The best collaboration comes from listening.
Our Director of Product Research and Innovation Jennifer Lindner wrote about the ways we apply listening skills to product development. As an active member of the Product team, I can attest to that. Asking questions, interpreting what’s said (and not said), and acting upon that information is what keeps our curiosity and continuous improvement alive.
I wholeheartedly believe this is an important skill in the realm of user testing as well. Different products require different approaches, of course. Research for Evive Plan Choice, our open-enrollment support tool, required intensive qualitative testing to make the three-step experience as clear and intuitive as possible for people to arrive at the results. But for the purposes of Evive 360, our comprehensive dashboard of insights for call centers, health advocates, nurses, and benefits concierges, we decided it was time to tap into the lean innovation model—and talk to users in person.
Why lean innovation?
The users of Evive 360 are unlike any other product audience we have at Evive. They are the service providers informing employees about their benefits and answering questions to help give clarification. Essentially, one of our user groups is talking to another.
This is a unique scenario, so we wanted to fully take advantage of the learning opportunities at hand. Lean innovation is about gathering feedback through empathy interviews and learning from the users directly. This allows for more experiments and pivots as needed, based on discovered insights. So we visited some Evive 360 users on their turf to speak directly about their pain points—and kicked off a series of iterations along the way.
The power of empathy
Having in-person interaction with users is incredible, especially when they’re the ones leading the discussion. That’s why we went into these visits with no presentations and no agendas: just open conversation.
For this round of empathy interviews with health carriers, such as UHC and Anthem, we talked to their call-center concierge members and nurses. We heard their biggest challenges with data, incoming calls, and their current CRM tools. Based off of their feedback, we developed and enhanced Evive 360 to fill in the gaps to complement their existing tools, rather than replacing them. By letting the users dictate the conversation, we heard the most relevant points that needed to be addressed. Consequently, we felt confident with our roadmap because it was based on requests directly from our users.
And, more importantly, trust was built.
What trust looks like
As we continued our empathy interviews, we created an ongoing feedback loop, as well as surveys to learn from our users. In fact, we implemented a feature within Evive 360 for users to leave comments in real time, and conducted multiple onsite sessions to learn and experiment with the product. Once we assessed how the experiments went, we decided to either pivot our approach or accelerate to provide more data-driven insights.
Whichever direction we went would continue to support our relationship with the users and make the product better, because we were catering to the people engaging with it every day. It’s our job to fill the gaps through ideation and discovery. Not only do we learn and improve, we extend that trust and prevent siloed experiences.