Balance the need for simplicity with the need for data by focusing on how tech savvy your clients or employees of your clients are.
The incoming generation of workers, the Millennials, expect more from employers in terms of employee benefits. They also expect more from how they interact with service providers, like financial advisors (“FA”) and 401k managers. This trend is part of a larger movement of data-driven customer experience (“CX”). Data-driven CX in general allows businesses to target to specific customers.
FAs may meet a few obstacles in meeting this trend. The first is that they have to send the same message to different generations across a variety of platforms, which we addressed previously. The second is that to ensure a data-driven CX operates it has to be simple. The Corporate Executive Board’s recent surveys of 7,000 customers showed that customers want the simplest experience possible with trustworthy information tailored to their individual needs. A data-driven CX is a two way street: you have to deliver individualized information and also plan to receive information back from the customer in a systematic way that can be collected and analyzed.
One way to balance the need for simplicity with the need for data is to focus on how tech savvy your customers or employees of your customers are. To do so, focus on where the employees or end-users are struggling. And, do so in a way that allows you to both test the customer, while also providing an opportunity for them to learn.
have more information about the tech savvy-ness of your end users, you can
shape the customer experience with that data to create a centralized
communication platform, like a dashboard, across a variety of distribution
channels so that you can send the same message to multiple populations. This will allow you to individualize
enrollment materials, support tools for decision making and even presentations
What areas should be tested? Key technologies involved in
delivering the employee benefit experience include: email; the benefits website
and portals; presentation software like web-ex and Citrix; social media,
including the messenger apps in Facebook; and online chat for help and specific
questions. Trends in how customers and
companies use these technologies can help understand why you need to be aware
of how savvy your end user may be with the technology.
Social media savvy-ness is a two way street in terms of understanding your customer. Some businesses have started to use the messenger app to deliver information to customers (like when a product has shipped), creating a familiarity among customers and your end users with this system, something that could transfer into how your software interacts with your end user. Some companies confirm and receive orders only via text, another messaging system. While this trend is a developing one, many in the tech industry expect that the messaging functions of apps for customer service will become more refined in the near future.
On a more advanced level, some
businesses use artificial intelligence to push individualized information to
customers. For example, Pypestream
has created a new messaging app that allows businesses to securely chat with
customers. This system allows businesses to send secure messages to customers
through specific channels. If the technology is secure enough, it could allow
FAs to send individualized messages on specific trigger dates to customers (for
example, days to retirement, or need for rebalancing). On a less advanced level, many companies are
moving to automated responses, called chatbots. This allows customers to
receive quick information on general topics, like the bots in Slack allow for
quick setting of deadlines and reminders.
Trends in customer
service also include using an omnichannel system for delivering customer
service. Those systems allow a help desk to track previous interactions with
customer service by an employee or end-user. For example, an employee first
sends a general message about inability to access their account, from a drop
down box. They then follow up with a specific email. By the time they then
contact your online chat, they may have reported the same problem to three
different people in three different ways. An omnichannel system integrates this
data so that whomever responds understands that the customer or employee’s
predictive models collect information from the Internet, through Twitter or
Facebook or other social media sites, to see what your customer has been
discussing. True predictive modeling systems would allow your customer service
team to know that an employee has been discussing retirement in nearly every
tweet, post or Instagram picture which would enhance the customer service
representatives understanding of the issue (or importance of timing) behind the
contact. However, most predictive modeling systems are priced beyond where they
might be useful for FAs.
Key questions to ask your end users are:
While technology literacy isn’t the same as health literacy (understanding how much a patient understands medical language), FAs could take a cue from the health care industry and find a system that allows for measurements of technology literacy to be noted in an employee or end-user’s files. That system or database field could allow for specific or targeted proactive efforts to raise the technology literacy of the end user prior to rolling out new apps, platforms or making major changes to your benefits website.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal