I am currently designing a product in which failure is the norm rather than the exception. At a high level many different people will be submitting multiple applications to us. We only have the ability to approve a small group of applications (which will be the ones that score best against our internal measures).
Luckily our users are highly motivated to take part in this process, but we are struggling with negativity of the process as it is highly emotional - which doesn't lead to happy users.
An overview of the process:
- User registers online
- User books a phone call
- We provide initial advice on how to apply
- User starts submitting applications
- We give automated feedback
- If passes automated feedback, we get user to gather more information
- We use additional information to rank applications
- The best applications are accepted
- The rest are held in waiting (but as new applications come in unlikely to be accepted)
A metaphor for this process can be thought of as an insurance quote, there are lots of internal factors which are complex which drive the approval process and automated feedback.
An average user will have ~20 failures for one success (and that success is not guaranteed).
There are three key touchpoints with the user which we have been experimenting with:
- Initial Advice
- Setting expectations that this is a long process
- Setting expectations it is not just you but your application
- Created a checklist of things we take into account
- Automated Feedback
- Traffic lights to show how their application sits accross 3 areas
- Objective statements this application is not affordable
- Personal numbers this application is X% of your budget
- Clear CTA for each traffic light state
- Red - Submit another application
- Amber - Contact Stakeholder
- Green - Book Meeting
- Application Decision
- Global ranking showing how their applications sit in comparison to every other application (this application is ranked 100th, we are approving 10 a week)
- Score of 100 showing how their applications perform against every other application (this application scored 50, we are approving applications at 80)
How can I achieve these two design goals:
- Keep users motivated to submit many applications with valid data?
- Avoid making them feel personally rejected or annoyed with us for turning them down repeatedly?