I read an article this week about Healthcare.gov making some changes to their website in order to streamline their registration process and make it easier for people to sign up and begin their insurance process.
I kind of chuckled since…duh! But really I just smiled because it seems that NO business, no matter how big or small, can ever escape the essential need of having a registration process that is easy to use, straightforward and takes as little time as possible. Every consumer, no matter what they are buying, generally HATES filling out forms and hates an inefficient and long process even more. The key to a hassle free (or almost hassle free) process is making sure the software and steps that each user is taking is as easy and quick to complete as possible!
Officials, as quoted in this article, said that “The user-friendly version will require people to answer fewer questions, scroll through fewer screens and will save their answers if they want to jump back to other parts of the application”. Ha again! User friendly! This is just another example of how your top priority as an organization needs to be making your sign-up process user friendly from the start, in order to avoid all the inevitable problems that come about through an inefficient and non-intuitive process. For us at Regpack, the idea that any process wouldn’t limit the number of questions to only what is necessary (conditional logic, ftw!) and save your answers is too silly to even consider. But apparently for some organizations this is still a new and novel concept. And it’s clear they are learning the hard way that creating a great application process is ESSENTIAL to customer satisfaction, minimizing customer service problems and generally receiving positive feedback from your users!
The same article makes the point that one of the biggest complaints about the new insurance exchanges is the poor functioning website! In fact, according to a non-partisan poll 2/3 of people said they were turned off because of their problematic sign-ups issues!
While clearly the market is demanding that they make improvements, in another situation where consumers are picking the best camp, or league, or conference, etc they will quickly find another organization that can fit their needs if YOUR website and registration are in any way lacking. This is a huge and public example of what every organization faces when it comes to fine tuning their registration and sign-up process.
To recap, as I’ve written many a blog post in one format or another on this topic, my list of the most important features every registration, even a basic one, should have:
- Ability to customize your forms and ask any question.
- Conditional logic, or asking only what that specific user needs and nothing more.
- Automated communication system.
- Effective payment solution – multiple charging options, payment plans.
- Ability to filter and search your data.
- Easy reporting – easily filter and create pdf and excel reports and download instantly.
If you’re interested in reading more about how to determine what features you need in a registration system and what to look for when on the hunt, check out a few of the posts I’ve written before for more details and information!