Your employees may feel like open enrollment (OE) spans just a few short weeks in the fall, but you know it’s a year-round project. When OE rolls around, you have so little time to engage employees, inform them about your benefits package, and help them see its value. That takes preparation. This year, you might even add the extra challenge of doing it all with dispersed or remote employees amid a global pandemic. You know their attention is at a premium.
So how can you plan, right now, to grab the attention you need?
Communication journeys from our virtual assistant, JOY, offer a mobile solution.
Leveraging mobile communications
Mobile is the new standard in benefits communications because it’s the standard in our everyday lives. That makes app push notifications one of the most powerful tools you can use to make OE both simpler and more successful (see The Best Benefits Engagement Tool You Haven’t Used).
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly all Americans now own cellphones, and 81% of those own smartphones. We use our devices to store our grocery lists, call an Uber, video chat with doctors, and even to navigate our benefits. Our smartphones integrate into our lives more than any other communication device in history.
In terms of OE, the value of mobile messaging lies in its ability to cut through the noise. A Localytics study found that app users who received push notifications had 53% more sessions than app users who didn’t. More sessions mean more action and utilization. We expect app notifications to remind, ping, and prompt us. Just think: how many push notifications do you get each day? Do they feel more urgent than email? If you’ve ever paused notifications to get a little work done, you know the power of the push.
You can harness that power for a smoother open enrollment. Sure, you could cobble a solution together yourself, but we just let JOY do the work.
Read our Employee Benefits Communication Guide for more.
Using JOY Journeys for OE
A JOY Campaign Journey, which we refer to as a journey, is a chat-like series of custom communications designed to educate members and prompt action. For instance, we use monthly campaigns to encourage members to get a flu shot. Other JOY journeys are core functions of the app, designed to deliver provider recommendations, begin a bill review, or discover prescription savings.
JOY’s journeys are our secret weapon for driving utilization and assisting with your educational campaigns (see “What are HealthJoy’s JOY Campaign Journeys?” for all the details).
At open enrollment, JOY’s skills in prompting action shine. During this time, her messages remind users of cutoff dates and encourage them to enroll. We remind employees to view the open enrollment card in their benefits wallet and direct them to your enrollment website, where they complete plan selections. We can either pull them back into the app to view a custom open enrollment card in their benefits wallet or point them to an outside website.
Here’s how a typical open enrollment journey schedule looks for HealthJoy clients:
- One push notification and journey received a few days before the start of OE
- One push notification and journey received the first day of OE
- One push notification and journey received a few days before the end of OE
Imagine this: your employees know open enrollment is coming, but they’ve ignored most of your messages. When an email comes through on their phone, they think, “I’ll take care of this when I’m in front of my computer.”
Now, imagine a chat message about OE that catches them at just the right moment. The “when I’m in front of my computer” excuse disappears. Even if the action they take is just a few minutes spent absorbing your OE dates, that’s a few more minutes of education than they might otherwise give up.
How to Simplify Benefits Communication for Open Enrollment
Review these seven tried-and-true strategies now to make the most of your open enrollment benefits communication.
Plan for OE now with JOY’s journeys
When you put JOY journeys to work during OE, it lifts your communication burden. The messaging is simple, short, and conversational. Rather than replacing your OE emails, meetings, or presentations, journeys complement these offerings with a mobile-first approach.
In short, campaign journeys are another useful tool in your year-round communication belt. Backed by the power of a benefits experience platform, even short messages pack a punch that leads to a smoother OE.
Schedule a demo today to see how HealthJoy is building a better employee benefits experience.