Tag Archives: disruptors

How to Captivate Customers (Part 1)

ITL Editor-in-Chief Paul Carroll recently hosted a webinar on “Captivating Customers With All-Channel Experiences,” featuring experts from Capgemini and Salesforce.com and the former chief customer experience officer at AIG. To view or listen to the webinar, click here. For the slides, click here

While insurers have focused on meeting the increasing demands of their customers and invested in customer-facing operations, they are continually losing ground. The World Insurance Report 2015 by Capgemini and Efma reveals that positive customer experience ratings declined at an alarming rate in the past year, from an already low 33% in 2013 to 29% in 2014.

This should be a wake-up call to the industry.

Insurers urgently need to accelerate their ability to deliver exceptional experiences and captivate customers — or risk losing them.

Of the 30 countries surveyed in the World Insurance Report 2015, 80% recorded a decline in the percentage of customers with positive experiences. Ten countries experienced a drop of more than five percentage points. They include the U.S., which dropped 8.3 points, marking the largest decline of all countries surveyed.

Although the trend is clearly toward digital interactions with customers, the agent channel remains the preferred channel overall. It delivered positive experience levels that were almost double those of digital channels.

But the digital/analog division has become a false one. The fact is that all channels have to fit together seamlessly to captivate customers.

Customers have to be able to start a conversation in any way – face to face with an agent, on the phone with an agent, online with the agent, online at the carrier, at a social media site  – and pick it up later in any channel, in mid-sentence.

Instead, at the moment, customers often wind up dropping partway through the process. They may begin a query online, get a rough idea of a premium and then go off to talk to their spouse or to do some research. Then they go back online to continue the process or call an agent, find they have to start over, get frustrated and stop.

We have to get to an omni-channel world, where everything is seamless and efficient from the customer’s point of view.

Falling customer experience ratings, coupled with a growing number of market disruptors (See exhibit  below), indicate that insurers need to take swift action to become truly customer-centric. They must improve their digital services and seamlessly connect the customer experience across mobile, social, digital and agent interactions. While doing so, they must ensure the important agent channel has the tools and full customer visibility to effectively sell to and service the customer in the digital world.


Yet many insurers will find it hard to move quickly. The World Insurance Report identified seven core capabilities that insurers need to develop to enhance customer experience and take advantage of opportunities created by disruptors. Yet we found most insurers’ maturity levels to be lagging in all seven core capabilities:


Insurers exhibited the lowest maturity levels across three essential areas:

  • Connecting elegantly: All channels, including social media, are fully integrated in real time for all interactions, so that customers always feel that the insurer knows them well and that the agent can have an informed dialogue with individual customers.
  • Engaging regularly: New content is continually created and published to the relevant customer segment through the right channels at the right time. Advanced content management and “gamification” platforms are put in place to take customer engagement to the next level. Agents have the tools to easily and frequently engage with customers via mobile channels, text messages and other digital means.
  • Seeing completely: The insurer has a comprehensive view of each customer and understands each customer’s relationships (e.g., family, businesses.). Accurate, real-time data supports predictive analytics, planning and delivery.

Raising insurers’ maturity in these three areas, along with having a fully integrated agent workforce, can accelerate the ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience across all channels.

Only by developing comprehensive plans for proficiency – including a comprehensive look at the technology that underpins each capability – can insurers hope to counteract the decline in customer experience ratings that threaten insurers’ growth and profitability.

This is the first in a series of four articles drawn from the white paper by Capgemini and Salesforce.com, “Cloud-Enabled Transformation in Insurance: Accelerating the Ability to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences.” For the full white paper, click here.

Succeeding in the Digital Revolution

History has seen different technology revolutions: the industrial revolution in the late 1700s, the information and telecommunications revolution in the mid 1900s and the digital revolution of the present. Each revolution has taken advantage of the new technologies of its day, creating disruption, innovation and business transformation. Businesses have either grown or died based on how they adapted to and innovated with the new technology and responded to customers’ reactions and expectations.

Today is no different. But it is much more intense. The digital revolution is being powered by today’s hyper-connected world and the convergence of multiple influencers — maturing technologies, emerging technologies, the shared economy and demographic trends, to name just a few. And the revolution is creating experiences, products and services, new outcomes and new business and revenue models. It is generating an explosion of data from new and emerging technologies such as mobile, social media and the Internet of Things.

The combination of these factors is transforming existing businesses and creating new ones within insurance. From managing value chains to managing ecosystems, the business transformation is powered by the fusion of technology and data. At the same time, these factors and the pervasive use of technology are lowering the entry barriers for disruptors and competitors from other industries, changing the competitive landscape for insurance in profound ways.

In today’s new world, Next-Gen insurers must be digital insurers. They must reimagine themselves and embrace the full breadth and depth of the mature and emerging technologies that are changing customer engagement, transforming products and services, redefining business and revenue models and breaking down the barriers to new entrants, as discussed in SMA’s “The Next-Gen Insurer: Fueled by Innovation” research report. Insurers must embrace digitalization to reshape the way their businesses approach value creation and offer a compelling customer experience. In today’s world, insurers must move from managing value chains to managing ecosystems to power their businesses as digital companies.

