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How digital health apps can overcome four barriers to converting users

New patients might abandon onboarding if they’re confused, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Here are four ways digital health apps can improve conversion.

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⚡ Key takeaways
  • Digital health apps may struggle with converting users who feel confused, overwhelmed, or reluctant to share personal information during onboarding. 
  • Offering simple guidance, explaining why you’re collecting personal information, limiting what data you collect, and branding the identity verification process can help. 
  • A dynamic onboarding process that adds or removes friction based on risk signals can also increase conversions.

Your digital health app is up and running, and patients are signing up to get the care they need. To verify users’ identities and help prevent fraud, you use a HIPAA-compliant know your patient (KYP) process. But you’ve hit a snag. 

You notice some new patients are downloading the app and starting the process, but then they drop off. Your support team also tells you that patients are frustrated — they want to use your app, but onboarding is too difficult or they’re skeptical about sharing their personal information.

We regularly speak with healthcare app companies dealing with these types of issues and have identified four areas to focus on if you want to improve digital onboarding and increase conversion rates.

1. The onboarding flow confuses or frustrates users  

One of the biggest reasons patients abandon the process is because they’re confused or overwhelmed by the onboarding flow. Users might have varying levels of comfort and experience using technology — this could be the first time they’ve tried to verify their identity online. They may also be in the midst of a medical crisis and don’t have the capacity to manage another task.

Solutions

Offer friendly guidance and track the results: 

  • Add in-app instructions: Make onboarding as easy as possible by prefilling information where you can, using address autocomplete, and adding placeholder text (the faint gray text) in boxes to show people how and what they need to enter. 
  • Give clear instructions: If your onboarding process involves taking pictures, such as a picture of a government ID or selfie, add clear instructions and/or illustrations or videos to avoid failed checks. For example, tell users to find an area with good lighting and remind them to make sure their finger isn’t covering the lens. You also might want to show them how to change the app’s permissions if they aren’t able to take and upload a picture.     
  • Identify who drops off where: Try to collect analytics on which types of users tend to drop off and where they leave the process to identify areas you might want to tweak. For example, if you gather some basic personal information at the start, you might be able to segment groups by age and make adjustments accordingly. 

2. You ask for information that users might not have or want to share

Many people are hesitant to share their personal information. And rightly so. Data breaches, identity theft, and scams are in headlines every day, and you may need to reassure users that verifying their identity is part of fighting fraud and a regulatory requirement. 

Additionally, some people could have trouble completing the identity verification process. For example, people who recently arrived in the U.S. might not have a Social Security number (SSN) or valid form of U.S. identification.

Solutions

Limit data collection, proactively address gaps, and give context:

  • Limit data collection and use: Collect the minimum amount of data you need and only use it for the specific task at hand. Embracing a data minimization approach can help ease some users’ concerns and aligns with current regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Have multiple identity verification options available: Have a process that can flexibly verify the identities of users who may not have access to the information you’re used to requiring. For example, people who don’t have an SSN) or valid form of US identification can potentially be verified with identity documents from their home country.
  • Tell users why you’re collecting their information: Answering common questions and giving context for each request can also be helpful. Here’s an example of what you might say when asking for part of someone’s SSN: 

3. Your users don’t expect what they see during onboarding

Many people are used to working with various companies and doctors, and they understand that each one will look and feel different. However, they may still expect consistency when onboarding with one company. They could feel especially uncomfortable sharing personal information if the language, tone, and design of your website or app don’t align with the identity verification process. 

Solutions

Create a cohesive experience:

  • Align with other departments: Discuss the look and feel of onboarding with every team that touches the user journey before and during onboarding, including marketing, product, IT, and fraud. 
  • Brand the identity verification process: If you’re using a third-party provider for identity verification, see if you can customize the experience to match your brand. For example, with Persona, you can create a theme with your logo, colors, customized fonts, and style buttons to reduce confusion and friction.

4. You use the same onboarding flow for every user

If you have an onboarding process that doesn’t adjust based on the user, then there’s definitely an opportunity for optimization. You don’t want a low-risk user to have to take extra steps that could lead them to quit. However, you also don’t want onboarding to be so easy that it invites bad actors. 

Solutions

Use a holistic approach to identity verification: 

  • Use risk-based segmentation: First, group users based on various risk signals. These can include passive signals, such as their device and behavioral signals, and active signals, like the information they provide during onboarding and database verifications
  • Create dynamic flows: You can then use progressive risk segmentation to create dynamic flows that can automatically add or remove friction based on each user’s risk signals. For example, you might ask someone whose stated name doesn’t match the name on their ID to complete selfie verification.
  • Provide extra screening with manual reviews: Investigate high-risk users and users who aren’t verified automatically. Create a case management process that allows your support team to easily follow up with users to collect and confirm their information. Or, to block them if the investigator suspects fraud. 
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How Persona helps you maximize conversions

Persona works with many clients in highly regulated industries, including healthcare and financial services, to create dynamic and customizable identity verification processes. You can choose from existing libraries of identity verification methods to verify patients and comply with federal and state regulations.

That’s one reason a teledoc and online prescription service partnered with Persona. The company needed a process that could scale while complying with varying state regulations. They found a solution in Persona’s expanded ID coverage, secure document submission, dynamic workflows, and commitment to security and privacy. 

You can try Persona for yourself by creating a free account or reaching out to learn more. 

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