In today’s digital age, every person who uses the Internet has come to expect a certain standard of user experience from websites and mobile apps alike. User experience is an area that has exploded in the past several years, and it has to do with enabling users to get through several complicated steps in the simplest ways possible.
It is therefore no surprise that the financial services industry has embraced this and is looking to provide a seamless experience to their customers. Not only does this help them retain their customer base, but also helps them stay relevant to the changing user habits.
Banks and insurance companies have adopted several innovative ways to get their users to take more action on the Web, removing barriers, to make it appealing to more people as well as cut operational costs. The retirement industry is no exception. Although, from an end user perspective, a person is not likely to use their retirement account as much as, say, their bank account on a regular basis, retirement plan providers have made significant strides in the last few years in terms of digitizing their customer experience, and taking their service offering to a whole new level.
This is no easy task as retirement companies are limited by the record keeping systems that they use, most of which are legacy systems that are batch-based. Therefore, there is lack of real-time information available to these companies to make use of. Enriching the user experience of plan sponsors, advisers, TPAs and participants is hence limited by the non-availability of timely information. In such cases, plan providers take alternate approaches such as manage an in-house database of critical data that can then be leveraged by their websites and mobile applications. This also gives them much more flexibility to manipulate and optimize the data in any way, so that it can be presented to users in an easy to understand way.
The digital customer experience provided by retirement companies is not only limited to websites and mobile apps, but has even made its way to smart watches such as Apple Watch, voice recognition devices like Amazon Echo and so on, where the user can get their plan balance and recent transaction information.
Companies are also looking to leverage external business intelligence and data analytics platforms to provide their customers a way to search and find information in any way they want, including natural language search. Furthermore, Robo advisers and chat bots are used to enrich the customer experience while providing them with useful information when necessary.