Among the many affected by changes in daily life due to COVID-19, one group had to adopt and adapt quicker than anyone - our beloved senior population. School children had to adjust to Zoom learning and employees to digital conference rooms. Grandma and grandpa were not spared. How else would we all be “together” for Thanksgiving?
"RBC saw an increase of 84% in digital enrollment by seniors – and a 210% increase in digital activity by seniors who were already enrolled..."
If you’re one of the many who went through the process of teaching grandparents how to use Zoom, you know it can be frustrating on both ends. But the frustration of explaining how to Zoom is not limited to grandparents, and certainly not to video conferencing. This is why startups have come up with axillary solutions that ease the customer journey experience. Tools that guide, help navigate, teach and train on websites and digital platforms have long existed, but when COVID forced everyone to go digital, the demand for these tools dramatically increased. Services people once received in person - such as banking, going to the doctor, or shopping for groceries - suddenly pivoted to online, and new infrastructures had to be put in place to accommodate for it. We saw this particularly when it came to digital services for seniors.
Here are some key examples of how customer journey was improved:
RBC successfully introduced customized support and special services for seniors. As per their website, “from mid-March to mid-April alone, RBC saw an increase of 84% in digital enrollment by seniors – and a 210% increase in digital activity by seniors who were already enrolled but had not been actively using these services for at least six months. This increased use includes seniors using online banking and mobile options each week to send electronic money transfers (up 55%) and to make payments (up 12%).”
Capital One also rolled out a program to encourage seniors to bank digitally. “Ready, Set, Bank - Helping Seniors With Online Banking” was launched with video tutorials to enhance senior’s financial well-being.
Lloyds is another bank that introduced new tools to help seniors bank online. They’ve also launched a free academy to improve digital skills in daily life, marking themselves as leaders in elderly digital transformation. Last July, Lloyds published a star-studded ad aimed at showing how simple it is to manage money from home.
Instacart developed a Senior Support Service, helping customers over 60 build confidence with online grocery shopping. In one month alone, they brought more than 60,000 seniors online.
Tyto Care, is an on-demand device providing telemedicine diagnosis, treatment and support. Tyto Care partnered with Avera eCare to provide telehealth within assisted living communities. “Leveraging Tyto Care’s platform offerings, Avera eCARE sought to improve access to specialized senior healthcare services, provide timelier treatment, bolster varied medical staff, assist with medication management and reduce unnecessary clinic or emergency room visits.”
The Tech Behind The Scenes
Oftentimes, behind the rollout of consumer-facing customer service experiences, are startups that provide the tech which enables it. Below are a few key startups who also improved the customer experience in 2020.
Toonimo uses interactive guidance with voice and visual cues, making it easy for seniors to follow along and use digital interfaces. In an interview with Toonimo CEO Dan Kotlicki, he told us: “Prior to 2020, digitization was a goal that many enterprises had to make their services more accessible, but it was always seen as an alternative to meeting in person. Now there is no alternative - people are not willing to go outside of their houses for services like the post office and bank - if they are open at all. When it comes to seniors, either grandkids run these errands for them, or they must rely on a better user experience online. That’s where we come in.”
Roojoom leverages AI to orchestrate personal journeys; making each experience a personalized one “from issue to resolution”. Deployed by early adapters such as AT&T and Comcast, Roojoom’s platform outperforms the standard playbook for customer engagement and replaces linear, segmented communications campaigns with personal engagement highlighting the journey objectives with the highest impact probability (calls to action, options, messages, information). When it comes to seniors, this personalized journey makes it entirely user-friendly.
Easysend builds and optimizes digital customer journeys without the need of code, making it “simply & enjoyable” to collect customer data. The platform enables businesses to present customers with digital forms through a simple interface on mobile and desktop; receive and process completed forms; automatically update their CRM with information from digital forms, and utilize a smart-sign feature that enables users to digitally sign forms and documents directly from their mobile devices. Just imagine how much time and stress this saves for grandma and grandpa who can’t leave their homes at the moment and need to sign some documents.
The future of customer journey is ultra personalized. With the increase of people of all ages - from toddlers to seniors - coming online in 2020, the need for a better customer journey is glaringly obvious. Even more obvious, is the need for these customer journey experiences to be ultra personalized so as to serve each unique demographic. Although this was a growing trend pre-pandemic, COVID gave it a boost. We now know that an interface for an 80 year old woman may not look the same for a 15 year old boy, and it’s only time before Amazon turns grandma into a Prime user, and we start seeing Netflix and Spotify becoming more accessible for seniors.
If in the past the world of user experience design strived to achieve a “so simple your grandma could use it” approach, in 2021 it has to be designed specifically with grandma in mind.