What it means

The eligibility, enrollment, and approval process should be transparent and clear about next steps and the implications of any actions clients have to take. Clients should also be provided with clarity around any real or perceived risks associated with applying for benefits generally, or disclosing certain pieces of information on a form.

On the administration side, decisions about eligibility systems and applications should be informed by actual, real-time user data. State leaders should understand the user experience applying for and maintaining benefits within their system, and should make decisions based on that knowledge.

Why it matters

State leaders say:

“I want to improve our state’s online application, but I don’t know what the biggest challenges of the current application are. I need access to real-time client data so that I can make the right decisions for the people we serve, and understand the impact of those decisions.”

How to do it

1. Clearly communicate needs and next steps.

Communication from benefits agencies should be easy to understand and should clearly explain the implications of client actions and the consequences of inaction.

  • Notices should be on time, not redundant, and have the most up-to-date information so clients have clarity on what they have to do next.
  • Experiment with new communication channels to get in touch with clients, such as phone calls or texting. These can be effective for communicating about upcoming appointments, status updates, or requirements.
  • Be explicit across communication channels about which documents clients need to submit for verification of eligibility.

2. Use real time data to inform decision-making.

Make sure you have access to—and use—analytics from your application funnel.

  • Track analytics for your online application. For instance: How many applicants are failing remote ID proofing? How long does it take users to make it through the whole application? Off-the-shelf solutions like Google Analytics or Mixpanel make it easy to access analytics for any online tool or application.
  • Regularly look at and understanding these analytics. Make sure you’re compiling an analytics report at least on a monthly basis—this will help you identify trends.
  • These trends will show you exactly where clients are struggling and dropping off in your online applications. Use this information about the user experience to drive changes in your online application.

What we measure

Fewer Calls to Caseworkers

All clients should be able to easily find out what is needed from them, including identifying the right verification documents on the first try.

Reduced Churn

Less than 20% of clients should churn off the program because of missed administrative hurdles.

Deeper Understanding of
the Client Experience

Administrators leading benefits programs should be intimately familiar with clients’ biggest pain points in the process.