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Form and process redesign to improve broker on-boarding

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1. Challenge

Tools delivered

Contextual enquiry

Journey mapping

User/Choice Context design





Design & Refine




Independent Copywriter, Hollard Life Broker Manager, Hollard Life Marketing Director, ABE Partner

Tracking studies and net promotor scores indicated my client, a short term and life insurance provider, was weakly delivering on service standards to the brokerages that sold and supported its life insurance products, relative to competitors. A recent BCG consulting exercise and series of workshops had shone a light, in particular, on some weaknesses in the vetting of brokerages. A cumbersome, layered application process with duplicate and fragmented requests for information was creating a negative impression and a barrier to attracting the best brokers in the market. I reviewed the current process to explore what details were critical to capture, from a brokerage vetting point of view, and what information needed to be shared with applicants to make the process more convenient and appealing.

I was asked to collapse and redesign the brokerage on-boarding forms to improve the life insurance brokerage vetting experience. The principal object of the re-design was to make the forms simpler to complete, more efficient and convenient and more suggestive of best value to new brokerages.

In addition, I was asked to integrate the learnings from previous behavioural economics projects I had delivered for the client, specifically five behavioural pillars that we'd developed as a team to use in internal and external communications, in order to improve the level of desired action from customers and staff.

2. Approach

Deep experience with designing research questionnaires and interview guides provided me with expert insight into areas that would cause frustration (bad friction) or lead to mistakes. In creating a form, it is very important to think through the logical flow of the questions and design for conditional logic, where the structure and flow of a question depends on the answer given to prior questions. I started by reviewing the current process from the brokerage user perspective and exploring form design in other contexts. I focused on collapsing some of the documentation, deduping fields, clarity with terminology and removing questions / fields that were no longer required. In addition, I worked to improve the flow and logic of the forms to materially improve engagement. Working with a copywriter, I added introductory content to guide the user through the process and to manage expectations.

I conducted limited usability testing, with three brokerages of varying size and history, to identify areas requiring refinement. This exercise revealed that we needed to create a more transparent vetting process, to better allow brokerages to know what to expect with regard to Hollard requirements and their chances of success.

I identified the key variables for vetting, set up a weighted score structure and detailed the front and back office support that would be required to move the brokerage efficiently through this process.

3. Outcome

In the following year, my client was the only brand to improve its brokerage satisfaction levels and perceptions of perceived quality, when the sector was under intense competition in a relatively low growth market. The redesigned flow, documentation and supporting processes were subsequently adopted not only for the Life Brokers, but later also for Business and Personal insurance broker vetting.

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