Innovative “Get-to-Know-Me” initiatives unlock customer value for far-sighted insurance providers.

None of us wants to be taken for granted. We all yearn to be recognized as individuals with our own unique perspectives and circumstances. Companies that treat us as individuals and respect our personal preferences will quickly earn our trust and support.  

This year’s Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards lifted the lid on how some of the industry’s smartest companies are putting their customers at the center of their businessesThese leading innovators are using advanced digital technologies to gain a deep understanding of their customers and to roll out hyper-relevant products and experiences on a huge scale. Our research shows that insurers that implement such customer-centric business models, and become Living Businesses, are likely to be more profitable and more robust than their competitors that stick to traditional practices.  

Innovation is critical to the success of Living Businesses. As companies gather more and more information about their customers, from connected services and third-party sources, they need to think creatively to spot opportunities to unlock value and capture new business. They also need to foster an innovation culture and allocate skills and resources to develop and deliver products that will capitalize on these opportunities. 

Four stand-out “Get-to-Know-Me” innovations. 

While studying many of the submissions to this year’s awardsfour innovations stood out as very smart initiatives to unlock customer value. They each adopt a “GettoKnowMe” approach that requires companies to develop a much closer understanding of their customers so that they can serve them better.  

Nippon LifeTo help its salesforce get to know prospective customers better, Nippon Life has developed an innovative digital tablet that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify effective sales approaches. The AI system that supports the Taskall tablet analyzes successful sales made by Nippon Life representatives and identifies likely new customers from extensive prospect lists. Representatives equipped with the Taskall tablet can then pull up information about each of their sales leads as well as suggested strategies for successful sales. The Taskall tablet has significantly improved the effectiveness of the company’s salesforce and enhanced the customer experience it provides to purchasers of its policies. Nippon Life has issued the Taskall tablet to 50 000 representatives and plans to add after-sales features to the service.  

Discovery Health: This South African insurer is drawing on its extensive knowledge of customers to provide them with a better experience when they phone its contact-center. Callers who identify themselves on the company’s interactive voice response (IVR) system as members of Discovery’s healthcare schemes are automatically routed to service agents with whom they are likely to have a close affinity. Discovery’s affinity-matching system uses sophisticated data analytics to assess the likely needs and behavioral traits of each caller and then assigns them to the most appropriate agent. It draws on extensive customer data gathered from Discovery’s Vitality wellness subsidiary as well as the comprehensive personality profiles of Discovery’s service agents. Discovery Health, which handles more than 3.6 million phone calls a year, says the affinity-matching system has already increased customer satisfaction and could also improve its selection of service agents.  

AXA XL: Formed in 2018 after AXA’s acquisition of the XL Group, AXA XL is striving to improve the quality of its customer data and unlock substantial value from this key resource. It recognized last year that its data was often inaccurate, incomplete or difficult to access. As a result of these shortcomings, AXA XL staff tended to lack confidence in the data that was available to them. To strengthen the quality of its customer data and turn this information into a strategic asset, the company used machine-learning technology to build a repository of reliable, reusable data assets. Furthermore, iconstructed a scaleable Data Ecosystem and Engagement Platform (DEEP) that gives employees and brokers access to this trustworthy data.  Users of the platform can now access data quickly and easily to perform functions such as underwriting, pricing, claims processing and customer management.  

Clark: This German insurtech has garnered more than 150 000 users for its app-based broking service. Clark’s intelligent technology platform assesses customer needs using data they have submitted and then scours offerings from around 120 insurance companies to recommend policies that best match their requirements. When a customer’s circumstances change, Clark automatically suggests suitable cover. The Clark app service also includes a retirement facility that helps customers manage their pension provisions. Customers are not limited to taking advice from Clark’s online robo-advisor. They can also use the Clark app or website to talk to an insurance consultant. Clark has developed an application interface that allows other financial institutions to integrate its digital insurance services with their own offerings. It has entered into partnerships with German banks such as DKBING-DiBaPSD-Bank Hannover and N26 and is looking to launch a “white label” service for other insurers. 

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how some insurers are using powerful analytics technologies to deliver a variety of innovative new products and services. You can learn more about the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards at https://www.efma.com/innovationininsurance/. 

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