Thursday, January 28, 2010

#health30 Lessons from consumer web portal

Creating a Directed Consumer Sales Channel Through the IFP Web Portal to Facilitate and Expedite Sales 
Eskander Matta 
Vice President Business Transformation & eBusiness 
Blue Shield of California

In replacing their legacy web portal Blue Shield created an Agile skunk works team. Offshore development with a high offshore-onshore ratio.

A monthly development cycle. Less dependence on documentation and more on prototyping.

The result was in 9 months (at 10% of the original packaged solution cost) they built a web portal for 5 different groups (including consumers, brokers and customer support agents for the individual and family group market)


- images are powerful
- Keep decision points above the fold
- toll free numbers tied to key search terms to direct to products.

- Shoppers are price sensitive. Show the low price plans!

- Started with recommended plans model. Learned over time that you need to show cheaper plans even if it is not the best solution. It keeps them in the process and may buy a lower price plan rather than not buying at all.

- use every opportunity to include an "Apply Now" button. 

- Users think in a modular manner - ie. they are used to the shopping cart model. So include a progress indicator.

- Application form is a vehicle for cross-sell. Don't leave cross-sell to the end. People are done with the exhausting application. Include the Up-sell at an early stage.

- Message center - status emails, reminder emails. Looking at text messaging.

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