Hidden Powers:

How behavioral science helps your client and improves your processes

The great contribution of nudging in complex case management.

laptop, files and coffee

Imagine being able to work more efficiently because your employees effortlessly make the right choices at the right time. What if you could subtly steer customers and prospects toward the best decision, in streamlined business processes? It can be done with a combination of behavioral science and advanced technology. In this article, we share how behavioral science and smart technology help you improve your customer relationships and increase conversions. It not only gets you more satisfied customers, but also happier employees and a more efficient organization. We would like to take you into the world of nudging and dynamic case management (DCM).

What are nudging and dynamic case management and why is it interesting?

Dynamic Case Management (DCM) is a flexible approach to managing complex and unpredictable processes. Those processes often rely heavily on human input and interaction. Dynamic case management differs from traditional Business Process Management (BPM) in several ways. DCM allows organizations to adapt to changes and new information in real time, managing processes more efficiently and effectively. It often involves multiple stakeholders and various types of information. Examples of organizations dealing with dynamic case management include

A succesful nudge: By painting footsteps on the floor, more people walk in the right direction.

Financial services companies

They deal with complex applications for loans, insurance or claims on insurance policies. Often applications must be evaluated on many different criteria, multiple individuals must review files, and complex administrative processes are involved.

Healthcare facilities

They manage patient records. They must properly coordinate the care of various medical specialists, comply with regulations and coordinate with health insurers. There are often lengthy processes with an enormous number of variables.

Government agencies

They conduct complex administrative processes, such as processing applications for permits, subsidies and social benefits.

Nudging: a little push in the right direction

Nudging is a concept from behavioral science. Behavioral science is primarily concerned with how people behave and make choices in the various situations they find themselves in. Estimates of how many choices people make range from 30,000 to 67,000 a day. Many of those choices are made subconsciously, others more consciously. Nudging is actively influencing those subconscious and conscious choices with small nudges in the “right” direction. As we illustrate in this article on nudging in financial advice, nudging is especially useful when important choices are being made about complex issues. In nudging, you subtly encourage people to make certain choices without limiting their freedom of choice.

Heuristics and Nudges

Within behavioral science, the term heuristics is used. A heuristic is a fixed pattern of behavior for arriving at a decision. You can think of it as our brain’s rules of the game. A few are explained here. A telling example is the availability heuristic. If people have experienced an event themselves or someone they know, such as winning the lottery, they consider it more likely to happen to you than if they don’t know anyone who has experienced it. When buying lottery tickets and buying insurance, people make decisions based on the probability of an event. This heuristic then has a lot of influence. So there are more patterns of thinking that apply to everyone. From those heuristics flow nudges: ways to make the thought patterns work in your favor. There are 7 types of nudges that are commonly used:

    • Providing a default option
    • Providing a thought anchor
    • Offering convenience
    • Attracting attention
    • Informing
    • Remind
    • Delaying a decision

These are explained in more detail in this article. There are more ways to influence behavior, but these 7 variations lend themselves well to application in online channels and systems.

The value of nudging for Dynamic case management

So what do you ultimately achieve with nudging when you use it for Dynamic Case Management? By employing nudging you help both the advisor or case manager and the client throughout the dynamic process. You do this by using nudges to direct them to make better decisions, make a decision faster or ensure that important steps are not skipped or forgotten. This provides a few benefits:

Increased efficiency: Nudges can help make decisions faster and with fewer mistakes , making processes smoother.

Improved legal and regulatory compliance: By facilitating proper choices, such as default options and reminders, everyone can better meet necessary steps from within their own processes and compliance.

Increased engagement : Nudging creates a more interactive and user-friendly experience, which increases customer and employee engagement.

Rational decisions: A major risk of quick decisions is that they are often made based on emotion. But an emotional decision is not always the right decision. Slowing down decisions and providing sufficient information encourages customers and employees to make informed choices. Thus, a customer is less likely to revisit their decision. And the case review is more objective and not clouded by such things as biases, personal experiences and emotional snapshots.

Less friction: Removing obstacles and providing easy access to essential actions increases the user experience and reduces resistance. This, in turn, impacts customer and employee satisfaction.

Nudging applied within Dynamic Case Management

 

So what does the application of the aforementioned types of nudges look like in DCM practice? Very specifically for the financial services industry, we already gave ten very concrete examples of nudges. But more generally, we can give the following examples:

 

1. Default options

People tend to stick to preselected options. By setting default options in DCM processes that align with best practices, users can make decisions faster and more efficiently.

Example: Suppose you set up DCM for an educational institution. The study process is dynamically monitored and supported. Experience shows that students achieve the best study results when they receive a weekly tutoring session in the first year. Upon registration, they are automatically scheduled for this unless they actively opt out. This increases the number of first-year students receiving tutoring. The average study progress will be higher as a result.

2. Anchors

Decisions are influenced by previously provided information. In DCM, this can be applied by showing reference data or examples that help users make choices.

Example: Suppose you set up an online decision aid for energy-saving measures in and around the house. Before you ask the user how much they themselves would like to save each month, you share a quote from someone who achieved very high savings per month. This will cause the user to state a higher ambition themselves than if you don’t show the case study.

