Esurance saves $225K a month using Heap

About Esurance: Esurance was one of the country’s first online insurance companies, selling its first policy in 1999. Since then it has expanded its offerings and now serves users in 43 states. Whether people are looking for car insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, motorcycle insurance, or more, Esurance strives to make buying insurance quick, painless, and transparent.

We asked Sierra Hines, Customer Insights Analyst at Esurance, to share how using Heap helps her optimize the user experience.

Sierra Hines, Esurance

Sierra Hines, Customer Insights Analyst

An excellent user experience — on all platforms

Anyone who has bought insurance knows how confusing and overwhelming the experience can be. Sierra Hines, Customer Insights Analyst at Esurance, knows that customers often expect a confusing experience from their insurance provider. Her job is to make sure Esurance’s web and app platforms provide the opposite — an easy, transparent, satisfying experience.

In particular, her job is to make it as easy as possible for customers to add a vehicle, remove a driver, or change their coverage. Doing any of these is currently a two-step process. To make this process as simple and intuitive as possible, Hines needs to understand, with granularity, what paths users take through the site, and why some of them drop off before hitting confirm.

Doing this is not always easy. Depending on their goals, users may be directed to “umpteen different routes” on the Esurance site. Thanks to Heap’s Path Analysis, Hines can visualize all of these paths, and see very clearly who gets to that final success page. This makes it easy for her to pinpoint moments of friction or confusion, and improve them.

From the beginning, Hines attributes her ability to do this to being able to empathize with her customers. “Being able to go in and look at our site and then look at what Heap Path analysis is saying,” she describes, “I can kind of put myself in the customer’s shoes. I can see why they went this path when I look at our actual site. I can connect those dots.”

Fast solutions lead to savings

One of Hines’s major goals is to reduce calls to Esurance’s agents. These usually occur when the user experience isn’t “simple, easy, and transparent,” and they “cost the company money every time,” Hines notes. Reducing calls to the call center is one of Esurance’s top priorities, and is accomplished by making the online experience transparent, so when customers “make a change to their coverage, they can see what the change is, and it makes sense to them.”

A big win came recently. Using Heap, Hines realized that users who didn’t reach the complete stage often ended up toggling between two pages: “forgot password” and “set a new password.” Customers often ended up looping between these, getting frustrated, and calling the help center.

The fix was easy: Hines got her dev team to remove the password problem. She used Heap to track the effectiveness of the solution. Success arrived almost immediately. “You could see within a couple of days that people were like, ‘Oh yeah, I can do this thing now, that I couldn’t do before,’” she notes.

As a result, the number of password reset support calls decreased from 33k a month to just 2,500 a month. This has saved Esurance an average of $225K a month since the fix went into production.

Wins like these have gained Hines the admiration of stakeholders across the company.

People several levels above us gave kudos to everyone that was involved just because we acted so quickly because Heap was able to tell us exactly what was going on.

- Sierra Hines, Customer Insights Analyst

Heap fosters nimble teams

Hines’ colleague works on a slightly different part of the Esurance site: initial quotes. As he explains, on the backend the initial quote flow is quite complicated. Depending on your state, demographics, credit history, and other features, you may be directed to any number of quote rates. As a Customer Insight Analyst, his job is to seamlessly funnel prospective customers through this quote experience and turn them into policyholders.

Thanks to Heap, he can rapidly analyze where and why consumers get stymied when looking for a quote. With Autocapture, he knows the data he needs will be there when the team needs to query it. He also knows that the digital product managers on his team aren’t spending their time managing complicated tracking plans or asking the engineering teams to set up their tagging.

A recent triumph occurred when Heap’s tagging and capturing found a roadblock users had when trying to get a quote. Errors were high on a certain page and the team wasn’t sure why. They used Heap to find the issue: simple typing errors. Users forgot to input their phone number because the box appeared filled in on the page. This mistake slowed the quote experience, and lowered conversion rates.

By implementing a fix, the team was able to reduce simple typing errors by a whopping 80%, lowering error rates to an impressive 1.6%.

The conclusion: “Heap is a great tool” for team members who aren’t “analysts or business intelligence or data scientists.” Heap is really convenient for the PMs who don’t have a lot of analytics experience but still have the ability to run queries… the way that Heap is laid out they can just push some buttons and fill out some boxes and then a query returns some numbers.

Into the future

Heap’s product analytics provides Esurance teams with agility as well as the necessary tools and insights needed to meet the company’s goals of making the user experience as quick, transparent, and painless as possible. Any time there’s an update, they use Heap to “see what impact it has on the conversion and yield.” That gives them critical insight to adjust their business decisions based on the data that they’re seeing.

Thanks to Heap, Hines says, “customers are more confident in their choices and Esurance is more transparent.” What does she like most about Heap?

That Autocapture, man. That’s so great. That’s the thing that makes me so happy.

Her colleague offers a similar sentiment: Heap helps everyone on his team “become more data-minded when they make business decisions.” It’s not only “super user friendly,” he notes … “Heap is one of the greatest tools that I could use.”


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