Enrico Pruis is Business Development Director at Virtual Affairs "My biggest motivator is allowing the company I work for to be best in class and, at least in some way, contributing to a better world."
By Enrico Pruis
The clients of insurers are changing rapidly. They more and more expect the insurer to be personal in multiple digital channels. This forces the insurer to change his growth strategy and play in to these changes. To remain relevant, the insurer needs a new digital roadmap.
Implementing a new digital raodmap is not simple, due to legacy systems. The insurer has an ecosystem that contains current products and businessmodels. These are captured in legacy sstructures and systems. That makes it quite the challenge to introduce a new proposition that appeals to the modern consumer. Yet in defining new digital strategies the insurer can find new opportunities. It allows him to grow in revenue, strengthen his business proposition, attract new clients and strengthen new relationships.
In my role as director business development at Virtual Affairs I help insurers every day in their transition to a new digital roadmap. That transition has four essential elements.
- A focus on client needs
- Embracing omnichannel
- Moving from product push to a service model
- Utilizing data analytics
A focus on client needs
It’s a critical factor for success to shape your business model to a more client centric approach. This means more than just a friendly customer engagement, but it also means advising with their best interest at heart. In a true client centric business model everything revolves around a deep and true understanding of the client. What does he want? What is his contribution to your organization? What is the value you can offer him?
The transition to a client centric business model requires empathy of the insurer. The insurer will have to explore what really drives the client to ‘buy’ a financial product. The client doesn’t want to buy a mortgage, but fell in love with a home. He doesn’t want an insurance, but financial security for his or her family.
There’s more involved for your client than ‘just’ insurance, so your first step as an insurer should be to make the claims proces as pleasant as possible. The second step is helping your client prevent incidents.
Insurers must embrace omnichannel to answer to the modern clients expectations. Those expectations have been for a large part been defined by webshops like Amazon and Coolblue. The client does not only expect to have multiple options for executing tasks (think changes of address or filing claims), he also expects the information to be synchronized over the channels that are relevant and available to him. In the past years insurers (especially life insurers) have become aware of those expectations. But often omnichannel is confused for multichannel servicing. Multichannel means the service of the insurer is available through multiple on- and offline channels. Omnichannel goes beyond that and allows for the client to start a process in one channel and complete in another. Clients expect to be recognized and remembered. Data between channels is integrated and the customer experience is consistent.
From ‘product push’ to a service model
Many (younger) clients of insurance companies want a service that enables self management, independence and flexibility. The need for independence on the client side means it’s crucial for insurance companies to serve their clients completely online. That can be done through an app, web or conversation engines. Clients must be able to gain insight and oversight about their insurance situation everywhere and at any time. The current buying process often is based on a push model. The interactions concern the insurer wanting to sell his products through channels like contact centers, email and online channels. To move to a pull model, the insurer must make information available through all relevant digital channels and, there, answer to a client need. Also, it’s important to accurately determine what are the most important moments your client interactions with you. The most obvious moment is when a client want to file a claim or change his personal details. But you could also think of moments like when the client seeks recommendations about his insurance. As an insurer you want to seamlessly connect to the client needs in these moments, take away any concerns and improve the customer experience.
Insurers own a major data capitol. But how do you translate this data to client value. A good data analytics capacity is crucial to designing the ultimate customer experience. The criteria for client satisfaction are different for every persona and journey. With data analysis the insurer can specifically analyse those for every segment.
Data analysis should lead to the client making decisions more easily and the advisor offering better advice. But you can also analyse the flip-side of the proposition. That would offer insight into what does not offer added value in online channels or what causes drop off with what client profile. It offers the opportunity to reduce costs and increase the learning curve. Finally, data analysis can be used as a prevention tool. Preventive data analysis helps insurers predict their clients behavior and prompt specific interventions or propositions. Continuous analysis provides quality data and direct management input.
Implementing these four elements
The inevitable progress of the digital technologies is putting pressure on the insurers. You want to utilize trends without presenting separate disconnected applications to the client. A good way to embrace the trends is by integrating the latest technologies using APIs. You can even choose to develop front- and back-end completely separate from each other. In the insurance industry this is a rare phenomenon. Many insurers have a front-end that allows for minimal flexibility, because the front-end is directly defined by the back-end, sometimes even back office. A limitation like that is a disaster for any marketeer or business leader. He’s limited in the exact space where he could make a difference, the moment of truth, like in the buying, service or claims process of an insurance. He’s not in charge and can’t play in to current events or client relevance.
With a clever architecture the marketeer is enabled to be fast and relevant. Based on our 20 year experience in building digital interaction for insurers we chose to develop our productized solution on a strong marketing platform: Sitecore. A strong platform with good marketing capabilities, combined with smart API based integration allows for the marketeer to implement the four elements of success.
Our InsuranceRight solution covers all basic needs for insurers and pension providers. From online onboarding of new clients to a complete client and advisor portal, built completely responsive. If you want to know more about InsuranceRight please contact Enrico Pruis.