and customer retention. 

What’s more, these bad UX practices often also cross the line into the purchasing element of the customer relationship resulting in fewer people buying insurance. 

Building a UX that prioritises ease of use, control for the user, and a level of advice and guidance helps prevent customers from switching and looking for alternatives. This leads to establishing profitable long term customer relationships, which is ultimately what modern insurers need to be doing.

Common challenges with UX

Here are some of the more common issues insurers face when addressing UX:

Creating ease of use - Having a busy website or app clutters the natural flow of how people use it. But achieving a decluttered page to allow navigation can be hard when insurance websites often need to contain large amounts of information.

Enough control for the user - The user needs to feel like they are in control of their choices. However, you also need to guide users to convert and make purchases.

Guidance - Providing the right level of guidance is hard. You need to provide enough guidance that people find it useful, yet feel as though they remain in control of their decisions. Too pushy is never good.

CHECKLIST: 3 steps to great UX

Step 1 - Assess 

The first step to improving your own UX is to conduct a proper usability assessment of your product, application, and website. This can include a variety of methods depending on the nature of your business but can include focus groups, satisfaction surveys, and wireframe testing to evaluate navigation. This process helps uncover the biggest pain points for users. 

Step 2 - Interview

While other methods are also useful, in order to carry out the most effective user testing, it is really important to directly interview your users and observe them while they interact with the product. Recruiting as few as five participants that represent your core user base can actually uncover more than 85 percent of all usability problems. By observing them completing real tasks on your platform and listening to their feedback you can uncover the most accurate user information possible that can be utilised directly to improve your UX. 

Step 3 - Implement

Now that you have direct, unbiased feedback from your users, you know what you need to implement to solve their biggest pain points. Have your software developers address each of the issues in order of the level of frustration or difficulty raised by the usability assessment and interviews. Many of these will be related to ease of navigation or making form or claim completion straightforward. Simplify your website as much as possible. Make sure usability is maintained across both the desktop and mobile versions of your site. 

Once you have implemented the changes, test them and seek further feedback from your users to see if the UX has really been improved for your customers. Good UX is an iterative rather than one-off process. And don’t forget to test early and test often. 

For more information on how you can improve your UX to make your customers happier and boost your profitability, talk to the insurance experts at Ensure.

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