Why your employees’ user experience should be a priority
“A seamless user experience turns a good benefits platform into a great one.”
– Andy Campbell, Business Development Executive, peoplevalue
After time, employees adapt to their benefits and they eventually lose their impact. While refreshing the content and branding of your employee benefits platform will help boost engagement, a good user experience (UX) will capture your employees’ interest and keep them coming back for more.
With it being easy to get everything in an instant from online retailers, streaming services and the like, people now expect the same experience from their employee benefits. Employees simply don’t have time for slow, unresponsive technology, who does?
This is why the user experience has fast become a priority for benefits providers like us. Essentially, it’s all about making it as easy as possible for employees to get what they want, when they want to maximise engagement and return on investment.
A seamless user experience turns a good benefits platform into a great one – one that employees will log into day in, day out. So, if you want to take your benefits to the next level, here are some of the ‘must-have’ features that should be on your radar:
Mobile-optimised and accessible
Your employees won’t want to be jumping through hoops to get to their benefits, so you’ve got to ensure it’s as easy as possible for them to log in and find what they’re looking for.
To give your employees the ability to log into their benefits quickly and at their own convenience, your platform needs to be mobile-optimised. While this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how many benefits platforms simply don’t deliver the same experience when used on a mobile. 70% of employees keep their phones “within eye contact” at work, so having a platform that operates efficiently and delivers a great user experience on mobile, as well as all other devices, is really important to get your employees engaging with it on a regular basis.
To enhance the accessibility of your platform, SSO (Single Sign on) functionality is a necessity. Many businesses choose to integrate their benefits into their intranet, for example, and SSO avoids the hassle of employees having to enter additional usernames and passwords to gain entry. Quick, simple and fuss-free access is exactly what will make your benefits more attractive and promote regular engagement.
To really get your employees on board and regularly engaging with your benefits, your platform should mirror the smart, intuitive and responsive technology that shape our experiences as online consumers. ‘Consumer-grade’ technology, as it’s commonly known, is what most online retailers employ to give people a simple, convenient and personalised experience to meet the needs of their customers. Think about the experience you get when you shop on Amazon, for example. That kind of seamless, natural experience is what you should be aiming for with your benefits platform because that is what will encourage your employees to use their benefits in their own time.
We’ve incorporated new consumer-grade features into our advantage platform to enhance all stages of the user journey from logging in to checking out. Here’s a taster:
‘My Favourites’ – users can save their top retailers so they can easily keep tabs on any new offers that are added.
Sophisticated search – by simply searching for the products that they want, users get a list of all the relevant retailers with discounts and offers ready to use.
Express checkout – users can save addresses and cards which means they don’t need to spend time filling out information and can process their order in seconds.
Personalisation – users can select and update their shopping preferences to tailor the platform’s layout.
Setup wizard – new users get a brief but useful guide on how to use the platform when they first log in.
To drive engagement across the board, it’s important to have multiple features like these, all of which enhance the navigational journey. It’s mainly about minimising the number of clicks your users have to make to find and get what they want – this will automatically improve your user experience and engagement.
In-application and automated communications
Communication plays a key role in driving engagement with your scheme and helping your employees use it to its full potential. It’s also intrinsically linked to user satisfaction. Again, your employees are consumers and they’ll be accustomed to relevant and timely communications that are built into the platforms they’re using. From website pop-ups and push notifications, to automated and action-triggered emails, integrating your communications into your platform will help you deliver convenient, personalised and valuable messages to create a seamless user experience.
With a shopping discounts platform like advantage, for example, it’s crucial that there’s a selection of in-application, action-triggered and automated communications built into the platform, so employees are kept up to date with their account as well as the latest offers. A gentle email reminder about an item left in their basket, or a monthly summary of the savings they’ve made, for example, all contribute to a positive user experience that keeps employees regularly informed about benefits information that they’ll find useful and interesting.
Support & feedback
Communication is of course a two-way street, so it’s important that your benefits platform has support and feedback tools in place so employees can raise and resolve questions and concerns quickly and effectively.
“I’ve forgotten my password, help!” “How long does it take for a voucher to arrive?” Your employees will have questions and queries, but part of delivering a good user experience is providing support in a way that suits them. For starters, a dedicated area on your platform with useful instructions and clear answers to FAQs is an absolute must. But this needs to be easy to find and simple to digest. On top of that, you should also have a support team available to answer users’ queries by telephone and email. Human interaction is important for more complicated issues and it’s just more personal which takes that user experience to the next level.
User feedback is another element that many websites now try to capture so they can continually improve their design, navigation and functionality. This has increasingly moved into the employee benefits world as integrated feedback tools help to shape the user experience and give employees a mechanism to voice their opinions. Whether it’s a simple rating system, some key questions or a comprehensive survey, collecting feedback essentially completes the user experience in my opinion and it gives you a clear indication of where you can make improvements to maximise engagement.
It’s all about saving time…
What it all boils down to is the fact that the set-up, design and navigation of your benefits platform should be aligned to your employees’ expectations and save them valuable time. They don’t want to spend time on your benefits platform having to search for things, they want to be getting on with living life having had a seamless and intuitive user journey. So, getting the user experience right is what will truly take your benefits to the next level.
Written by Andy Campbell, Business Development Executive at peoplevalue.
Most people who know Andy know that he is a proud supporter of Aston Villa. But when he’s not looking after his family, cooking up a storm in the kitchen and watching/playing football, Andy helps us get fantastic clients on board. Having been with us for over six years now, Andy has played a key part in the growth of our business. Day-to-day, he’s out and about speaking to and meeting with businesses to help them improve their employee experience and engagement through our solutions. Around the office, Andy is always on hand to offer his help, advice and experience. He’s a real asset to our team – proven further by the fact he’s a past winner of our coveted Employee of the Year award!