Content + Personalization + ______________ = a great employee experience.
In the first and second installments of this three-part blog series, we talked about how today’s marketers use an “omni-channel” approach to deliver everything from consumer goods to financial products to ride sharing services to television shows. They combine content (component #1) with a highly personalized delivery model (component #2) to create a customer experience that’s valuable for both consumer and marketer alike.
In the marketing world, delivering impactful information that resonates with individuals is nothing new. The desire to provide valuable, personalized content has been around for centuries. What makes today’s omni-channel communications so different is technology (component #3).
Here’s a story of how technology makes it all possible.
Emily is at her local drugstore and wonders whether she can get FSA reimbursement for contact lens solution. She uses her benefits mobile app to scan the bar code on the box and learns it’s an eligible expense. So, she takes a picture of her receipt and uploads it through the app. Almost immediately, she sees her claim appear and it’s automatically approved within a few minutes.
Later that day, Emily wonders if any of her FSA dollars can roll over to next year. Using her app, she launches her employer’s AI-powered personal benefits assistant. She asks, “Can I carry over FSA funds from one year to the next?” She gets her answer, “Yes, up to $500 of your FSA balance is eligible for carryover for next year.”
A few months later, Emily checks her FSA balance online, but doesn’t see the amount she expects. This time, she calls the service center for reassurance from a real person. The representative quickly reviews Emily’s paid claims with her, and points out some details she had missed earlier. During the call, the representative notices that Emily hasn’t been maximizing her FSA contributions, and informs her of the annual limit so that Emily can consider making an adjustment for next year during annual enrollment.
Fortunately for Emily, the folks in her HR department are thinking like marketers. They’re providing valuable information (content) directly to her (personalized) and at a level of sophistication (technology) she experiences from her bank, her favorite retailer and her music streaming service.
As you think about how technology can enhance the benefits experience you deliver to your employees, here are some tips:
Ensure strong integration.
As the previous scenario above illustrates, Emily would have had a very different experience if she’d been bounced in and out of the mobile app, or if she were transferred to a different service center based on the type of question she asked. More importantly, it wouldn’t have been the experience she expects. Her favorite retailer lets her shop and manage her account in one place. And when she’s at the store, the cashier can check her past purchases with just a few clicks. That’s true integration of data and customer experience. As you evaluate the way you currently deliver benefits, consider the following:
- Can employees manage all their benefits, regardless of carrier, in one place? Or do they need multiple passwords for multiple sites?
- On the back end, is your technology a “single-source” platform? As you expand and change benefits, will it be able to grow with you and provide a seamless experience for employees?
- Do you rely on multiple service centers? Or are they so integrated with your culture that employees feel the service reps are a true extension of your HR team?
Mobile app functionality.
By the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll probably feel a strong urge to check your phone. Studies show that Americans check their phones every 12 minutes, or 80 times a day. That’s how much we rely on them. And, you can bet your employees will find something else to do with their phone if your mobile app isn’t everything they expect it to be. Ask yourself whether yours offers the following:
- Does it provide a detailed account of their current and future benefits plans?
- Does it allow them to upload documents for dependent verification or see whether a product is HSA- or FSA-eligible?
- Can they use it to live chat with a customer service agent?
For more tips like these and to learn how to apply omni-channel marketing techniques to your HR communications efforts, check out Three Components of an Omni-Channel Benefits Experience.