Strategy & Concept + UX Design + Visual Design + Development

The Brief

Unum provides financial protection benefits to individuals and families who are unable to work or who have lost a loved one. They often engage with their customers during some of the most stressful times of their life. A key objective for Unum is to make these touchpoints as simple and as streamlined as possible.

We worked with Unum Carlow to enhance the Unum Claims System. We set out to reduce the call time experienced by claimants when filing their information through the creation of a more logical, simplified question path.

Key Challenges

The intake forms were long and somewhat complex. All questions were presented regardless of the type of claim being processed. The call center staff needed to know the right questions to ask and to skip non-relevant queries. The staff had several systems to interact with during a claim input, one to verify the claimant and another to register the claim.

We identified four key problems that resulted in unnecessary data input time, some frustration and unforced errors:

  • Searching for claim relevant questions
  • Potential to miss some questions
  • Adding handwritten notes digitally after the claim submission was completed
  • Switching between input systems to gather all the information

The Solution

Working in collaboration with Unum Carlow, we conducted an onsite study and worked closely with the relevant stakeholders.

First, we brought the form right back to its basic principles. We found sets of core questions that would help us to build a “dynamic question path”. Questions could be generated or triggered from previous questions, ensuring that relevant questions would be presented to the claimant.

Two other major changes were introduced to simplify and speed up claim submissions:

  • The ability for staff to enter notes directly into the system
  • The addition of a visible question dialogue to help the conversation with the caller


Collectively, these efforts will not only improve the process and user experience but also drive strong efficiencies across the Contact Center and Customer & Benefit Solutions. Throughout 2016 and 2017, the team will continue to incrementally deliver business value to internal employees and external customers.

With this first component, the Submission Application, we targeted the telephonic customers that call into the Contact Center to file a claim. This represents approximately 230,000 conversations a year, with 64 different screens previously supporting those interactions. In this release, screen count has been reduced by 75%, by incorporating customer­ specific instructions where and when they’re relevant, and creating a dynamic question path that only asks what makes sense for the situation.

This is going to improve the customers’ experience on two fronts – through calls that we expect to be ~20% shorter when people now initiate a claim – and by giving them better, more robust self service options on the web to meet customers where and how they want us to serve them.