How a digital experience platform frees your business users from their reliance on IT to create engaging billing and payment experiences
Part 2 in a Series
Creating seamless, frictionless customer-centric insurance billing and payment experiences is likely high on your company’s to-do list. That’s why insurers like you are investing in intuitive self-service tools: so business users can address everyday challenges without asking IT for assistance.
To understand what’s needed and learn how insurers are using such tools right now, we began this blog series with the basics of APIs in “Next Billing Wave: How Insurance APIs Empower Business Users to Amp Up Customer Experiences.”
For this second installment in our three-blog series, we’ll explore another vital, and a relatively new technology called the digital experience platform (DXP). Like APIs, we’ll discuss the essential role an advanced, robust DXP plays.
The Rise of Digital Experience Platforms for Modernizing Customer Experiences
The story begins with content management systems (CMS), which assist business users with the creation, management, and tracking of content for websites and applications. They also enabled the same content to be used across multiple websites.
With the rise of digital experiences, which are highly personalized ways of experiencing data as well as content, CMS systems struggled.
For example, an insurer may want the ability to provide a customer’s billing data across various channels, such as websites, mobile apps, internal intranets, various types of external portals (policyholders, agent or broker), IoT devices (like smart speakers or digital assistants), and more. Further, each user, across each of those channels, may desire a slightly different experience for consuming the data and wish to tweak the presentation to suit them.
Enter DXPs, which were developed to go beyond CMS by giving business users a tool for providing information across many more channels with vastly greater customization options.
APIs: The Building Blocks for Creating Highly Personalized Experiences
To understand how DXPs work, think of them as a translation and presentation layer. As Gartner puts it, DXPs “combine and coordinate applications, including content management, search and navigation, personalization, integration, and aggregation, collaboration, workflow, analytics, mobile and multichannel support.”
From a practical standpoint, when a user needs a piece of information, like the current amount a policyholder owes, the DXP evaluates the user’s role, security privileges, and preferences, pulls data from core systems, and presents it to the user. This same process occurs whether they’re an external customer, like an agent, or an internal one, like an employee.
As we learned in the previous blog, APIs are the individual translators within the DXP. APIs execute a nearly infinite array of tasks related to receiving a data request, obtaining it from the correct underlying system, formulating it as needed, and serving it up in the requested format for the DXP layer or platform to present.
In other words, APIs are the building blocks for supplying a specific user with a specific experience on a specific device via a specific channel. Typically, it requires multiple APIs to complete a single presentation request. The process of combining the APIs, orchestrating tasks, handling user security privileges, and managing preferences are all the DXP’s job.
5 Key Features for Evaluating an Insurance DXP
Like any technology, not all DXPs are created equally. When evaluating insurance DXPs, consider whether a solution offers these advanced features:
Intuitive Tools. The most important capability of an insurance DXP is putting self-service experience creation tools into the hands of your business users. If a DXP requires highly specialized skills, think twice before investing. The best way to assess whether a DXP offers sufficiently intuitive tools is by putting a trial version in the hands of employees from different functional areas, such as billing and customer service.
Persona-based. For streamlining experience creation, the most sophisticated DXPs offer pre-built “personas” that reflect the common types of insurance users, such as a billing agent. Essentially, a persona is a collection of APIs that complete tasks common to the associated type of user. Personas not only streamline processes but enable users to gain confidence quickly.
Open, RESTful APIs. As noted in the previous blog, it’s critical to adopt a DXP that offers “open” (non-proprietary) APIs versus those which are closed (proprietary). The more open, the more options for creating the desired customer experience. The more closed, the more restrictions. Also, look for what’s called RESTful APIs as these provide the greatest interoperability between multiple types of systems and devices.
API Quantity. To meet current experience expectations, as well as those no one has thought of yet, look for a DXP that supplies a rich array of APIs. For example, building interactions between your billing system and PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle can require dozens of APIs. And, in the future, you may wish to incorporate new billing currencies, such as Bitcoin or Ether. Therefore, you need a DXP with hundreds of APIs or more.
Diverse Ecosystem Support. For easily integrating with multiple policy admin systems or flexibly incorporating partners, distribution channels, and even insurtechs, a DXP that supports multiple types of insurance communication protocols is required to improve your business agility and stay competitive in our rapidly evolving marketplace.
Putting it Altogether for Solving Common Billing Challenges
With a fundamental understanding of DXPs, and their API building blogs, now it’s time to consider how your business users can leverage them to improve billing processes.
In the next, and final, blog in this series “Next Billing Wave: Solving Real-World Billing Challenges to Create Exceptional Experiences,” we’ll provide a specific example of how a robust DXP can give your billing staff the self-service tools they need to overcome a common hurdle they’re likely facing today.