Concordia Plan Services (CPS), the insurance and benefits provider for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, had a major problem: its three disjointed websites made it nearly impossible for users to find information and forms. As a result, customers resorted to calling support with basic requests, tying up support lines, causing customer dissatisfaction and increased support costs.
Our web design consolidated three websites and over 800 disjointed pages into a single 60-page user-centric website. The new website makes it easy for users to find information, resulting in a significant reduction of support calls and an overall improvement in customer satisfaction.
Problem: Unhappy Users =
Higher Support Costs
Concordia’s websites were failing both its users and the organization. The three websites were outdated in design, violated basic user experience principles, suffered from significant usability issues, and had a highly-disjointed information architecture. It was faster and easier for customers to call the support line than to find the information they needed online.
will stop doing business with your company because of bad experiences
will only give you one chance
more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one
Objectives: Improve User Experience
and Reduce Support Costs
To help Concordia solve its user satisfaction problem, improve usability, and reduce customer support costs, we set out to create a website that became the best performing website among all benefits administrators and insurance providers. Here is what we aimed to deliver:
- World-class responsive design that best represents Concordia
- User-centric Information Architecture (IA) based on five user types
- Intuitive navigation to the visitor-specific information and forms
- Wizard to help find common information and forms quickly
- Easy-to-use side-by-side plan comparison
Research & Strategy:
Foundation of Success
When it comes to the success of any website, understanding users’ needs and organizational objectives, along with having a sound strategy to unite the two is the foundation for the project’s success.
Web Design that Puts Users First
We started the web design project by interviewing Concordia's customers and developing five personas, each representing a separate user group. These interviews shed light on customers’ needs and revealed many opportunities to significantly improve user experience.
Discovery and Content Overhaul Workshop
Next, we traveled to Concordia’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO for a four-day discovery and content overhaul workshop. During the website design workshop, we learned about Concordia’s need to deliver certain information and matched it to the user needs we uncovered using qualitative and quantitative research.
Working alongside Concordia’s stakeholders, we eliminated unnecessary content and condensed 800 pages of organization-centric content into approximately 60 pages of user-centric content.
Inspiring and Authentic Photography
To bring the website to life, we flew our staff photographer to conduct a custom photoshoot. The photography showcased Concordia’s members and how they enhance the lives of the LCMS community. The photos captured the emotion, story and purpose of the Concordia Plan Services community.
Great Information Architecture
When it comes to insurance websites, Information Architecture (IA) is what makes it or breaks it when it comes to the findability of information. Back in the office, we put together a new user-centric information architecture that was tested using advanced tree-testing techniques to ensure that users could find information with ease.
Testing Before Building
Each page of the new website design was then painstakingly wireframed, prototyped, refined, and tested with real users to ensure the best possible user experience (UX). Our golden rule of testing early (with real users) and testing often ensured that we were on track to build a website that users actually wanted and not what we thought they wanted.
Result: Best Website among Insurance and Benefits Administrators
When we set out to solve the problem for Concordia, we realized that we had an opportunity to solve a problem facing the entire industry. Let’s face it: insurance can be confusing. Trying to make sense of a policy, get a quote, or file a claim can be an intimidating experience. We saw this as an opportunity to transform this weakness into a strength with a help of good user experience.
The resulting website has been called by the industry leaders “the best in the industry” when it comes to design, usability, and overall user experience website in the insurance and benefit administration field.
Giving Users What They Want
People want three things from insurance websites: Ease, Choice and Advice. How do I file a claim quickly? How does my plan compare to alternatives? Do I have the right coverage? We discovered that traditional search and navigation are not enough for users to easily find answers to those questions.
We “humanized” the user experience by creating an integrated virtual agent, more commonly known as a "wizard.” This feature allows users to find specific information by answering a series of “conversational” questions based on who they are and what they are looking for.
Humanizing the User Experience
If you have ever tried making sense of an insurance plan, you probably had to arm yourself with a glossary: coinsurance vs. copayment vs. out-of-pocket maximum. Now, add the difficulty of comparing several plans on top of translating the jargon and users will quickly develop an urge to give up and call an agent.
How do you remove these complexities? How do you make it simpler? We solved this by making plan comparisons easy: side by side, line by line, with clear explanations of what each difference means.
We also made it incredibly easy for users to find and submit forms, depending on who they are and what they need to do. They can browse the forms by function or type of coverage, or they can have the virtual agent find the correct form for their situation by answering a few clarifying questions.
Psychology of Shapes
We also applied the psychology of shapes to portray Concordia as a caring partner for its clients and members. We used concentric circles because since circles have no beginning or end, they feel complete and comforting, and elicit feelings of safety and connection. These are the emotions we wanted to evoke when users are interacting with the website.
A commitment that LCMS members agreed to as a group more than 50 years ago, to enhance the health and financial security of church workers and their families.
Effective Use of Colors
To distinguish between categories on Concordia’s website, each category has a specific color to help with recognition and navigation. We also applied our understanding of the psychology of colors to pick the most suitable colors for each category.
We Keep Making the Best Website
Launching a best-in-class website is not enough. It is important to keep it that way.
As trends, industries, and competitive landscapes change, good user experience (UX) ensures customer adoption and continued use of products and services.
The management team at Concordia understands the importance of good UX and retains WeDevelUp to conduct thorough quarterly UX audits of the website, ensuring it continues to give users a superior experience. Every interaction with the website is anonymously monitored, tracked, and analyzed for improvements.
A good experience shows Concordia’s customers that they care. WeDevelUp and Concordia have continued working together to make data-driven improvements to the site to meet customers’ evolving needs and expectations.
in Business Gains
Not only did we solve Concordia’s problem and reduce customer support cases, but we also turned the risks and costs of a negative user experience into opportunities and benefits.
With a 92% customer satisfaction rating, industry leaders have called the resulting website “the best in the industry”.
Have really appreciated working with WeDevelUp. They make gorgeous products, provide quality, dependable customer service. Appreciate how hard they work, how fast they answer questions and concerns, and how flexible they are.
Sarah Tanner, Digital Media Specialist