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State health and human services (HHS) organizations and other public-sector organizations play an important role in providing benefits and assistance to people. These include departments of health and state social services organizations that administer various benefit programs such as Medicaid, cash assistance and insurance affordability programs. These are customer-focused organizations that support millions of customers in every state. Technology plays a key role in allowing these organizations to empower their customers by providing self-service access to their programs and reduce operational burden for their workforce in supporting customers.
HHS organizations implement self-service benefits portals and state health insurance exchanges. Technology and customer experience have evolved significantly in the last few years with exponential growth in the use of mobile devices. Numerous studies have shown that customers are accessing services — and the internet, in general — using their mobile devices as opposed to traditional personal computers and laptops.
Looking at these trends, the commercial sector has embraced a mobile-first approach. On the other hand, public-sector organizations still contemplate how to adapt to this change and are evaluating a number of factors to ensure the best use of their funds. As an example, how extensively will customers actually use a mobile interface to access their services? Is a mobile form factor conducive at all to filling out extensive application forms to apply for benefits such as Medicaid? Should states make their web portals responsive (i.e., fit into a mobile form factor) or should they implement mobile apps?
One of my company’s clients, which is a state health benefit exchange, is one of the few such organizations to implement a full-featured mobile platform. Data and analytics from a mobile platform like this provide valuable insights that can help answer these questions and more for state organizations and their consulting service providers.
Consider implementing comprehensive mobile apps on iOS and Android that allow customers to access your complete set of services. This mobile platform collects detailed metrics on actual usage of mobile devices by your customers that are very useful if you’re looking to evaluate the benefits of implementing mobile technology to serve their customers.
You can utilize analytics to institute an evidence-based, data-driven approach to making future enhancements to the platform, correlating usage metrics directly to investment in enhancing technology systems.
Keep the following best practices and tips in mind to achieve similar results while undertaking a mobile strategy.
• Take a comprehensive approach to implementing a mobile strategy, involving business, operations, marketing and technology. Making your platform successful requires participation from all parts of the organization and creating consumer awareness. When your marketing team runs a campaign, you’ll be able to see if there’s a direct impact on the number of users coming from the mobile app.
• Mobile apps should provide useful functionality. Customers will not use mobile apps unless they get useful services from them. When our client first launched an informational app, they saw 10-15% of their users accessing this information on mobile devices. When they completed their mobile app to provide full-featured services, the usage rapidly grew to 60-62% of their traffic from mobile devices. Customers have uploaded 230,000-plus verification documents via the mobile app, viewed their notices and messages 2.5 million times, viewed their application information 4.8 million times and checked their eligibility for benefits 300,000-plus times, bringing efficiency to all their consumer processes.
• It is important to develop customer engagement tools for your business and marketing team. This allows you to engage customers and provide more effective services. For example, you could implement tools that allow your marketing team to send out context-based push notifications to customers, notifying them of campaigns, useful product features, upcoming deadlines, etc. When your marketing team sends out a push notification, you can see how it affects traffic.
• Reporting and analytics should be an integral part of the solution. Analytics should anonymously report user activities, including user traffic, what screens they are visiting in the app, how much time they are spending on each screen, what actions they are performing and also report conversions such as how many people signed up for various services using the app. You can implement a combination of Google Analytics and backend reporting built within the app to report every aspect of its usage, allowing you to see a clear return on investment for their mobile platform.
• Your organization must build an integrated web and mobile platform. Customers should be able to access services from the website or mobile app and switch between the two. Implement an integrated system where customers can start their enrollment process on a website and finish it on the mobile app, or vice-versa — data shows that customers switch between the two interfaces multiple times while signing up and availing services.
April 15, 2019 at 08:09AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs