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Customer Stories

6K
Field Reps
20K
Brokers

The Challenge

Field reps and brokers at one of the world’s largest mutual life insurance companies struggled to find information to support customers in a portal that was supposed to provide access to every available web-based tool.

Our Plan

Enable employees with a consistent, relevant search experience throughout the portal using Lucidworks AI-powered search capabilities, including typeahead, security trimming, faceted navigation, and personalization.

The Results

Portal usage increased as search connected agents with appropriate information to support their clients. Time previously wasted hunting for data was now spent more productively, and employee satisfaction improved.

‹ ALL CUSTOMERS

Rebuilt Search Revitalizes Employee Experience

Faster information retrieval allows reps and brokers to better serve customers in the moment.

At one of the world’s largest mutual life insurance companies, an employee portal was supposed to enable its 6K field reps and 20K brokers with every web-based tool needed to support customers and do their jobs. The only problem was, it didn’t.

The portal united information from various data sources (ServiceNow, Sharepoint, multiple external websites, etc.), provided links to internal tools, and gave access to broker platforms and CRMs used by agencies. But the portal was stitched together a bit like Frankenstein. Each different data source had a unique way to search its information and the UI was sorely inconsistent.

This incongruence meant there was a steep learning curve for new agents, and seasoned agents relied on idiosyncratic navigation techniques that sometimes led to some information, but rarely to all of it. Since not many people knew how to use the antiquated IBM WebSphere technical stack that the portal was built on, updating the system wasn’t easy, and missed connections persisted.

The disjointed portal caused employees to waste a lot of time spinning their wheels trying to find what they needed to support their clients. So most agents just didn’t use it. The life insurance company wanted to change that, to upgrade the experience its portal offered and the technology behind it so its employees could be more efficient and less frustrated. Increasing portal usage was identified as a principal business goal.

Search Is a Switchboard

A survey of portal users identified search as one of the most important aspects of the redesign. In the current state, search results were often outdated, links often invalid or duplicates, top results rarely included what users were actually looking for, and there was no way to filter results to more quickly find forms, brochures, or documents. The global search box indexed all the static information contained within the application and within the content management system, all the content that hung off of landing pages, but not the landing pages themselves, so data was missed. Critical information required too many clicks to access.

Even if a user had the specific ID number of a publication he was looking for, if he entered a search query with a space between “pub” and the ID number, rather than without a space–how it was indexed– there would be no results found. Field reps resorted to calling the back office to ask for publications to be sent to them, more time wasted procuring collateral that should have been at their fingertips.

If global search did what people expect global search to do – provide a connection to anything a user needs – an agent trying to sell to a customer who’s sitting across the table would spend less time awkwardly fumbling and clicking around attempting to find information.

To meet the agents’ needs, the redesigned portal would feature a search bar at the top of every page. The power behind the search bar would need to be robust and flexible, enabled with AI. GSA, which had powered search previously, was deprecated and wouldn’t cut it.

Search Experience Must-Haves

The modern, seamless search experience the insurance company planned to provide its agents required the chosen search engine to offer a number of capabilities:

  • Typeahead/autocomplete offering a potential list of content matches that updated as the user typed in the search box.
  • Faceted results to allow the user to pare down to the most relevant matches, but with an option to view all as well, a view of both the trees and the forest.
  • Document preview that would show an image of the document, the type (PDF, excel, external link, etc), and an updated date to indicate how recent the document is.
  • Results sorting by updated date, type, etc.
  • Security trimming so documents were only visible to people authorized to view them.
  • Personalization so an agent would be automatically shown his clients, and offered additional filtering capabilities to pare results down further, including by client state, DOB, linked accounts, etc.

As the insurance company evaluated search providers who could enable all of these features, Lucidworks rose to the top. Lucidworks’ advanced AI capabilities could deliver relevant content and personalization to users with all of the specifications the insurance company had outlined. Lucidworks was best suited to power a search experience that would allow its reps and brokers to best support their customers.

Shaken, Not Stirred

Piece by piece, the insurance company and Lucidworks used AI-powered search to smooth the old Frankenstein portal into a user-friendly, modern application. First the new search engine indexed tools and resources, then policies and clients. Next, global search was implemented along with facets, sorting, and autocomplete. Finally, signals were enabled to provide personalization, giving each portal user the most relevant experience to them. Like Q and his team always equipped James Bond with the best tools to succeed in his mission, the insurance company had empowered their employees with ultramodern portal search.

As new search capabilities were rolled out, portal usage began to rise. Agents struggled less and time that was once needlessly wasted on an information chase was restored for more profitable activities and more polished customer interactions. The insurance company saw employee satisfaction scores increase as they became more enabled with information via effective search.

The portal’s informational fabric, once patched together and moth-eaten by substandard search, is now transformed with Lucidworks into a sleek, seamless cloth, where tools and data are readily accessible at users’ fingertips.
 
 
 
 

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