Why is the user experience of insurance forms important?
Well, the user experience (UX) of insurance forms, such as online quotes, is important because by improving the experience of form completion for the customer it increases the likelihood of conversion. Even a small improvement in conversion rate can have a big impact on the bottom line for insurers.
I asked Kammiri - our Conversational UX Specialist here at JRNY - for her comment on the latest in UX for insurance forms:
“There are so many UX considerations in what some might think is a simple form. Technology, like artificial intelligence and natural language processing, is changing how companies can collect information from their customers too. Now free text is an option and clever integrations can help save the user more time than ever before.
I think there is a giant opportunity for companies to improve the customer experience by combining the right tech and clever user design.”
But how can we improve UX?
So how do you actually improve the UX and conversion rate of insurance forms?
Here are 10 things that we at JRNY take into consideration when designing customer experiences for our insurance clients.
1. Reduce the number of fields
Unsurprisingly, there is a correlation between a higher number of form fields and longer form completion times. So we ask our clients, “do you really need that information?”. Often answers can be pulled from somewhere else or questions even removed completely if they don’t have a huge impact on the underwriting process.
2. Not all field types are born equal
Research shows that the average time to complete different fields varies considerably:
- Text box: 4.1 seconds
- Drop-down lists: 3.6 seconds
- Buttons list: 2.8 seconds
- Tick-box: 1.1 seconds
By changing some text boxes to buttons, significant time can be saved across the whole form - increasing the likelihood that a user will complete the form and convert.
3. Pre-populating fields
With advances in technology, more and more information can be pulled from third party sources or databases (like MTA records) to pre-populate fields and, again, save the user time.
Tools today can also analyse the user’s most commonly provided responses for a returning user and pre-populate those fields previously completed.
4. People like certainty; ambiguity builds mistrust
Provide a time estimate of how long the form will take to complete and show their progression as they move through the form. Otherwise, if users get into the form and think it’s going to take a while, they may abandon the process. If you’re upfront, the user will know how long they need to complete the form and get the desired outcome. Here are some examples:
To help with creating certainty for the user, you can also break the form up into categories. Grouping related information in logical sections helps the user or customer understand the flow of questions and where they are in the process.
You can also create milestones with images to delight the user:
5. Be visual
That leads me onto number five - being visual can save time while also delighting the user. An example for a car insurance quote might be allowing the user to take a photo of their driver’s licence so that information can automatically be being pulled from the image and pre-populated into the correct fields.
It’s also commonly accepted that images speak louder than words. In fact, visual messages are processed 60,000 times faster than text. If an image or illustration can explain something faster than text - do it!
6. Explain yourself and offer help
Many form drop offs occur because the user is confused and doesn’t understand the question. It’s important to offer a simple explanation - this could be by way of a question mark icon that the user can hover over or even a digital assistant or FAQ bot available to answer questions so that they don’t have to leave the form to get the answer.
This also applies to help options. Even with the most optimised form on the planet, there will be users who simply need assistance. If they have questions about the quote, or have a complex case, make it easy for them to get in touch.
It’s important to explain yourself not just when the user is confused. If you’re asking for particularly personal information, explaining why you need that information will improve the user’s understanding and the chance of them providing it. Additionally, if for some reason the user is ‘kicked out’ of the form and they need to contact a human, explain to the user why they’re being kicked off the form. A common example of this is when someone wants car trailer insurance but the regular car insurance form doesn’t cover this scenario. Don’t just have a pop up that says: “Please call us”. This is frustrating and the user is less likely to do so.
In this last example, a great option to delight the user is if a staff member can jump in to help straight away, rather than having the user pick up the phone or send an email. Once they’re out of the form you have less chance that they’ll follow through. This is an especially awesome trait of conversational forms - they can allow for a ‘human handover’, which is essentially live chat in the same interface that the form has been collecting information in.
7. Help the user find the answers
A great example of helping the user find the answer to the question they’re being asked is calculator tools. For instance, in home and contents insurance quotes, users frequently have to estimate the value of their contents or house replacement cost. Not many people know this off the top of their head. By providing a guide or calculator tool that doesn’t require them to leave the form, the user can find the answer quickly and then continue the form to completion.
8. Be clever with your CTAs
Again, you could have the best form on the block, but if you have an old website or poor button design there will be a lack of ‘call to action’ to drive users to even open the form.
Streamlining the form design with your entire digital presence is important in maximising your ROI.
9. Don’t make me repeat myself
Having the right integrations are key to make sure the user doesn’t have to repeat themselves. If you ask a user to complete a form and they subsequently have to answer the same questions with a human agent it is incredibly time wasting for not only the customer but also your staff.
With the right integrations, your agents or brokers can get a full report with the information already collated in a form previously completed.
This applies also to repeat users. If a user doesn’t complete the form but comes back another time, delight them by remembering their previously inputted answers!
10. Most importantly, be human, be conversational
Most web forms lack empathy and personality. What companies too often fail to recognise is that you can still build rapport with the user - just because there’s no human involved, it doesn’t mean you’re not still conversing with your customers.
By presenting questions that are long, boring, not in plain english, or just burdensome, you’re failing to present empathy to the user or customer - another missed opportunity to improve conversion rates.
Forms should flow with as much ease as possible, as is natural for humans just like in all communication. The UX should be clear, concise, and as I’ve mentioned several times now, delight.
That’s why, at JRNY, we’re transforming the insurance customer journey. Our conversational UX experts design better digital customer experiences for our insurance clients, which we then implement through a white labelled conversational interface, powered by the JRNY Distribution Platform.