Crucial Features of an SMS Gateway Dashboard

There are many options when it comes to choosing a piece of software for your new SMS aggregation business. Some have been on the market for many years, and have established themselves as leaders on the market. Others have been developed more recently with the goal of seizing portions of this large market. The latter are generally more eager to impress, and have the ability to make their products much more tailored around their clients to earn their trust and become more visible. But regardless of how long a product has been on the market or how prestigious the company behind it, there are certain features that we are used to seeing in a robust SMS gateway dashboard. If these are missing, make sure to ask the developer how much effort it would take to implement them within their existing solution.

Having access to good SMS campaign features, comprehensive reporting, and role-based access are just a few things that make an SMS Gateway dashboard powerful. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of features that will impress even the most exigent SMS business owner.

Flexible SMS Campaigns

Sending SMS campaigns is the main role of an SMS Gateway. A robust product will have the ability to send and receive text messages in a myriad of formats and protocols, such as SMPP, SS7, SIGTRAN, SIP, or HTTP. But its interface is critical to being able to maneuver these powerful features of a good SMS product. Thus it is a good sign when a gateway’s interface has such options as:

  • Data uploads in different formats (think about your customers’ phone numbers)

When users have a variety of formats in which they can upload the information into the system, it gives them more flexibility. If the system is capable of reading CSV, Excel, Google Sheets, and vCards files, human error is minimized.

  • Rules-based segmentation

Your subscribers may be at different stages in the sales funnel, therefore the ability to send specific messages to groups of people is important. Ensuring that your users can segment your audience in an easy and logical way will make your SMS business more successful.

  • Automatic action-based SMS campaigns

Interact with customers who clicked on your SMS offer but did not convert. Send them a reminder that the discount is about to expire or follow-up with a different time-based offer. Make sure your SMS gateway can do this automatically in order to maximize your SMS impact.

  • Campaign scheduling

SMS campaign scheduling is a must for any SMS business. It is even better when you can schedule campaigns for different time zones in which your text will be delivered. This option will send your message at the most optimized time, ensuring a higher engagement rate.

  • SMS campaign drafts and templates

Drafts and templates can be used to save your users’ time. They can also be a source of inspiration for your clients’ marketing team, as templates can be created for them based on certain needs and events.

  • Contact groups

If you can create groups within your list of subscribers based on their interests, industries, or lead source, your clients will be very happy. Generally the more customized the text message, the more impactful the SMS campaign will be.

  • Editing subscriber lists

Your clients will need to make occasional changes to their list of subscribers via your SMS gateway dashboard. Subscribers’ contact information changes, so being able to keep their information up-to-date is important.

Comprehensive Reports Inside the SMS Gateway Dashboard

Your clients will need the ability to gauge how well their SMS campaigns are doing. Therefore providing relevant, insightful, and intuitive data directly from your SMS gateway’s dashboard will make them very happy.

Reports on performance, in terms of open-rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates will give managers the knowledge they need to make adjustments and plan their SMS marketing activities.

Note that certain protocols are better at providing accurate information on delivery than others. So ensure that the product you choose is versatile when it comes to various combinations of protocols such as SS7 to SMPP, SS7 to SS7, and many others. Carrier grade SMS products will support all possible ones.

Inbox folder function

An inbox folder is a good feature to have in an SMS gateway dashboard. It acts like a regular email inbox, but in a centralized location, so that operators and agents can respond to clients’ inquiries in a timely manner, without exiting the dashboard.

This feature can be improved even further if it has the ability to store “canned” responses that are basically templates to address clients’ most frequently asked questions. This will speed up the communication process and increase loyalty and retention rates.

Role-based access control

Make sure that your SMS gateway allows setting different user roles for your operators. This will ensure that the level of access to sensitive information is appropriate for all employees.  Look for sophisticated role-based access control in the SMS dashboard, and ensure that only senior staff can access aggregate client lists, routing details, and other sensitive data from a security point of view.

The SMS gateway dashboard is a crucial element which makes the platform convenient for your clients operators and employees. That’s why it is important to choose a user-friendly interface with a set of useful features. Share your thoughts and ideas about what else can make the dashboard more convenient for an SMS business.

