Technology can unite or divide us. On one hand, we now have the ability to process copious amounts of data to better understand and provide personally relevant information and services to customers and others. On the other hand, we risk annoying and, worse, alienating people if we don’t use the tools of digital personalization correctly.
We see this in the world of personal injury cases. Every element of each case is about people — the injured person’s journey to healing, the doctors providing compassionate care, the attorneys moving a case forward to resolution. If we use technology innovation properly, we can enhance everyone’s experience and improve patient outcomes faster with less hassle and lower costs.
Some examples highlight the promise of personalization. Modern technology tools enable attorneys to continuously update clients on their devices about the progress of their personal injury cases — a comforting lifeline for people navigating an often confusing and scary journey after an unexpected injury. Case management companies can access extensive data from multiple cases in order to make decisions that lead to best outcomes for patients, doctors and attorneys. Technology tools also make it easier to connect patients and attorneys with the best, most experienced personal injury medical practices.
With personal injury cases, it’s a matter of making sure that personalization best serves the human experience. And, we’d argue, this is true for all industries.
The key to optimizing digital personalization is balancing privacy, convenience, automation and personal reassurance. In order to achieve this balance it is necessary to adhere to a few important principles.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
Every business serves critical constituencies. Customers, members and partners can all benefit from personalization — but that might mean something different based on your business. An online retailer has a much different relationship with customers than a credit union has with its members.
Consider all your audiences. What are their needs and demands? How do you communicate with or serve them, now? What would a quality personal experience for an individual (not just a demographic group) look like? If you start here, the right approach and technology tools become much clearer.
DON’T COUNT ON TECHNOLOGY TO DO IT ALL
A phone call or a handshake still means something special. We can’t look to digital personalization to replace all direct personal service and contact. Again, it’s about understanding customer needs and creating the right balance.
FOCUS ON PROVIDING PERSONAL VALUE
Have you ever been frustrated by robocalls or intrusive social media ads? That’s technology acting in the wrong interests — those of organizations and technical capabilities, but not of people.
Any personalization, whether digital or through direct interaction, should make the lives of people better or easier. Always ask yourself: Is this truly beneficial to my customer or collaborator? If not, consider changing the tool or approach to make it worthwhile to the customer.
LET CUSTOMERS PARTICIPATE IN THE EXPERIENCE
Customers and others want to feel heard and appreciated. Instead of imposing unwanted digital personalization, ask customers or clients to opt into valuable personalized communications or services. Make it easy — notify them and let them click a box as they register for a new service, for example.
Also, ask customers what they want. Use technology tools to survey your key audiences to find out how they want information and services delivered. It’s fast, low-cost, and further establishes you as a partner listening to customer needs and interests.
DON’T LEAVE ANYONE OUT
No matter what your business, consider all the audiences that count on you when adopting new technology. For us in the personal injury space, that means any innovation must serve all the people involved in the personal injury ecosystem, including patients, families, doctors, lawyers, insurers and financiers. By understanding how all the human beings in the progress of a personal injury case must interact, we can better apply the technology innovations that enable success and personal satisfaction.
Digital personalization should be empowering, not intimidating. Once you know the needs, challenges, and wishes of your customers and partners, the technology tools are simply another means of providing an exceptional personal experience. If you get the personalization mix right, you and your customers will be rewarded with loyal, trust-based relationships.
Rob Johnson is the CEO of Prove, which has more than 20 years in the medical lien industry. It provides financing and servicing solutions that streamlines the personal injury claims process.