‘Living business’ insurers maximize personalization and the contextual sensitivity of products, services and experiences.

The price for insurers of maintaining the status quo today is high. Our Living Business Survey shows that in the United States alone, companies across all industries lost $1 trillion in potential revenue in 2017 as a result of being less relevant than their competitors. However, by transforming themselves through using one or more of the five ‘living business’ capabilities, such as designing for customers and building engagement, some insurers are seizing the opportunity for revenue growth.

Designing for customers

Insurers sometimes debate whether they should develop and bring to market products that are flashy and alluring, or those which are staid yet practical. Carriers that have become living businesses know that these sorts of decisions are not binary. They also know how to meet different—and evolving—expectations. The ‘win’ lies in finding the right balance by designing and bringing to market hyper-relevant products and services that respond in real time to customers’ changing circumstances.

Designing for relevance means:

  • Acting on insights derived from advanced customer analytics.
  • Developing compelling new experiences.
  • Maximizing personalization and the contextual sensitivity of products, services and experiences.

High performers in insurance are particularly likely to be strong in these capabilities, relative to their peers.

One carrier that has successfully designed with customers in mind is Dutch insurer Achmea. The company’s peer-to-peer alarm platform connects home security solutions, including Chuango, to messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. This makes it easier for customers to find out when there is a potential problem near them, to reach one another and to help each other out. Based on initial positive results (in declining claims from those participating and from social housing corporations in the target area), Achmea is now planning to scale its pilot to more households within the next several years.

Building engagement

Build capabilities are focused on using an insurer’s operating model to test, build and scale intelligent physical and digital experiences that are immediately relevant to customers. This capability set is about using engagement channels to the greatest possible advantage—for the customer and the company. Insurers that have become living businesses tend to be laser-focused on outcomes in this area. This ensures that they move on to new endeavors before the advantage of a single, hyper-relevant offering or approach is exhausted.

Build capabilities focus on:

  • Using agile technology platforms and prototyping to develop and improve experiences.
  • Rapidly scaling new growth initiatives.
  • Optimizing operations for dynamic execution across channels.

One carrier that recognizes the advantage to be gained by building engagement with customers is MetLife Insurance. MetLife claims that 86 percent of a caller’s perception of a call to a contact center is based on the quality of the communication and only 16 percent on the actual content. This means that when agents are tired, or fail to detect signals in a caller’s tone, the outcome of the call could be in jeopardy. To mitigate this issue, MetLife uses Cogito’s AI software to monitor speech patterns on calls and provide real-time on-screen coaching to help agents engage appropriately. The carrier also uses automated channels to handle an ever-larger share of simple calls, enabling agents to concentrate their efforts on complex calls. The support provided by intelligent software has strengthened the agents’ confidence and empathy, and has improved contact center engagement metrics across the board.

Living business insurers that prioritize design to meet evolving customer needs and build engagement reap the benefits of becoming a continuously innovative and relevant organization that stays in step with consumers—and a step ahead of the competition.

In my next post, I’ll look at how leading insurers are scaling with partners and rewiring their culture.

In the meantime, read the report to find out how designing for customers and building engagement can give you an edge.

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