How to use an SMS Gateway in the Most Efficient Way?

Let’s imagine that you already own an SMS Gateway. Now you can communicate with your clients via text-messaging. But what are you going to do with the tool that you just got? How do you use the SMS Gateway in a way that increases customers’ loyalty? Our explicit tips will help you create SMS campaigns that drive revenue.

  • Customize text-messages

SMS campaigns teach you to get straight to the point. That is why it is a good idea to start your message with an attention grabber. A good attention grabber will make your customer want to read your message until the end. Usually, attention grabbers are spelled with capital letters, for example: ‘GOOD NEWS’, ‘UPDATE’, ‘GREAT OFFER’, etc. After you got your subscribers’ attention, use a clear call to action.

When sending a message, customize it. Use your client’s name or geographical (if known). This will help build a closer relationship with your customer. Don’t hesitate to congratulate your customers with birthdays, offer them discounts on anniversaries or other important days. Don’t use SMS only as a promotional channel, but rather as a communication channel that consists of various messages on different topics.

An example of a message you can send:

“Stephanie, your order is getting close to 123 Main Street. If you are not home, please call 350-598-2926 or reply to this text so we can make arrangements. Thanks!”

  • Use Emojis

The way people perceive advertisement has changed, and this is especially relevant for Millennials. According to a report cited by the Times, 4 out of 10 Millennials report that they’d rather engage with pictures than text, so there is no need to always be serious. Sometimes it is effective to be more creative and less official? ? ?. Add emotions to your messages by using emojis. They will grab readers’ attention, make the message funnier, and more memorable.

  • Insert shortened links

Don’t use the SMS gateway only for promotional messages. Embed SMS communication into your digital marketing strategy. If you have a promotion and you have a landing page for your offer, insert a clickable and shortened link in the text-message (remember, you have a limited amount of characters to spare). The link will redirect the recipient to your landing page.

At the same time, you wish to provide your clients with a pleasant customer journey, that’s why make sure that your website has a responsive design. Also keep in mind that the easier it is for users to engage with your content, the more likely they will complete the steps you want them to take.

  • Send SMS Reminders

Engage with your customers by reminding that they had abandoned a shopping cart on your website. Let them know that they still did not buy that teddy bear for their daughter’s birthday, or a piece of jewelry for their special day with their significant other. Give your customers an option to respond to this text-message reminder, so that you can call them back and complete the order for them. You never know what stopped your client from buying on your website, which is why it is important to be proactive.

  • Choose the best timing and frequency

Analyze the responses you receive from your target groups. Find the time and frequency that works best for your clients. If you send too many messages, there will inevitably be complaints and opt-outs. On the other hand, if you send messages infrequently, your clients may feel that your messages are out of place.

  • Place your contact info

Whenever it is relevant and possible, mention your company’s contact information in the SMS. Make it easy for the client to get in touch with you. It is much easier when the phone number is provided right in the text. They click it, and their phone does the rest of the job. When they call, make sure they don’t wait long before someone picks-up. So make sure the customer service team is always ready to take calls and be in the know about the text messaging marketing strategy.

  • Give an unsubscribe option

If you mainly use an SMS gateway for promotional messages, give your clients an option to unsubscribe. Make sure you provide them with clear instructions how they can stop receiving messages from you. This can be a word that they need to send in response to your campaign or a link to your website they have to access.

  • Use a customized sender name

You don’t want your clients to remember you as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. They should know right away that they are getting messages from you, not from a random phone number, and definitely not your competitors. Make sure that you have customized your sender name, and that your customers see where those messages are coming from.

  • Measure results and adjust

Your SMS campaigns won’t be effective if you don’t measure the results and adjust to make them even better. Create A/B testing campaigns for your target groups, and go with the ones that work best. Analyze your results and stay open to changes in your content and strategy.

If you follow these tips, you will have a good chance to turn your SMS gateway investment into a continuous revenue-driving mechanism. Next week we are going to analyze the important features of a user-friendly SMS gateway interface.