3. Ease

The easier you make things, the faster people will do them. So look for ways to remove friction.

Example: Suppose you have a job placement agency and for your staff profiles you would like a photo of the candidate. Then make it possible to take or select and upload a photo directly through the cell phone’s camera. Make sure that intervention from a laptop or PC is not necessary.

4. Attention

Use visual cues such as bright colors or larger buttons to emphasize critical actions. This is especially useful in complex workflows where users must navigate through multiple steps.

Example: When your customer has several documents to deliver via your customer portal before a deadline, use clear stoplight colors to indicate what still needs to be delivered. As the deadline approaches, provide a notification in a bold and alarming color on the landing page.

5. Information

Information: Ensure that users have access to all necessary information at any point in the process. This can be done through contextual help, pop-up tips, or integrated FAQ sections that guide users during their decisions.

Example: Suppose you supervise home seekers. The level of those home seekers can vary. A term like “service costs” will be very clear to one person; another won’t know what it’s about. Make sure that wherever you use the term “service costs,” your customer can watch a short explainer video about what that means. Don’t refer to an external environment with background information, because then your customer may lose their momentum.

6. Reminders

Everyone forgets things from time to time. Implement automated reminders for open tasks. Make them actionable. So in the reminder itself, provide the direct link to the step to be performed.

7. Slow down decisions

Slow decisions are made more rationally than fast decisions. For important decisions, it can be useful to encourage customers to pause for a moment to think. You can even include mandatory thinking time for this purpose. This can be done, for example, by asking customers to confirm their choice by email and only sending that email after a few hours or a day.

Automating nudging within Dynamic case management

If you want to effectively use the power of nudging within dynamic case management, it is especially important to automate as much of it as possible. Nudging is all about giving the right push in the right direction at the right times. When you have to serve 1,000 cases, that’s a lot of work otherwise.

Automating nudging requires a number of elements:

1. Customer data and other data sources

Without information there is little you can do.

2. Rules of the game

Even within Dynamic Case Management there are fixed rules. These rules determine how a case goes through a process. The big difference with regular case management is that there is no simple linear process. Depending on what happens during the process, the route of a case can be different. Complex decision processes often come into play. Decisions that take a lot of factors into account. This may involve calculations, reviews of texts or large documents, conversations, comparisons, you name it. Combined, we speak of business rules. These business rules in turn determine which follow-up steps are taken with the case file. So they also determine the workflow.

3. Desired behavior

Within most workflows there are steps in which people must perform a task. That may be uploading documents or reviewing an application. It could be taking a picture or making an appointment. To help move people toward the desired behavior, you also need to be clear about what that desired behavior looks like. You need to identify the moments when people need to be “nudged”. And to be truly effective, you need to know what the reasons are that people are not (yet) exhibiting that behavior. That may lie in what the current behavior gives them, so-called comforts. For example, it can be really nice to eat chocolate even if you need to lose weight. The pleasant feeling of eating chocolate as a reward is a comfort. There are also anxieties, which are the negatives of the desired behavior. For example, a client may fear the time it will take to fill out a particular form. Or reluctant to ask the employer for a statement.

Within behavioral science, techniques have been developed to discover those comforts and anxieties and help the customer overcome those comforts and anxieties with the right nudge.

You bring those three elements data, rules and desired behavior together in a process, a workflow. Even in the most complex organizations, the workflow can be broken down into 8 different types of building blocks. By cleverly combining those building blocks, you can automate nudging.

Achieve even more with Artificial Intelligence

As for any other branch of business, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for applying nudging within Dynamic Case Management (DCM) offers significant opportunities. Consider

  • Personalization of communications

AI can analyze data to gain insights into the preferences and behaviors of individuals. These insights can then be used to send personalized messages and recommendations. For example, in an insurance company, AI can send personalized reminders to customers about submitting missing documents for a claim, matching the tone and content to previous customer interactions and preferences.

  • Predictive analytics

Using predictive analytics, AI can anticipate potential bottlenecks or delays in a case. For example, in a government agency, AI can predict which requests for social services need extra attention and subtly nudge case managers to prioritize these requests. This makes for a more efficient process and reduces processing time.

  • Real-time guidance

AI can provide real-time guidance to employees while processing cases. For example, in healthcare, AI can nudge doctors and nurses to follow specific protocols or request certain tests based on the current status of a patient’s record. This helps ensure consistency and adherence to best practices.

  • Behavioral analysis and optimization

AI can analyze behavioral data to identify patterns and trends. Based on this, nudging strategies can be optimized.

  • Feedback loops and learning

By using AI for nudging within DCM, organizations can not only improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes, but also increase customer and employee satisfaction and engagement. AI offers the ability to provide subtle but influential guidance, achieving better results without limiting individuals’ freedom of choice. However, it is important to be mindful of the frameworks within which AI can operate, AI governance.

Conclusion

Integrating nudges into DCM can significantly improve efficiency and compliance by subtly guiding users toward optimal choices. By using behavioral insights, you can design more effective and user-friendly case management processes as an organization.

Of course we are happy to help you set up nudging in your organization using our Rulecube platform. Schedule an introductory meeting using the button below to learn more about what Rulecube can and does.