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GOOD GRIEF - CREATING A PRODUCT

Setting out a B2B payment strategy, a new tool to take payment, developing a product from scratch and getting an entire business ready for new FCA regulation. This was the assignment ahead and the challenge to work through. 

Digital Payment

BACKGROUND

Working as part of a funeral director network and company larger that it's well known competitor 'CoOperative', was an odd thing to talk about often, how you would plan for your future funeral, but it became something that is just as important as life insurance or knowing your family member has a will in place. This helped reframe this last taboo. 

 

There was no group of digital products or product teams. We created the product and roadmap for what was known internally as 'Digital Customer Experience' program to transform lots of paper and clunky processes with the B2B network of sellers, the funeral directors. There was lots of work to plan out a development for a new digital product, as well as offering a way to digitise payment, ending up integrating Stripe. Now,  the vast majority of funeral plan applications that they receive are submitted using our digital applications service and they fully expect that number to continue to grow as funeral directors become ever more familiar with the new system.

APPROACH

Golden Charter's digital and product teams made every effort to streamline their paper application process, but regulatory requirements mean that there was some duplication involved. Using a digital application offers a much more efficient process, providing prompts throughout to ensure you cover all of the key discussion points to conduct a compliant sale, and surfacing only the information relevant to the choices the customer makes. The system even prompts the user to print required paperwork or email it straight to the customer, depending on their preference. The process is regulation ready and reminds the user to complete any mandatory fields before progressing to the next section. This means it’s less likely that the team member taking the customer through the sales process will need to spend time clarifying any missing details later and eradicating the risk of submitting an obsolete pre-regulation application form. What’s more is that they will receive the digital application as soon as you submit it, so it’s ready for processing immediately without potential mailing delays.

Doing what’s right for the customer

Using technology to support a funeral plan application allows you to bring the customer along on the purchase journey at every step.

Customers are more familiar with using technology every day, with almost all of those considering a funeral plan now using a smartphone or tablet.

Independent research shows that customers now expect to see businesses using digital systems.

  • 87% agree that online systems are faster than paper systems

  • 80% agree paper systems are now uncommon

  • 69% think that companies with online systems are more efficient

  • 71% think that companies with paper-based systems are ‘old fashioned’

Additionally, investing in a tablet computer is a great way for the B2B sellers's teams to flexibly access o digital application system at your premises, out and about and even in customers’ homes. Most modern iPads or tablets that use Google Chrome and have a screen size around the same length as a ruler will work well. The small initial outlay allows customers to be part of their full funeral plan purchase journey in real time and gives colleagues more time to spend with families.

 

“I recently visited a family and completed FCA compliant digital applications for two funeral plans using my tablet.  I received the plan documentation within a few days. All very easy, professional and efficient. I was so impressed.”

James Tovey of Tovey Bros

Mark Shaw - Copy
Change Team Getting ready for next FCA implementation phase
Julian Walker
20211020_104730
Andrew Butcher

THE RESULTS

As a result of quantitive and qualitative research, we development the online journey, product, payment options and overall way to look at building and shipping faster than we had before. Remember we were working when the pandemic was happening around us and the B2B network needed more and more ease and digital tools to offer to customers. Some of the wins of working with Charlotte Joyce, was a technical, customer focus and product strategic thinking into the roadmap with successes including;

 

  • Providing early product development strategy thinking into 'Digital Customer Experience' 

  • Completing a new payment customer survey insights with members of the public

  • Led research phase, positive feedback from both external suppliers around the inputs into the approaches

  • Planning and executing an approach for Funeral Director interviews in research phase

  • Demonstrated good team working and stakeholder management 

  • Developed aspirational digital plan journey that inspired and the idea of divorcing the payment. This concept still stands in the customer journey work. 

  • Involved business analyst change role in product development to show advantage of more detailed analysis and impact of change to the business in decision making

  • Led regular communications to townhalls from approach of ‘change management’ to introduce mainly how departments are working collaboratively and about Agile, other ways of working

  • Presented positive progress to CEO and executive suite board review, feedback included good to see the pace, delivery and clarity of deliverables 

Results of the updated digital product

  1. An easy first step to prepare for regulation. Using a paperless service put the funeral directors in the strongest position to transition to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation – with prompts and checklists to guide them confidently through the requirements.

  2. A simple process that’s available online, anytime, via your desktop or mobile – supported by an intuitive, efficient design based the conversations with families.

  3. Updated features, including a brand new payment option that allows customers to make secure card payments online.

  4. A streamlined, end-to-end user experience that reduces the risk of error or delays in processing an application.

  5. Increased levels of customer satisfaction with faster and more secure processing of their plan application.

GET IN TOUCH

If you have got this far, why not reach out for a no commitment conversation about your challenges. Let's see if we can come up with an ideal solution for your business.

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