 

What is an SMS Gateway? A Rediscovered Treasure for Companies

The length of SMS, or text messages is limited to 160 characters from the GSM alphabet. However, the shortage of characters does not stop text messaging from being one of the most successful communication channels, because SMS is enabled on virtually 100% of mobile and smart phones. That is why SMS marketing is being used by such companies as American Express, PayPal, Lufthansa, BMW, and many other well-known brands. To send millions of text messages, these companies needed a powerful tool that could get their message across. This is where SMS Gateways come into play.

What is an SMS Gateway and how can it increase my revenue?

In a nutshell, SMS Gateway is a web-based app (basically a website), which allows users to send text messages to their customers’ phone numbers (naturally, with their permission). At the same time, an SMS Gateway has the capacity to receive messages from users, which makes communication interactive. The SMS Gateway can be used for transactional and promotional purposes.

    Transactional messages include:     Promotional messages include:
  • Appointment reminders
  • Location-based promotions
  • Call notifications
  • Discount notifications
  • One time passwords
  • Promotion alerts
  • Transaction alerts
  • Information services
  • Payment reminders
  • Booking confirmations
  • Account updates

The variety of messages that can be sent using an SMS Gateway gives the platform the possibility to become a useful tool for any business from any industry that wishes to stay competitive. A powerful SMS Gateway should do more than just send text messages, it will make sure that your message gets delivered. When choosing an SMS Gateway, look for an intelligent message sending feature. The platform will try to send the message several times, in case the message wasn’t delivered, you will get a notification. It will give you the possibility to check the phone number and see what can be fixed to deliver the message to the recipient.

Another feature to look for is for optimal real-time routing. The platform will support an intelligent algorithm that will manage flexible and dynamic routing. Flexible routing allows to create different rules for each destination one wishes to send messages to, and at the same time, to route a certain set of messages through different outbound routes or carriers to one destination. Dynamic routing allows to change routing on the fly with no need to restart the system. Routing ensures your messages are delivered as quickly as possible – without compromising security or reliability in the process.

A user-friendly graphical interface is very important when it comes to user experience. No one is willing to spend an hour trying to figure out how a message can be sent. In addition to that, look for a reporting tool in the SMS gateway platform that will be easy to manage and understand. Your non-techie employees don’t have to struggle while working with the platform.

What is an SMS gateway? It is a tool that will take you closer to your customers and will increase your customer conversion rates if used wisely. In our next blog post, we will share tips on the most beneficial ways in which an SMS Gateway can be used. Stay tuned!

Business Intelligence Software Is Critical for Growth

The savvy utilization of data is essential for the success of a business. Corporate leaders have finally realized what a large value added business intelligence (BI) platforms bring in terms of access to more structured data. This trend toward acceptance and integration of such tools is showcased by the fact that BI software is now rated as a top investment priority by CIOs.

BI includes a variety of instruments, applications, and methodologies that allow to collect data from internal and external resources. BI platforms then prepare that data for analysis, and generate reports that are comprehensible to decision makers. BI also allows to plan and model future situations and assess risks. It doesn’t solve problems, but one can identify otherwise undetectable issues with the help of BI, and then take corrective actions to reach growth objectives.

The BI and analytics market is undergoing an evolution. Analysts predict that cloud-based BI technology investments will grow 4.5 times faster than those in on-premises solutions. The adoption of machine learning techniques and the development of smart data delivery tools also attract more funding. In addition to that, companies are more inclined to use intuitive self-service business intelligence software that doesn’t require profound technical skills. Ideally, the IT department can train the rest of the team on what data is available and how that information can be accessed and used. Once the data warehouses and data marts supporting the business intelligence system are set up, managers should be able to query the data and easily create custom reports.

The ideal business intelligence software is composed of several parts. One of its parts will source data from various databases used by a company. When it comes to sourcing data, every company is unique and it’s highly unlikely there’s a third-party solution that can simply integrate with all the company’s sources of data out of the box. For that reason, a company may want to consider custom software development for this portion of the BI tool.

