Tuesday Tips – Four Ways Life Insurers Can Improve Online Client Transactions Capabilities

by on Jan 08, 2013

tuesday_tips_smallTuesday Tips helps financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from ourMonitor Reports and Consulting Services research, which cover banking, brokerage, credit cards, asset management, retirement, annuities and insurance.

This week’s recommendations come from our Life Insurance Monitor report on Client Transaction Capabilities and focus on ways life insurers can improve the transaction capabilities they offer on their client websites:

#1 Make transaction tool interface designs consistent with private website – Several of the transaction tools used to complete financial transactions utilize bland and un-engaging interface designs. Firms should be mindful to update the design of transaction platforms in conjunction with changes to other sections of the private site, such as the homepage and account information display, in order to maintain a seamless navigational and functionality experience for users. Every firm with the exception of MetLife features transaction tool interface designs that are consistent with the design of the private website.

#2 Offer easy access to transaction capabilities – In addition to providing a complete view of account details, the ability to perform transactions serves as a primary function of any financial firm’s sound private site. Access to a firm’s transaction should be straightforward and simple, either via the main navigation menu, or from a prominent link displayed on the private homepage or account information display. New York Life and Prudential both provide easy access to the client website transaction capabilities from a variety of locations including the private homepage and account information display.

New York Life’s client website homepage features links to transactions capabilities

#3 Include help features and progress meters on transaction interface – Progress meters should be visible throughout all steps of a transaction tool interface. Doing so provides clients with a timeline and realistic outlook of the steps necessary to complete a transaction, as well as organizes/bookmarks the user’s progress should they need to revisit performing the transaction at a later point in time. Firms should also provide help features, such as transaction demos or terminology definitions, to aid users who may be unfamiliar with the site’s tools, or who may be performing a transaction for the first time. AXA Equitable and Liberty Mutual both effectively utilize progress meters and help features such as hints and guidelines for transaction capabilities within their transaction interfaces.

AXA Equitable’s Transfer interface contains a large progress meter and prominent help link

#4 Provide clients with both confirmation and verification screens – When performing transactions online, clients are bound to make mistakes, no matter how well designed or straightforward the interface is. Therefore, it is essential to provide confirmation and verification summaries within the final steps of completing a transaction. A clear summary of user-entered information should be prominently displayed, along with editing options to ensure the transaction is submitted correctly the first time. Of course, it is possible that some clients will still make errors, so posting contact information for a customer service representative or department that can rectify the error is also important. Nationwide and Prudential are among the firms that provide effective and easy to read verification and confirmation screens.