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Yogita Khaitan

Yogita Khaitan, Director, Program Management, SapientRazorfish.

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Digital Transformation in Insurance: Consumer Centric Approach to Lead You into the Future

In an age when digital has emerged as a catalyst and accelerator of customer revolution, insurers have opportunities galore to deliver powerful customer experiences and meet customer needs more effectively.

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Relentless onslaught from Fintech players. Plunging consumer loyalty. Constant pressure for regulatory compliance. Ever-increasing cost to keep the lights on… Add to this the need to deliver 5-star customer experiences and you know the Insurance industry is in a state of flux. What are the insurers doing in this scenario? What should be their action plan today and in the foreseeable future? Surely, they need to incorporate technology and innovation in their DNA so they do not undergo frequent reorgs. That’s how they can empower themselves and be agile enough to promise the experiences their customers expect from them.

Leveraging Digital Innovations to improve Customer Experience

Current trends suggest that while some Insurers are collaborating with Fintech firms, others are experimenting with emerging technologies to roll out new customer experiences in select geographies. However, these actions are mostly being taken to test the waters. These do not represent a holistic approach on the Insurer’s part to transform themselves.     

Here a few examples of innovations being leveraged by Insurers in silos:

  • MetroMile allows its customers to pay a per-mile-driven rate
  • Allianz announced a successful blockchain prototype to automate catastrophe swap transactions
  • Analytics was able to spot a hurricane and was able to help save lives in the Texas area avoiding claims and building an emotional connect

Inculcating innovation in the insurance organization’s DNA: The right approach 

Future-driven organizations who wish to instill innovation in their DNA must focus on customer-centricity. To make their journey into the future smooth, the best approach is to devise their strategies while keeping the customer at the center. Here’s how they can go about it:

  • Identify and prioritize customer segments for the most profitable business lines on the parameters of lifestyle, spending patterns, demographics, culture, among others   
  • Understand the unique challenges of these customer segments from the consumer’s perspective and the challenges in providing the desired customer experience
  • Define a 360o view of a typical consumer/influencer in the customer segment
  • Identify and prioritize consumer journeys highlighting touch points across channels and experience scores on the baselined at the touch points
  • Define the current consumer journey in detail and envisage the future consumer journey with more automated processes, newer digital technologies like Blockchain, Chatbot, Cognitive, AI, Big Data, Collaboration with Fintech platforms
  • Start with the proof of concept of one or two such journeys forming digital labs for the same with a cross- functional team of Business Analysts, Creative Designers, and Technology Innovators to be implemented with agility. The proof of concepts will be beta-tested involving a limited set of customers or influencers prior to limited rollout
  • A marketing strategy to launch this on digital marketing platforms and other channels is planned for
  • With the baselined experience scores available from the current journeys, new experience scores can be measured for the new journeys to gauge improvement

Customer Segment

To delve deeper into the approach, let’s take a customer segment: the millennials. Today’s millennials have the following expectations from players in the Insurance industry:

  • ‘I want easy and instant access to all the information I need – on my mobile, tablet, laptop’
  • ‘Don’t confuse me with too much information, specify call-to-action’
  • ‘I want the best value and experience for the money I spend’
  • ‘I want to stay connected socially’
  • ‘When I interact with agents, I expect them to have all the answers to my queries and needs’

Insurers, on the other hand, have their own set of challenges while addressing the Millennials’ expectations:

  • An integrated digital platform with consistent experience and services across channels and touch points
  • Faster responses via digital interactions (Robot Advisors/Chatbots) for queries and claims without customers waiting in queues to speak with Customer Service Representatives
  • Value for money in terms of offers for complimentary services based on new business models like discounts on health monitoring devices, health foods, enrollment in gyms
  • Agents equipped with contextual data at their fingertips about the consumer and bespoke solutions

This leaves us with the obvious question: ‘Why is the insurer not digitally equipped to give the customer what they need?’ The answer is simple: the insurer is held back by a siloed business organization and legacy systems – slowing down the digital progress to start thinking about the customer first.

Let’s look at a typical consumer lifecycle to identify a typical consumer journey:

A consumer journey focuses on the customer and the experience companies want to offer to that customer, along with the innovations in technology that make that experience possible.

Example: This consumer journey is the journey of a mid-income group consumer “John” looking for auto and health benefits and accelerated claims. 

  • John can be interacting with a bot to get suggestions on the insurance that best fits his requirements
  • A 360o view of John’s profile (collected preferences when John enrolls) helps the bot cross-sell discounted products like health devices, auto safety devices, health food, gym enrollments, etc. from the partner ecosystem
  • John’s premium can be reduced on the basis of his health parameters tracked by the wearable health device and fitness parameters based on workout measured at the gym
  • John’s hospital admission and claim process can be speedier due to better integrations with partners
  • John can share his great experiences on the social media page becoming a voice of the brand as an influencer

The recommended approach can be extended to all the consumer journeys for your organization. It’s important to keep the consumer at the center of your design and enhancement while incorporating emerging technology trends – something Fintech firms have done so effortlessly.

In an age when digital has emerged as a catalyst and accelerator of customer revolution, insurers have opportunities galore to deliver powerful customer experiences and meet customer needs more effectively. The key to success for insurers lies in developing longer-lasting relationships by using their digital capabilities. A customer-first strategy enabled by digital innovations will empower them to gain enhanced customer knowledge and leverage that information to profile customers more effectively and deliver customized solutions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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