The other part will process and visualize the information. A friendly User Interface and User Experience at this point is crucial for this portion of your new software. If the employees actually using this tool will not know how to use it properly right away, there will almost certainly be problems and unnecessary expenses in the long term. Investing in usability is a big must. At the same time, the value of a user-friendly interface is diminished if the system does not work properly. Thus the front-end and the back-end of a custom business intelligence software should always be well aligned.

This is why it is important that the logic behind such a product gets ironed out well before the development of the tool. A company’s leaders, therefore have a set of questions they should consider before investing in a custom BI software.

1. What is expected that the system should do?
2. Why is that needed?
3. How will success be measured?
4. When should the desired goals be achieved?

When business owners have answers to these questions they need to remember that the BI tool is an investment that yields results in the long run and only if it is actively used with the appropriate adjustments based on the company’s growth strategy.

CIOs invest in business intelligence systems in order to make informed, data-driven decisions. As a study has shown, decisions backed with data result in significantly higher ROI and sales numbers. These tools can also leverage information in order to gain a competitive advantage, cut costs, and reduce risks. Thus, investing in a good business intelligence software is worth considering.

Use Machine Learning to Produce Higher Value

Facebook uses machine learning (ML) for face recognition, Apple uses it to make Siri sound more human, and Google minimizes energy use at data centers with the help of ML. Machine learning is a trendy element of artificial intelligence that is being successfully used in many industries. Regardless of the industry your business operates in, consider using ML to improve productivity and receive higher ROI.

 

What is machine learning?

In traditional computer science we need to explain the task we wish to accomplish to the computer. For example, if we plan on creating a tool that calculates salaries, then we need to write a program that translates to the computer how to perform each operation in a language that it understands. This limitation hinders innovation because the machine cannot find and fix problems on its own, which can require much more energy from a development team.

Machine learning could simplify this process by a lot, as it involves “teaching” computers to learn on their own. This is done via an algorithm which educates computers to perform a task without having the developer explicitly code “instructions” in the program. In the supervised learning technique, the processor studies previous examples in order to run a machine learning algorithm. The more data is processed, the more accurate the algorithm becomes.

 

Case studies

The Royal Bank of Scotland has launched Luvo earlier this year. It is a bot that can answer customers’ questions and perform money transfers. It uses machine learning to provide customers with continuously better responses over time. McKinsey points out that some European banks that use machine learning techniques saw a 10% increase in sales of new products, 20% increase in cash collections, and a 20% decline in churn.

Dataminr transforms tweets into actionable signals for stock traders. It classifies them based on location, relevancy, and ranks them by their levels of urgency. An alert sent to a trader even a couple of minutes earlier can result in a significant profit.

SailThru learns customers’ interests and purchase behaviors. It predicts when a customer will make a purchase. For its client, The Clymb, it increased the total email revenue by 71%. It also collected data from all digital channels. This predicted top buyers’ next actions, and identified marketing trends.

A startup from London helps its customers generate reports. The company’s technology can scan text documents and establish relationships between concepts. It has increased workers’ productivity by 25% and saved 40 hours of engineers’ work per month.

Machine learning is not limited to the aforementioned case studies. It can be used in fraud detection, cybersecurity, search, manufacturing, medicine, robotics, personalization, and other industries. To implement machine learning technologies, one needs a strategy and a deep understanding of a company’s KPI’s.

If you plan to use ML in your business, define your criteria of success. It is not enough to know what your customers are about to do; the most important thing is to understand some of the reasons behind their behavior.

 

Tech Skills Will Make You a Better CEO

A set of technical skills will bring each CEO closer to the IT department. Tech skills allow leaders to understand more about methodologies in which software is developed. Even basic knowledge of how software operates gives managers ideas about how it can be improved or modified. New tech skills help managers communicate and present their vision more effectively. Managers who continuously learn new things and foster innovation are perceived as better leaders by their employees.

Kevin Systrom explains on Quora that he has become the CEO of Instagram because he spent his nights learning to program. At some point, he was able to build a prototype of his idea in HTML5. He showed it to investors and raised $500k. Instagram appeared thanks to Systrom’s determination and new skills he acquired.