Many insurers indicate that they are on the strategic journey toward becoming a digital insurer. They are making investments in digital initiatives and technologies, often in a tactical and reactionary approach that is reflected in fragmented strategies and investments in technologies. Forays into new websites, smart-phone apps, agent portals, customer portals, collaboration, connected environments and social media are a start, but these can result in an inconsistent and incomplete customer experience. More importantly, they may delay the establishment of a competitive digital business model foundation with technology embedded. The issue is that these silo-based approaches lack a strategic framework that cohesively brings together the unified digital strategy that will become the driver of market differentiation, business growth, innovation, collaboration and profitability.

A unified digital strategy recognizes that all business strategies and technologies touch the customer in some way and that a one-size-fits-all channel model is obsolete. In today’s digital world, this means making a serious commitment to provide real ease-of-doing-business based on customer expectations for every type of interaction through any channel, via any device, to win and retain customers. The strategic components of a unified digital strategy will connect the right people, processes, and technologies.

The unified digital strategy is multi-dimensional and brings together areas of business strategy to drive design and develop efficiency and consistency, while providing the foundation for unified experiences across all the customer touch points, now and in the future. Each of these business strategies reflect existing, new and emerging aspects based on the influence of demographics, behaviors and technologies. The strategies include the brand strategy, marketing communication strategy, customer relationship strategy, web strategy, mobile strategy, IoT/connected strategy, social strategy, collaboration strategy and intranet strategy.

Today’s and tomorrow’s insurance customers are looking for much more than interacting online. They are looking for choice, engagement, social alignment and more. Some insurers have begun or are well along on the digital transformation journey. But becoming a Next-Gen Insurer that will be recognized as a digital leader demands both technology and leadership dimensions that move the company forward in a coordinated and effective way.

From a technology perspective, the digital insurer business architecture framework provides a transformation road map to assess and define a path that helps guide the organizational change, leveraging a wide-array of technologies from core business solutions to emerging technologies like mobile, the Internet of Things, collaboration and analytics. In the leadership dimension, digital leaders seek capabilities that envision and drive the transformation across the organization in a coordinated, consistent manner. These digital leaders work across the traditional departments and silos of an organization to ensure that the strategies are cohesive and working toward the common vision to shape a new future brought about and inspired by technology change.

Becoming a digital insurer demands leadership from the top and leadership to drive the digital transformation. This requires a unified digital strategy fortified by existing, new and emerging technologies.

So embrace the digital world. Re-envision yourself as a digital business. See the possibilities. Define a unified digital strategy that brings the business strategies and technologies together to cohesively guide your transformation. Make it happen, because the digital future is already well upon us.

The Apple/Uber Effect, Coming to Work Comp

Industry disruptors change the entire industry — often forever — and they are coming to workers’ comp.

Think of Steve Jobs’ invention and Apple’s implementation of the iPod. It turned the music industry on its side. The “smart” iPhone profoundly changed the way we use phones. Land lines have become almost obsolescent and old “Ma Bell” would not recognize the industry. Jobs also disrupted the personal computer industry with the iPad. Sales are down for laptops and portable computers because people rely on the simpler iPad for personal use, for e-reading, for movies and for specific business adaptations. As an example, doctors’ offices now use iPads for data input into EMRs (electronic medical records). iPads and phones even capture credit cards and signatures.

A more recent disruptor is Uber. The car-booking company has seriously disrupted the stodgy taxi industry as people find Uber simpler, quicker and more satisfactory. The company doesn’t even own cars, yet it was recently valued at $40 billion, in the same ballpark as General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, whose market capitalization is $53 billion.

Disruptors in Workers’ Compensation

Everyone agrees workers’ compensation needs updating and improving. Unfortunately, the industry is notoriously resistant to change. What would an industry disruptor create for this industry?

Some say the big change needed is to legislate letting the employer opt-out from state regulated systems. Texas and Oklahoma are the change leaders in that effort. A group of employers is working in other states to bring about similar legislation. If well-executed, these efforts could significantly affect the industry.

To bring about superior, sustainable change, new applications of technology will be required to monitor consistency, quality and compliance across jurisdictions. The technology is available. Now a unique application is needed, one that everyone loves to use!

Loving technology is not a sentiment normally found in workers’ compensation. That is because most still think of technology as tedious data input and mistrust the output. Nevertheless, creative technology could enhance nearly every activity in workers’ compensation.

The ultimate goal in any workers’ compensation endeavor is (should be) to optimize the medical care of injured workers at the lowest possible cost. A successful industry disruptor will apply technology in new ways, thereby improving cost and outcome pathways for injured workers and their employers.

Any industry disruptor technology will encounter resistance in workers’ compensation. However, everyone can contribute to positive industry disruption by simply being open to change. Creative new use of technology will change the way the workers’ compensation world is managed. Industry disruptors will make sure that happen.