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Transforming the insurance policy self-service experience

Fintech • Established business
UX & Product Design • Strategy
6 months

One of the UK's largest insurance product providers, MoreThan offer home, pet, and travel insurance products online.

I was tasked with delivering the user experience of this insurance brand's self-service account area, the customer portal where changes can be managed.

My work with MoreThan would form part of a multi-year transformation project. Leading the design of a reimagined customer self-service experience would require understanding the reasons customers change their policy, collaboration with the MoreThan call centre team, and exploration of all touchpoints for customer policy management.

What is a policy change, and why do they happen?

I had the benefit of building upon early research into policy changes carried out by the broader digital team. Preliminary work carried out by Peter Winchester and Dickon Gray helping me hit the ground running, highlighting areas to focus my discovery after taking on this stream of work.

Gaining a detailed understanding of customer needs and change possibilities was critical. There were a number of key questions to answer during discovery:

  • What is a policy change?
  • How are change requests currently managed?
  • How often are changes requested?
  • How complex can changes be?
  • Do changes incur a fee, or change to product cost?
  • Which changes cause the most customer frustration?
  • How long do changes take to process?

Call centre: an insights treasure trove

The majority of existing changes were requested and completed through the MoreThan call centre. I collaborated with a call centre manager to explore call demand, call length, and request complexity across all policy change categories. Analysis of these findings helped us agree priorities for the online self-service experience.

Call centre conversation guides would prove a useful starting point for understanding how enquiries were already being handled by phone. Guides had been improved over a long periods in use, with clarity and efficiency the priority for the teams using them on a daily basis.

"Confusion often drove customers to contact the call centre out of frustration - driving what is labelled ‘bad demand’ by call centre managers"

Driving out 'bad demand' to call centres

Language was proving a source of confusion and frustration for customers purchasing and managing their policy. Insurance is an industry rich with complicated legal terms and it’s own jargon. This language would extend to the management of policies, often leaving customers confused about their change options and the impact of changes on their policy.

Confusion often drove customers to contact the call centre out of frustration - driving what is labelled ‘bad demand’ by call centre managers. Driving out bad demand and demystifying customer options was a key challenge.

Exceeding customer expectations

Delivering clear signposting, policy management options and feedback during the online change process was essential to meet the expectations of MoreThan's customers.

I worked closely with talented content designers to research, refine, and appropriately structure content throughout the reimagined account experience.

MoreThan were aware that their existing self-service offering did not compare favourably to the competition. Customer expectations of policy management were being dictated by other providers, and the team needed to understand where the benchmark for customer experience currently sat.

Through competitor research I was able to present baseline expectations, and make recommendations of areas we could provide more delightful touchpoints.

Removing the burden of decision making

Taking inspiration from MoreThan's call centre conversation guides, we would work to triage change requests using similar processes and language online.

Working closely with a content designer, we established ways to have a conversation with customers online to establish their goal for self-service. This triage process is designed to lead customers to the appropriate area for their request, reducing the need to contact the call centre.

"Effective signposting would be critical to prevent customer frustration"

Structuring the options for change

Changes to policy were not the only requirement for the reimagined account area. Customers would also have the options to:

• Reset password

• Change access email

• Update contact and personal details

• View policy documents

• Renew cover

• Cancel cover

• Contact the insurance provider

Effective signposting would be critical to prevent customer frustration or the need to contact the call centre. Account architecture options were validated using remote card sorts and tree tests. Feedback from these tests informed further iterations to the IA, and allow us to refine the language used to signpost customers to the appropriate area of their account.

Exploring solutions, testing concepts

Having established a strong understanding of customer needs, business requirements, and desirable processes, I sketched concepts for improved workflows and account structure.

Working closely with a UI designer, we used elements of the newly created RSA (MoreThan's parent company) Digital Design System to create high fidelity mockups for customer testing. Where required, we developed bespoke UI patterns to meet the specific needs of account users.

Fostering collaboration and designing in the open

The customer account project would impact multiple areas of the business, and require collaborations between departments who had not always worked closely (or effectively) in the past.

"development costs are projected to be recuperated through call centre cost savings"

Improving trust and collaboration between legal, customer service, partner management and the digital team would be crucial for success. As digital were leading this transformation, it would be our responsibility to facilitate:

  • Development of a shared vision for self-service
  • Departmental collaboration, and fostering trust
  • Candid critique practice, in a space where voices across the business felt welcome and listened to

Positive business outcomes

Although the full value of this work will not be realised until rollout in 2020/21, initial research identified considerable efficiency savings through a reduction in call centre bad demand.

Although a considerable investment to roll out self-service for a wider number of change types, long-term this cost is projected to be recuperated through call centre cost savings. Alongside cost savings, improvements in customer satisfaction improvements are also anticipated.

Next steps

Early customer tests during the design phase had also identified areas for further improvements to our concepts - learnings which had come early in the design process, avoiding additional cost associated with fundamental remedial work post-launch.

I wrapped up the discovery, concept development and initial testing phases for the new customer account in early 2019. Rollout of the new account experience is part of a phased approach. A 'lite' account experience launched in 2019, with rollout of the new account experience for all brands following through 2020/2021.

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