Get acquainted with programming languages

Basic programming courses will help dig into the world of programming. Personal experience with coding greases the wheels with everything from time management to delegation. Signing up for IT newsletters helps keep track of major trends. A CEO has to understand what  the IT department is talking about at least on a conceptual level. He or she generally must have an opinion about it, so acquaintance with the terminology will let them feel in their element.

Master technical writing

Technical writing allows one to engage in a project. In the process of describing technical tasks and features, one remembers the information about the process and timing during which an IT project is created. Technical writing brings the CEO closer to speaking the same language as software engineers.

Learn about Agile

Agile project management methodology turns work in a collaborative, flexible process. It allows to find out more about employees and ways in which they react to exceptional situations. Additionally, projects are delivered based on evolving business requirements which increases competitiveness.

Be proficient in SQL

A leader who knows how to create queries using SQL can work with different types of databases and generate reports that are important for the decision-making process. Data analysis plays a major role in the identification of customer preferences, trends, and issues at early stages. A survey conducted by PwC says that 63% of CEOs are using digital technologies for strategic decision-making.

Develop your eye for design

It is hard to grow a business if website design and marketing materials are lagging behind. A CEO needs to know the basics of composition, color use, and typography to communicate their vision to designers and web-developers clearly. A leader needs to understand the difficulties that designers encounter and provide argumentative feedback.

Understand IT security

Understanding network security principles helps realize what must be in place in a secure network. When a manager can assess the financial risks accompanied with the usage of a vulnerable network, it becomes easier for managers from the IT department to get more funding for security.

Learning new tech skills is beneficial for CEOs because new abilities help look at business processes from a different perspective. New skills help communicate with colleagues, understand needs and requirements, and ultimately be a better manager. Learning new tech skills is one of the best ways to stay on top of things and formulate your company’s growth strategy in a clear and efficient way.

 

Are Custom Software Solutions for You?

Last week we analyzed the challenges faced by small and medium-sized companies when using off-the-shelf software. This week we will look into 4 major reasons why you should consider getting a custom software solution for your business. Having your own software not only enhances the way you run your company, but can also have a tremendous impact on how your customers see you, and also on the way your competitors start seeing your brand. Let’s get right to it.

Reasons why you need to get a custom software solution

1. Competitiveness

You’ve started your own business, and goal should always be focused: to grow your company. In order for this to happen, you need to stay competitive in the next 2, 3, or 5 years, and custom software will help you do that. If you choose to get your own software that fits your business needs perfectly, then your way of doing business and dealing with information will be different from the way your competitors do it. If you purchase an off-the-shelf solution, you must realize that it has been marketed to everyone in your industry, so if your competitors did not purchase the solution this year they will most probably buy it next year, which forces you to lose that competitive advantage. Focus on the features that you want a potential software of your own to have, and start thinking about how to design its development with an IT partner. Your custom software is part of your identity, so why not consider giving it your own brand look and feel?

2. Cost

Off-the-shelf software can be costly, and it often comes bloated with features you will never use. Furthermore, vendors of such software generally operate on a monthly subscription fee model, which in itself can be quite expensive for a small company in the long run. Additionally, you never know when they decide to fix bugs and to release an upgraded version. Therefore it is easier to develop simplified custom software to meet the exact needs of your company. That’s why hiring a custom software development company can be a good option.

3. Convergence

Let’s say your website isn’t connected with your CRM and you need to put a lot of effort into keeping everything straight. Now, think about a piece of custom software that will do a lot more for you than a regular CRM or ERP. I am talking about a system that will replace 2 or 3 platforms that are generally used in any business. This would help you and your team mates work efficiently, and as a bonus you won’t need to remember all those credentials.

4. Compatibility

Let’s say you are already using a piece of software that you are relatively happy with. You’ve been thinking about integrating it with something else available on the market to boost its productivity. But then you realize that the program you would like to purchase does not integrate well with the platform that has worked fine for you. Do you toss what works out the window and start spending resources to learn a brand new system? That can be costly. Instead, consider getting a custom software solution that will integrate with what you already have, and add those extra features that would make your system irreplaceable.

