An Underwriter, a Broker, and a CSR Walk Into a Bar…

We had reason to believe that if we put a search bar out there people would use it in the way we’d intended. You live and you learn I guess, because as it turns out different types of users – underwriters, agents, CSR’s and more – bring their own biases and habits to something as commonplace as a search bar.

For those not already familiar with Ask Kodiak we’re commercial insurance appetite as a service. Yes, there’s such a thing – and it’s totally awesome. But I digress. On Ask Kodiak, insurers catalog and communicate their commercial product benefit-points, appetite, and underwriting guidelines. The platform matches those products with agents and brokers when they have in-appetite risks.

This matching scenario sets the stage for the use case. We have a search bar  for our users with the label  “Find Coverage For.” It even has placeholder text that reads “Describe the business.” The screenshot shows it exactly. Insurance folks would describe a business, right? I suppose we can probably blame Google for this, but the short answer was no. We discovered they were typing in all sorts of things including coverage names, geographies, and class codes.

Search is a key feature of our app, and it’s something we could improve. The data and our users told us so, directly and indirectly. You’re probably getting something wrong for your users too – whether you’re a startup or a hundred year old insurer, your customers are trying to interact with you their way. Could be something as innocuous as a search bar, or something more fundamental. Are you doing everything you can to understand and accommodate them?

We shipped a lot of new features late last week – probably the biggest single release since we launched – but the one we’re perhaps most excited about is a much more accommodating search bar. Check it out in action:

-M

P.S. There should totally be a punch line to this post title. Hit us up with one at @askkodiak and if you get a chuckle out of us we’ll send you a super-soft Ask Kodiak cotton triblend T from the new box that just came in.