August 8, 2016
Answer to a Better Customer Experience?
The answer starts with identifying what chunks of customer material you can share and re-use in a consistent way.
In a highly competitive market, every insurance document needs to engage the customer in a consistent way to ensure a positive customer experience. However, with the plethora of business correspondence that an insurance enterprise produces, many insurers have lost track of their document inventory — all of those policies, statements, invoices, proposals, letters and even marketing materials — that have been created over time and what those pieces actually say. Making sense and maintaining these large inventories of communications can be an overwhelming task. It’s a huge challenge to ensure you’re reflecting and reinforcing your company’s brand while also ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
See also: Payoff From Great Customer Experience?
Additionally, companies often go through ideation phases where they attempt to refresh a piece of correspondence and label it a “redesign.” That can be a misnomer, as a true redesign of a document needs to get beyond applying a new coat of paint (the look and feel). Your “redesigned” communications still need to ensure they are meaningful, comprehensible, targeted and personalized, and that’s exponentially more difficult to achieve the larger your inventory.
Find the patterns
So, if it isn’t a traditional redesign that will create more compelling, relevant communications, what will?
The answer starts with identifying what content you need that you can share and re-use in a consistent way. Set a course streamlining and reducing your correspondence content down to core chunks — for example, minimal sets of paragraphs that might make up a letter or a set of letters in such a way that they become your kernels in the system. These kernels are your foundation, your building blocks that you define once with a common voice and tone and deploy consistently to elicit the expected response you hope to get from the recipient. The name for this process is “rationalization.”
Rationalization also means taking a hard look at what we call “outlier bits of content,” things that might appear just once in 1,000 letters, and asking why that paragraph only appeared once; was it really a situation where this company needed to say this at all? Sometimes the answer is “yes,” sometimes “no.”
As an engineer by training, I am intrigued by the concept of rationalizing content because it is really about applying the principles of pattern recognition. By finding meaningful patterns in content, you can reduce your communications inventory to the minimum set of content “chunks” required to efficiently produce the correspondence in a way that meets the vision you have for a better customer experience. It’s about more than replication; think about it as revitalization. It’s understanding your content puzzle pieces and having an intelligent way to assemble them to complete the communications picture. With rationalization in place, you can make communicating with customers easier — for them and for you.