The list of reasons mentioned above is not exclusive. Increased security and flexibility are also among the reasons for getting a unique solution. Just think about it: custom software solutions are not a luxury, in fact you’d be pleasantly surprised by the costs of creating them. They are a necessity when there is a clear, growth-oriented business development strategy.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, we’d like to hear more about the challenges you’ve faced by using off-the-shelf software and your experience with custom software.

Are Custom Software Solutions Your Thing?

Some small and medium-sized businesses believe that custom software solutions are not for them. They feel that big companies have all the advantages because they have funds to buy expensive IT solutions. But if you do a little research and find the right partner, it can turn out that you’ll need to pay less for a custom IT solution than you expected. Don’t forget that you can get a competitive advantage by streamlining your operations and boosting your productivity with custom software. Let’s take a look at challenges small businesses face when it comes to using software in general.

IT challenges that are faced by many small businesses

 

  • You’re using too many spreadsheets.

Let’s imagine that you have a spreadsheet or even a set of spreadsheets that you work with on a daily basis. At some point it gets pretty inconvenient, because you need to make sure that the information is up-to-date or that you don’t accidentally lose this file. On top of that, it is not user-friendly and you feel exhausted when you are done working with the list. Does this sound familiar?

You can get a small custom CRM system instead that will cover your basic needs and will allow you to focus on growing your business.

  • You are not using reminders.

One of the major worries for small businesses is to get payments from clients and to pay bills on time. A piece of custom software can solve this issue by sending notifications (to you or your clients) or by making automatic payments for services you use. You can also send your clients email or SMS reminders. By the way, sending bulk text messages is a good way to keep your customers informed about literally anything.

  • You are using too many small programs.

You are using too many tools to run your business if you need to update the information about calls, emails, payments several times on different apps to keep them in sync. As the amount of work that has to be completed increases, you need to take care of more and more details, which will eat up your precious time. This is counterproductive. Instead, get yourself a custom software that keeps all that info synchronized across platforms and focus your energy on something else.

  • You are not taking advantage of project management software.

Do you feel that in order to move forward with a project you need email your entire team at once? Then you must have also noticed a decrease in productivity when your team  members get distracted by the large flow of emails (especially if the emails do not relate to all team members copied). It is much easier (and more productive) to use a tool where you can work together on a project without spamming the whole team with messages or emails.

How to start the path to software innovation?

 

Listen carefully to what your colleagues have to say. Create a group discussion in a project management tool and track all ideas from your colleagues, and after that work to identify what your business is missing out on by not investing in custom IT solutions.

Custom software solutions are for small companies too.  You need to find the right partners and get a solution that perfectly fits your requirements. You’re in the business to grow, so think big.

Next week we will dig into reasons why a small business needs bespoke software solutions.

Meanwhile, you can read all about how easy it is to create a software development project plan.

The Fintech Transformation is Determined by Enthusiasts

There are around 4,000 registered fintech-related companies globally and their number keeps growing.

The fintech transformation stimulates the appearance of new payment providers, peer-to-peer lenders, innovative crowdfunding and trading platforms. According to Fortune magazine, $19 billion were invested into finance startups in 2015, which is a significant increase from $2 billion in 2010. These companies are changing the future of finance.

Fintech vs. Traditional Banking

Banks did not face any competition for centuries, which removed their stimulus to innovate and be transparent. Traditional banks have usually out-of-date, yet well-established IT infrastructures. This is an additional deterrent for incumbents to implementing new technologies, adapting to new customer demands and providing clients with the apps they expect to have.

Banks do not change quickly. Their established reputations force them to consider and reconsider lots of issues before moving one inch forward. If clients’ funds, or worse, their personal data (!) gets lost due to a new system, serious consequences will follow.

