An internal staff pilot of our Good Life app in North America not only let us improve the performance and test new features, it helped employees become passionate about health; and our solution. Here’s how we did it.
You’re launching a new technology solution. Has it been properly tested? How will it perform in the real world? Are your UX assumptions correct? Even if you operate in an agile environment, wouldn’t it give you peace of mind to first test drive it in the real world?
SCOR was facing these questions when preparing to launch our mobile app, Good Life, in North America. Good Life is a ReMark-developed engagement app that lets people track activity and fitness goals—like number of steps walked, active calories and hours slept—to reduce their ‘Biological Age’, a measure of individual health. It connects to smartphones and wearables like Garmin—you can read more about it here.
We’d already launched it elsewhere but weren’t certain how it would perform with North American users. At the same time, many employers were looking for new ways to engage with and motivate their staff during Covid-19. Just 20 weeks later, after an internal pilot, we’re not only equipped with a stronger product, but our staff are more engaged and healthier, too.
If you’re not already convinced, here are five reasons why you should pilot your products internally first:
1. Honest user feedback can only improve the tech
On a technical level, the pilot program provided a continuous loop of feedback from hundreds of employees. It gave an additional layer of User Acceptance Testing (UAT), the last phase of a software development process, but in a real-life setting.
How did we collect feedback? Through a variety of means, including holding feedback sessions, launching a support line and also conducting a series of surveys to all staff (even those who didn’t participate):
- Pre-launch survey: To establish activity benchmarks and assess their attitudes towards health & wellness
- Post-launch survey: To understand why they chose to participate, or not, and collect onboarding process feedback
- User survey: Deployed a few months into the program to explore their experience and why they’ve either continued to use the app or have lapsed
ReMark’s tech development team used pilot feedback to enhance the app, including improving the user experience flow, expanding the back-end capabilities, improving the syncing performance and even adding new features and rewards.
2. User engagement needs its own strategy
Successfully deploying our Good Life app goes beyond just the technology. To run a project like this, that touches on health and wellness, you’re faced with combatting humans' natural desire to quit. An effective engagement strategy is a essential to attract, retain and reengage users. Testing showed the importance of maintaining a constant flow of activity, and during the times when we weren’t running a campaign to encourage users to get active, drop-off rates nearly doubled. To slow disengagement rates we explored a variety of behavioural motivators:
Two challenge approaches were tested, a community challenge with a collective step goal and an individual challenge with a personal bio age reduction goal (you read more about what the Biological Age Model BAM™ is here). Both were successful at increasing the average number of daily steps walked by 15%, and helped to slow disengagement rates.
New social features were launched mid-pilot enabling users to interact and send points to their friends in the app. Reengagement increased because of the friends module: 76% of users who received a friend ‘like’ synced their fitness data within one day.
Raffle rewards, and rewards that could be redeemed directly (like vouchers), were offered throughout the pilot. The raffle rewards program gave all users (regardless of activity level) the opportunity to earn bigger-ticket prizes. Around half of all users redeemed points for prizes, and the launch of new rewards resulted in a short-term boost in people syncing their data.
3. Don’t worry about over-communicating
The pilot also leveraged on ReMark’s marketing and communication expertise. ReMark has a long history in multichannel marketing, helping insurers sell products and engage consumers via mail, phone, SMS and online. Using data from our campaign dashboard we were able to track each initiative, work out what did and didn’t work, and refine our comms strategy accordingly. Over four and a half months, we deployed over 100 communications pieces over multiple channels, including videos, newsletters, in-app blogs, internal social media posts, a dedicated intranet page, app push notifications and special event emails. Whether or not they were pilot participants, employees interacted with the content. Four in five opened the campaign emails and 88% of employees surveyed stated that the frequency of communication was just right.
Our optimisation efforts have resulted in a documented marketing strategy that’s proven to drive behavior change. We’ve made sure that these lessons and the library of assets we’ve developed will benefit our clients in the future.
4. Passion for the product
When selling a product there’s power in being able to speak from personal experience. It allows for a more authentic pitch. This is a well-developed school of thought in sales; being empathetic toward a customer’s problems and what they value will help you be a better salesperson.
Letting our staff try our mobile app during the pilot not only made employees more aware of the solutions we offer clients, and how it can help their customers, but encouraged advocacy. Providing access to the platform employees has helped build a network of internal advocates who are passionate about improving their health and wellness. This was clear in the pre- and post-pilot measured Net Promoter Score (NPS). Three months post-launch, active users were 345% more likely to recommend Good Life to a friend. Wow!
5. The proof is in the numbers
Good Life can engage people—including employees—and motivate them to be more active and ultimately, healthier. This was demonstrated through the pilot and gave SCOR a powerful case study with the numbers to back it up. Over one-third of employees actively participated and 62% of those are still active users today. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, we were able to influence healthy behaviours.
- Median daily steps exceeded pre-pandemic activity levels by 29%
- The ‘active’ employee segment (people who walk more than 10,000 steps per day) grew by 93%
- The ‘sedentary’ employee segment (less than 6,000 steps per day) increased steps from 3,800 to 6,800 per day
If you can do it, and you schedule it into your development process, piloting your technology product internally can be incredibly beneficial not only for your organisation, but also for the product’s future. It’s a chance to test not only the technology but also your strategies for marketing, engagement and communications—before you go to market. The value of this can’t be overstated. In our case, SCOR is not only better equipped for their North American Good Life launch with clients, but their employees are now more engaged and healthier as a result.
For more information on Good Life and how it can help your business, check out our dedicated page.