Case Study: Making The Mobile Experience Frictionless
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One way that enterprises boost employee moral is by making an investment in top-notch benefits. IT professionals are sometimes tasked with creating technology-based solutions to make it easier for workers to access benefits on their mobile devices. When a leading childcare benefits provider wanted to make it easier for users to request service, it decided to construct a new mobile app.
The Need To Expand Back-Up Care Accessibility For Employees
Bright Horizons back-up care is an employer-sponsored benefit that is typically offered by large businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies. Workers typically rely on it as a safety net during urgent situations — school is suddenly closed, a nanny is sick, the stay-at-home spouse has an appointment — so that the employee can access childcare services in order to get to work. Employees make a reservation for back-up care at one of thousands of Bright Horizons’ centers around the country or for in-home care. In most cases, companies are better off paying for childcare so that the employees can come to work fully engaged.
Back-up care is not a daily service; it is something that an employee may access just a few times a year. Years ago, in order to use the service, employees either had to call for a reservation or fill out a complex form online. Every time a reservation was made, the employee would have to repeat the same steps in order for a person to manually review the reservation. Needless to say, it was not the most user-friendly experience.
“We got feedback directly from our clients and some high ranking people at these organizations who said, if you guys aren't going to have a mobile app, you guys aren't going to be around,” said Andrew Williams, Bright Horizons’ director of product management.
The Decision To Launch A Mobile App
It was clear to Bright Horizons that the booking process needed to be more user-friendly. Both a mobile app and an improved website would be instrumental. The goal was to create a mobile app that would be intuitive and easy to use, which most enterprises understand. An organization’s internal customers, their workers, do everything on their personal mobile devices, and they deserve to receive access to employee benefits the same way.
“I'm device agnostic, and I support whatever way a person feels comfortable making a reservation,” Williams said. “We just want to remove that friction — whether it's calling us, going online, or using the mobile app. We just want to make it as easy as possible for them to get what they need.”
To create the mobile app, Bright Horizons turned to enterprise mobility strategy company, Propelics. Once the original app was built by Propelics, it was plugged into Bright Horizon’s legacy platform before the new platform was created.
How The App Works
The process for users to sign up on the Bright Horizons app is quick and simple. Even if the employee has never signed up for benefits, they can just type in their company code and instantly create a profile. The user then inputs some basic contact information, their care recipient, the dates/times requested for care, the location, and other details. There is an option to choose between center-based care and having a caregiver in their home.
Instead of having each reservation request manually reviewed, Bright Horizons developed the capabilities on the app so that employees receive notifications in real time. In many case, users receive instantaneous confirmation about reservations directly on the app.
Thanks to the mobile app, employees get to access Bright Horizons from the device of their choice, and they are receiving quicker responses. For enterprises that sign up with Bright Horizons, there is an ROI just for getting employees to work on a day that they would normally have to take off. It is also easier for these companies to recruit new employees when they can offer a benefit such as this.
For Bright Horizons, there is a strong ROI thanks to the real-time reservation confirmation element. It saves about $14 for each reservation made through the app or the website when no manual review process is needed.
Williams believes that it is important for companies to make the mobile experience as frictionless as possible for workers, especially as it relates to benefits. He attributes the evolution and improvement of B2B software to the expanded use of the iPhone in the enterprise. Enough workers demanded that their professional mobile experience was just as user-friendly as their personal mobile experience.
“I think this new model of focusing on user experience, focusing on mobility, and focusing on the ways people want to do things in their personal lives is really forcing the B2B world to really care about UX,” Williams said. “I think that's a great thing because everyone should be using software that's intuitive and makes their lives easier.”