Even though the fintech transformation is happening quickly, banks are trying to adjust as well. Some of them are running accelerators such as the Barclays TechStars, others are opening separate divisions, for example Citigroup established its own Fintech unit. Thanks to this department that is focused on rapid prototyping, Citi plans to release a mobile-banking app with a cool facial recognition feature by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fintechs are making it really easy and cheap to:

1. Transfer money;
2. Keep one informed about all account updates across devices;
3. Make better financial decisions through analytics, accounting, budgeting, prediction, and decision-making software.

Forbes gathered a list of the most successful fintech startups of 2015. It contains companies that deal with trading and investing, lending, payments, personal finance, currency exchange, you name it! They all stand out thanks to their brand new idea or approach that brings value to their clients. Here are some of the fintech areas in which you can open a startup:

1. B2B payments;
2. Mobile apps development for the unbanked and underbanked population;
3. Creation of social media platforms with integrated financial options;
4. Sales platforms for fintech products, etc.

It is today’s digital customers and their high expectations who push the fintech transformation on, while the trends toward the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality will only spur innovation in finance. One must only identify the areas which have been neglected and find a niche where more value can be brought. Can you think of some other areas which you feel could use a healthy dose of disruption?

Top Features of an Effective Claims Management System

Claims are a critical part of the insurance business. Even if your insurance company is not as big as Axa or Allianz, you need to have an efficient claims management system. Clients’ mindset and expectations are different from what they were 10 years ago. A recent survey called Insurance 2020: The digital prize — taking customer connections to a new level  has brought to light some fascinating facts:

  1. 71% of consumers made an online research before buying an insurance product.
  2. 68% of respondents were willing to download and use an app from their insurer in order to access services.
  3. 50% (!) stated their readiness to additional personal and lifestyle information so they can get the best deal for insurance services.

Insurance must thus move quickly to become more customer-centric and to improve customer experience. For successful communication, your customers and team members need to have access to an intuitive claims management system. In this post, we’d like to highlight some features that would be welcomed by both your customers and your staff.

Features of a claims management system appealing to customers:

  • A simple submission process from any device

Users need to have the possibility to complete a short and simple form using their smartphone or tablet. Claimants’ basic info, such as first name and last name (as well as other contact information) should be  filled in automatically when the customer decides to submit a claim. This should be easy to do since the info is already in the carrier’s database. In addition, the claims process will be easier if customers understand intuitively how to attach photos of receipts or invoices to their claim.

  • Tracking claims progress

Claimants need to be able to track the status and decision of consultants regarding their claim, further steps they have to take, as well as the final outcome.

  • All documents in customer’s pocket

When the customer uses their insurer’s app, they need to store their paperwork such as copies of their ID, driving license and policy documents on their application.

  • Online claims payments

Clients can save a lot of time if the transaction of claims can be done online. It also adds transparency to the process because both the customer and the consultant have access to the final decision of the claim.

  • Simplicity and security

For fast and easy access one can log in with a PIN code that is easy to remember. Any claims information entered must not be lost until submitted. At the same time all personal data must be secured via encryption. It is also useful if most of your app’s features are available even if the user is offline.

Your team will thank you for the following claims management system’s features:

  • Reminder function

This is a useful feature because it enables a consultant to stay on top of the tasks that require a timely response. The reminder feature facilitates the service provided by the insurance company.

  • Handling different types of contracts

It is preferred that the claims management system can handle various types of standard contracts. Furthermore, as the clients and the consultants might introduce amendments to the conditions of the standard form of contract it is critical that the system is able to deal with changes.

  • Keeping documentation up-to-date

Some claims are more challenging to prepare because more documentation is required. Thus claims managers need to have a system to help them keep an up-to-date documentation, prepare the claims, and prevent them from losing relevant documents.

  • Extended search capabilities

The agent needs to have the possibility to search virtually any data within the claim, including claimant, address, policy number, phone number, check number, etc. This function makes searching easier.

  • Centralized database

If you have several offices across the country it is better to have a centralized database so that the management can have access to the files, templates for claims and any other information. A reporting tool will help them analyze the outcome and status of claims.

So here we are! Ten features that a claims management system should have to improve your company’s performance. All in all, the app has to address your customers’ and your employee’s needs, which is why it is so important to choose a system with a user-friendly interface that fits well with your specific needs.