Improving the Agent Experience: 5 Steps to UX Success

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Every digital product must consider its users’ experience (UX), regardless of the industry – and insurance is no exception. It's something we're constantly thinking about when creating our digital solutions. But what makes a design effective for users? In this article, we explore the five key phases of good UX...

What is UX and why does it matter?

User Experience (UX) describes the feeling someone has as they interact with a product/interface, with the aim of making the interaction as intuitive and enjoyable as possible. Achieving this goal is essential to creating digital solutions people love to use - it's an essential part of our product creation journey.

Digital solutions in insurance often focus on the policyholder as an end user. But in doing so, agents are often forgotten. There are several benefits to keeping agent UX in mind when developing solutions, including streamlining operations, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and ultimately boosting sales outcomes.

Many agents are overwhelmed by the number of platforms they use and manage for daily operations, leading to hesitance to adopt any new technology. However, introducing a solution that considers the agent's point of view and improves their experience may turn things around, ultimately helping them to serve policyholders more effectively.

The 5 phases of good UX

In a recent webinar on UX, our Senior Visual Designer Sanco de Voogd van der Straaten highlighted five key principles of UX for products of all kinds. The five phases – empathise, define, ideate, build, and test – provide a useful tick-list to ensure that stakeholder considerations are always kept front of mind during the product design process.

  1. Empathise - The UX process starts by simply understanding and empathising with users. Information on their needs and preferences is gathered through surveys, interviews, or observations. One of the most important issues to address when researching agent satisfaction is how (or if) they are utilising existing tech. Exploring this may reveal simple adjustments to be made, or the need to completely replace existing technology. 
  2. Define - After conducting research, determine what specific problems need to be solved. Perhaps the current technology has confusing navigation, slow processing times, or a busy/cluttered interface. Creating personas out of your research is an effective exercise to step into the agent’s shoes and evaluate existing problems through their eyes. After defining the problem, determine your UX goal, business goals, legacy systems, and legal/regulatory requirements. The final solution will need to address all these factors.
  3. Ideate - The ideate phase differs depending on whether you build or buy a solution. When choosing to buy from a solutions provider, be sure to share the work done in the first two phases and ask to participate in the remaining phases. A product built in-house may require a design thinking workshop to explore solutions and necessary technologies. Available resources must be considered to determine if a satisfactory solution can be developed. Whether building or buying, include agents in the ideation process. To produce the best possible product, gather agent feedback and always keep the needs of the users as the central focus.
  4. Build - The fourth step is building a solution for the defined problem. Prototypes are a good way to gather feedback before spending resources on a fully developed solution. Not all prototypes are fully functional; they may be as simple as a sketch or a wireframe. Make sure to be an active participant in decision making if a vendor is handling this step and include agents in this process to build the trust necessary for eventual adoption.
  5. Test - Lastly, test and validate your solution to ensure it solves the defined problem from phase two. The results of these tests will determine whether you move forward to development or return to the design stage to adjust. It is key to test the interface with agents to identify areas that need improvement.

Optimising UX is a cycle

Constant refinement and iteration of your solution is always good practice to ensure your users can carry out their tasks effectively. Remember that small changes and refinement over time will continuously improve your solution and sustain agent satisfaction.

At SCOR Digital Solutions, we work to foster a culture of learning and improvement, establishing continuous feedback collection with stakeholders and agents to identify new areas of opportunity. To find out more about how our underwriting, health and claims solutions can help you to serve your policyholders, head here.