Insurance has progressed from an age of information in the 1990s to the age of the customer. And the bar is being set by insurtechs. The onus is on established, incumbent firms not to get left behind.
Our recent webinar saw Oliwia Berdack, Principal Analyst for Digital Business Strategy at Forrester and insurance transformation expert Sean Hull, who has worked with the likes of Allianz and Accenture), discuss the importance of customer experience and how insurers can close the delivery gap to ensure a compelling digital journey.
Read on for a rundown of the key insights from Berdack and Hull. Insurers can take these snippets and use them to start their digital transformation journey and continually adapt and change in response to customer demand.
And if you like what you read, you can watch the webinar, ‘Closing the Delivery Gap: How Insurers Can Accelerate the Digitization of CX’, on demand.
The threat of insurtech startups
Insurtech startups that are keen to take over are very keen to serve customers and don’t have legacy tech. They tend to operate on Amazon Web Services and use local platforms and open source, making them more nimble with lower operating costs. They use their agility to develop new and flexible policies that can be delivered on demand and deliver exceptional customer experience.
When we look at insurers priorities, 72% of insurers see improving customer experience as a high or critical priority. So, what can they do?
Weaponize the customer lifecycle
Insurers need to think about their customer lifecycle, from discovery and exploration through to purchase and use. Then you need to consider how technology will come into play.
Customer journey mapping has become popular in insurance – it can serve as one unifying methodology for all departments including IT, claims and product. It’s important to bring an outside-in perspective and link that to your different channels to understand how customers behave.
Then your technology can be used to redesign the process and connect with what you already have on the back-end. Insurers need to have better digital and cross-channel customer experiences and link that back to your legacy system.
Take your journey maps all the way to delivery
Berdack uses the example of Nationwide Mutual, who have mapped their claims process journey to identify 10 customer pain points. It’s the delivery piece that is the elusive point: it’s important to map your ideal journey and then map the ecosystem.
Insurers are often working with a ‘frankenstack’, as Hull terms it – the technology stack that has evolved over the years by stitching different components together, not necessarily in a cohesive manner. Rather than adding to the stack for the sake of it, consider which systems and processes impact the experience, and then work out what new experiences you can design on top of that.
Allianz is attacking the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of the digital transformation
“To be lean is not an easy feat,” says Hull, who has previously worked with Allianz. The international insurer is asking the right questions when it comes to digital transformation: ‘What?’ and ‘How?’.
The ‘what’ may be the kinds of digital experiences you want clients to have, but the ‘how’ are the different capabilities you need to have, like how to change tech stack to enable you to do all these things.
Allianz is revamping its global digital factory and end-end journey and delivery piece, right through to advanced business analytics to enhance and transform the Allianz value chain. That will require intervention at the back-end across an entire suite of technologies that have been stitched together.
As big carriers like Allianz look to evolve their operations, they are embracing new strategies, like changing the way they deliver change and adapting their internal culture and tech. This will help as they try to launch digital offerings across the market.
Digital transformation never stands still, so every insurer needs to adopt an agile approach to digital transformation if they wish to remain competitive.
To hear more insight from Berdack and Sean Hull and see more examples from the likes of Nationwide Mutual Insurance and Macif, watch the webinar below on-demand.