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8 features to consider when choosing a digital data intake software

 8 features to consider when choosing a digital data intake software | EasySend blog
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5 minutes

Insurance customers today expect nothing less than an effortless and personalized business experience, especially given the number of forms and data the process includes. What’s more, as the client base grows, so does the need to manage that data effectively. 

One resource that can help your insurance company transform the process from tedious to remarkable is a digital data intake platform. With minimal strain on your IT department, a no-code platform allows you to create an accessible customer journey and organize customer data, even as your business grows.  

The data intake dilemma

Data intake is the process of collecting customer data, such as contact information, policy details, and claims data, and storing it internally for later use. Until recently, digital data intake was overlooked by insurance companies that prioritized other areas for digital transformation. 

Now, the industry is evolving, but the digitization of data intake is slow coming. Many companies still work with fillable PDF forms, an improvement to paper, but nonetheless challenging for consumers. PDFs have several drawbacks: They aren’t mobile-friendly, can’t be validated in real-time, and they’re difficult to use.

From the back end, this means more time spent manually gathering and organizing data, slower system updates, and a potentially confusing or extended customer experience.

The importance of a satisfactory customer journey can’t be overstated! Salesforce reported that, as of February 2022, 73% of customers actively expect their needs to be understood and met. If these expectations are not met, consumers take action, to the detriment of companies. 

Businesses can also find ways to leverage high user expectations. According to Emplifi, almost 60% of US and UK consumers sometimes (or always) leave their purchase after only a single bad experience. However, in that same report, Emplifi also found that 61% of people will also pay at least 5% more for a good experience. 

While you do have a lot to lose in a frustrating data intake process, you also have a lot to gain by connecting simply and providing access to your services with ease.

How a digital data intake platform works

There are multiple channels for digital insurance data intake - PDFs, web forms, and chatbots among them - but a digital intake process offers some of the clearest benefits. 

Digital data intake platforms create step-by-step journeys that are easy to build for companies and easy to follow for consumers. They can be applied to simple processes, like getting a quote, or more complex ones, such as filing a claim. 

Unlike “static” PDFs, which many customers find difficult to fill out on mobile devices, a digital intake journey can be initiated from any channel on any device. Whether a customer begins to provide their data via a call center, customer portal, SMS, or email, they’ll be able to complete the process easily and you’ll receive their data exactly where you need it.

Digital data collection | EasySend blog

Features to look for

Not every digital data intake platform is created equal, which is why it’s important you choose the right one for your business. Before going into this decision, you’ll want to consider the following factors: 

  • The needs of your business. Going with a digital intake journey or not comes down to your customer data requirements. A web form is likely sufficient for simpler needs. For more complex needs, or if you are looking to boost your customer’s experience, a digital journey may be the better option.
  • The size of your business. Small businesses are better suited to a no-code platform, where they can build digital journeys at a fraction of the cost, while larger companies generally have more resources for custom-built coded journeys. For all sizes, a no-code platform might still be the way to go for implementing smooth data intake processes quickly and efficiently. 
  • The budget of your business. Complex digital intake journeys are a bigger investment than web forms, so you’ll need to decide if they fit your needs. A no-code platform is a low-budget alternative for creating a digital journey with the resources on hand.

You’ll also want to look for the following key features, essential to any good digital data intake platform.

Domain expertise

It’s not enough for a digital data intake vendor to be knowledgeable of their technology - they also need to be able to provide domain expertise for the size, industry, and sector of your business. Since no-code platforms naturally have limited capabilities, the vendor will have refined the tool for the needs of a specific industry, which may or may not be a good match for your own.

Integrations with your tech stack

Your business is only as good as your entire tech stack, which is why it's essential that all tools work seamlessly together. To get the most value from a digital data intake platform, it must integrate well with the tools you already use. 

Some questions to ask: Does the vendor support simple API integrations? Will your developers be able to work with your core systems through the platform interface? How does it support your chosen CRM? 

Scalability

Scalability measures a company’s ability to function efficiently and keep expenses consistent while meeting ever-growing operational demands. Unfortunately, companies can’t scale if their resources and infrastructure restrict their growth. 

No-code platforms allow companies to make use of “citizen developers,” providing customized solutions at a fast speed and with incremental development costs. New citizen developers can be trained by existing staff to replicate that success at a greater scale, opening an ever-growing range of capabilities.

Security standards

The risk is high to businesses who outsource business functions to third parties, so you’ll want assurance that they maintain the highest security standards. To limit your exposure, look for vendors that are compliant with international standards such as SOC2 or ISO and can provide certified guarantees for your customer’s data. 

Monitoring and reporting capabilities

Steve Jones, CTO of Capgemini, noted that we are now in a time where it is easier than ever to “build bad tools fast.” 

For this reason, it’s important that your no-code vendor have a management dashboard that your IT team can use to troubleshoot permissions, policies, and mistakes that may cause bad code to snowball. You can also work with app templates that have been vetted by your IT and security teams to give you development freedom while limiting the risks. 

User-friendliness for platform users

A good digital intake system provides its main users - company employees - with easy-to-use flows and features, helping them become more efficient and allowing them to focus on more creative, challenging tasks. By saving time and frustration as well as breaking down the silos between systems and departments, a good digital-intake solution will help improve the employee experience. 

UX/UI standard of end product 

Focusing on the end customer experience is crucial when selecting a digital-intake platform. Good UX/UI should reduce as much friction as possible and take as many use case scenarios and touchpoints into account as possible. When designing the different user flows, key features should include simplicity, intuitive design, responsiveness, customizability, adaptability, and accessibility. 

Support

With a full tech stack, businesses will require responsive and timely support to get the most value from their no-code platform. It’s worth your research to check public review platforms, like G2 or Capterra, to choose a vendor with a reputation for a high level of service so you’re not suffering later. 

Summary

It’s never easy to learn that your customer journey needs improving, especially when it involves complex aspects like data intake for insurance companies. The good news is that it’s easier, and more affordable, than ever to find a digital solution with the help of no-code platforms. Before you know it, you’ll be eliminating discrepancies, boosting customer experience, and increasing your efficiency like never before.

Vera Smirnoff
Vera Smirnoff

Vera Smirnoff is the demand generation manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance and banking and the latest trends in InsurTech and digital customer experience.