Rahul Singh, President and Global Head of Financial Services, HCL Technologies, on how modern insurers create a connected enterprise for a digital world
“What’s dangerous is not to evolve, not to invent, not to improve the customer experience” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.
In the hubbub surrounding his wealth, the Amazon empire and other ventures, we seem to forget that Jeff Bezos also changed the way we do business. He redefined and rearticulated commerce, not in terms of profits and valuation, but for the end consumer.
Amazon’s vision of being ‘the most customer-centric company in the world’ imagined that world to be tech-driven and interconnected, where an unfiltered obsession with customer experience generated long-term value. Today, businesses across the world are finally catching up.
Nowhere is this more evident than in insurance.
Insurtech has revolutionised how consumers interact with their insurance providers. Companies are today racing to reformat their businesses for the cybernated economy. Developing an outside-in approach, the entire experience is redesigned for the digital-native customer. Emulating the Amazon model, companies are building connected enterprises from the ground up, integrating systems to deliver effective and efficient products and services.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou, author and activist.
What does the modern digital customer want? Understanding their needs, motivations and preferences is the basic building block for a customer-centric organisation, informing their entire business strategy. This means that all relevant parts of the organisation that impact customer experience must understand, react and cater for this agenda.
The key to building a formidable and durable customer-centric organisation lies in designing and delivering absorbing, seamless customer experiences, aligned across the entire organisation. For a modern insurance company, the front, middle and back offices seamlessly converge to form a customer-centric, agile and digitally transformed, connected enterprise.
One of our clients, a Dutch insurance behemoth, realised that the old silos were ineffective in today’s digitised world. It sought to bridge the physical distance between customers and its brand by short-circuiting the tedious processes that hamper coordination at all levels of corporate governance and functioning. When we joined it as a single digital partner, we wanted to enhance employee experience, improve efficiencies and optimise cost to ultimately help develop more efficient systems, ones that intuitively understand the modern customer and optimise resources.
Any transformation relies on expertise, innovation, experience and continuous, deep collaboration. We worked with the firm to find the entrepreneurial spirit, technological talent and heritage – including processes, data, expertise, values and information among employees – to lead the change teams. We incubated our ideas in innovation labs, testing their efficacy before incorporating them in the enterprise model.
This resulted in a single view of the customer across the organisation, a 40 per cent increase in revenue through multi-channel distribution, up to $3million of cost savings in the first year, and an almost 90 per cent reduction in cycle time.
“Just as fast-food chains operate a different capability footprint and deploy different processes than three-star Michelin restaurants, insurance companies should develop and deploy differentiated processes and capabilities, based on specific customer considerations” – Deno Fischer, Financial Services Customer Advisor at KPMG-US.
A connected enterprise approach empowers insurance firms to see and serve their customers as people, not just as policyholders according to how their business units define them – as, for example, home or vehicle owners.
It’s an ambition that depends on partnership and trust across the organisation. A hybrid model, which manages different efficiencies and expertise, demands a truly all-inclusive experience that puts people, not processes, at the forefront of decision-making and customer communication.
A vision where customer-centricity and human ingenuity is valued to deliver a connected enterprise.