In my previous two posts I’ve looked at how the rise of omni-colleagues is impacting insurers; use of warm intention and compassion to deepen relationships with customers, and emotional interfaces which are helping machines better understand humans. Another exciting trend that I see shaking up the industry is the use of intelligent hardware to bridge the digital enterprise and the physical world.
In a physical world of sensors overlaid with software, digital can transform physical interactions with increasing acuity and reach. Plenty of physical actions and devices have already become data-driven services. For example, the chassis, seats and tires of the Tesla S may remind you of the physical object known as the car, but that’s where the similarity ends. The Tesla’s power plant, drivetrain, suspension and cabin control systems are extensions of an operating system that can intelligently respond to human input and update in response to changing conditions.
Other ways intelligent hardware can be applied include the connected car proof-of-concept, a joint project by Accenture and Visa Inc. The initial use case of this proof-of-concept is for customers to be able to order food from the car while on-the-go using cellular connectivity, as well as bluetooth technology and beacons – to offer an enhanced user experience. But imagine what a connected car could mean for insurers:
- Telematics that allow insurers to better understand customers, optimise premiums and mitigate risk.
- Connected features that allow drivers to initiate the FNOL process with their insurers if they are involved in a minor collision or other incident.
- Driverless cars to help alleviate traffic jams and reduce the number of vehicle accidents.
Other companies such as Uber have already famously disrupted their market using a smart data-driven service model and they’re about to disrupt other industries as well. In late 2014, they expanded into healthcare by offering on-demand flu shots in three major cities in the United States.
Insurers are uncovering opportunities to embed hardware and sensors in their digital toolboxes, and use these highly connected hardware components to give customers what they really want—not more products or services, but more meaningful outcomes. Perhaps another avenue is to tap into the critical role of storage and analysis of the vast data generation and communication that exists and will continue to grow.
In the race to sense and record the world, two types of leaders will emerge: those with the market lead in smart devices and those with the market lead in collecting and analysing measurable human action. Three recommendations from the Fjord 2015 Trends report that could be considered by insurers are:
- Consider service design techniques like Trends Reframing to get a big picture of what you need to disrupt before someone else does it.
- Design these services with consistent delight in mind.
- Think about where a sensor could revolutionise your business or, at the least, your customer understanding.
It’s an exciting time for insurers who are ready to stretch their boundaries and invest in the future.
To learn more, read the Fjord 2015 Trends report.