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If you are responsible for business growth in a customer facing business, you are keenly aware that technology and digital are critical drivers to growing market share and creating true differentiation. You’re probably facing enormous pressure to “digitally transform” the enterprise and drive more customer engagement. Read on to find 3 ways to re-think your digital transformation
Normally, that starts with the assessment of your technology stacks to determine what needs rebuilding or upgrading. Long meetings with IT and task forces take place, and months later, you may have uncovered some good (albeit costly and lengthy) opportunities in the back-end to digitize business processes for improved customer experience.
But perhaps it’s better to first consider what customer engagement IS, in the context of your business.
In our recent eBook, “Rapid Digital Transformation in the Customer Focused Enterprise”, we address taking a true “outside-in” approach to leveraging digital to create real customer value. This means asking the right questions from the customer’s perspective. The first question to ask is, “What does my customer really need?”
On the surface, they are “changing an address” or “applying for a mortgage” or “filing a claim.” But that is a business “transactional” vantage point. From the customer’s perspective, they are getting married or divorced, recovering from an injury, changing jobs or planning a vacation.
Customers need you to understand their personal situation and that you will make every step of their journey as painless as possible. They need empathy. By taking this truly customer centric, “outside-in” view, you can now pinpoint exactly where and how digital can deliver empathy and provide real customer value in the process. And engagement may only be a part of the solution.
At the InsureTech Connect 2017 conference, we heard customer experience leaders and regulators discuss this very topic. Customer engagement is imperative and effective when done well. But engagement is often confused with “more communication”. In the spirit of better customer engagement, companies often create too many annoying touchpoints and overcommunicate, which leads to more friction and disengagement. Here are three ways to rethink your digital transformation to deliver real customer value and demonstrate empathy:
Rethink #1 – The front-end is a great starting point for digital transformation.
It’s literally your “front digital door” where you welcome your guests and make them feel at home. By improving the front-end experience, you can demonstrate empathy and understanding as customers begin their interactions with you. Ask yourself: “What data do we already have that the customer can simply verify, versus making them re-key what we already know?” And: “What information can we offer that can deliver an intelligent experience as they interact?”
By modernizing the experience first, you have a more direct (and faster) path to helping customers through their life event.
Rethink #2 – Remove the “frustration factor.”
CEB research found that “making it easy,” or reducing effort, goes further towards building satisfaction and loyalty than the conventional wisdom of “delighting and engaging” customers.
One way to quickly transform the front end is by streamlining inefficient processes to make it easier for users every step of the way. Breaks in the process of data and information collection create major friction for all parties involved. Improved experience driven workflow reduces those breaks and alleviates frustration.
By automating the collection and updating of information, pulling required data only from necessary stakeholders, the number and type of touchpoints are made exponentially more efficient and streamlined. Removing pain points like cumbersome paper and web forms, getting rid of manual processes, and making customer information intake truly personalized and flexible, is a major customer experience “win.” Identify the customer need first (remove friction) and use digital to improve the business processes that can deliver.
Rethink #3 –Create truly digital and adaptive customer interactions.
By using Intelledox Infiniti’s solution-ready, low code platform, you can rapidly digitize data collection and management at any point in the customer journey – from acquisition to onboarding to servicing. Customer inputs are now guided, intuitive and engaging experiences, based on their personal preference, device and location. You are literally their “helping hand” during their life event, at whatever stage they are in the process. From the first interaction to the last, they can use any device and receive the same helpful and consistent experience, knowing they can trust the information and your company to help them along the way.
Better front-end digital and mobile touchpoints will change the way your customers interact with your brand and enable you to demonstrate empathy while saving them time and effort. The best part? Intelledox Infiniti uses pre-built connectors that quickly integrate with current systems, extending your legacy investments for lower operational costs and improved operational efficiencies. No need for a costly rebuild of your entire back end systems.
You demonstrate quick wins for the company, and customers get a truly digital experience that adapts to their needs, removes friction and improves communications.
To learn more about how Intelledox can partner with you for rapid digital transformation, read our e- book overview.
Judging from the record-breaking crowd of more than 3,500 attending InsureTech Connect 2017, aka ITC, interest in digital innovation in insurance is at an all-time high, and not just from traditional players. Investors, tech companies like Intelledox, customer experience leaders, and even state insurance regulators mixed in sessions talking about the future of insurance.
As event sponsors, our team at Intelledox had the chance to meet with dozens of executives, all focused on identifying ways to use technology to improve their business. Here are just five things we learned from some amazing sessions, featuring executives from some of the largest insurance carriers in the world, as well as innovative new players.
Every carrier wants stronger customer relationships. However, more than one speaker noted that most of the time customers just want their insurance company to “get out of the way,” as suggested by Jamie Hale, CEO and co-founder of Ladder Life.
“Sometimes forcing interaction when customers don’t want it just drives them away. What they want is for us to help make decisions in real time, instantly and digitally,” Hale said in a panel discussing the future of insurance. “They want us to make dynamic changes to their policy coverage over time. We have to be focused on what the consumer wants versus pushing products on them.”
This sentiment was echoed by Adam Erlebacher, co-founder, and CEO of Fabric, a disruptor in the life insurance market, who spoke on a panel called Reimagining the Customer Journey: From Expectations to Engagement. “I’m not sure customer engagement is important,” he said. “Attempts to engage can be annoying. It’s about the ‘moments of truth.”
Geno Fernandez, chief underwriting officer of Zurich North America, explained that being present at those “moments of truth” is becoming a major focus for the carrier and how it thinks about using technology along the value chain.
Fernandez said Zurich measures customer satisfaction via Net Promoter Scores related to four interactions they know matter most to their customers – whether big or small:
“One of our top three goals is to make our technology a competitive advantage, and that’s about looking at these moments of truth for our clients,” Fernandez explained.
Hey insurance companies: Customers don’t want to buy your product. And they aren’t sure that product will be there when they need it. That lack of trust is a barrier, said Kyle Nakatsuji, founder and CEO of Clearcover, who spoke on a panel focused on the future of the insurance company.
“I think the insurance company of the future is willing to reinvent itself with empathy,” Nakatsuji said. “Real empathy, not just customer-centricity-corporate stuff. The Insurance company of the future is the one that will have a pragmatic acceptance of their role in people’s lives built on a foundation of empathy.”
Naveen Agarwal, chief customer officer at Prudential Financial, stressed that good customer experience is based on two core components: it must be both functional and evoke an emotional response.
With new technology, product development is happening now faster than ever before, according to Mariel Devesa, head of corporate development and innovation at Farmers Insurance. The carrier built a product to insure ridesharing in just three months – in the past it would have taken nine to 10 months.
“Speed to market is very critical. That’s where the digital insurer and technology come together,” added Guarav Garg, CEO of personal lines at AIG. “If you can take out the friction issues and costs, it reduces go-to-market time dramatically.” Empowering agents with digital tools – even for those working with high-touch clients such as wealth management – enables them to provide higher quality service, Garg stressed.
Underwriting is another area moving faster than ever. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from InsureTech, from Tammy Pascuzzi, strategy director at Principal Financial: “I am going to be bold: It would be great where we have ‘instant issue’ kinds of processes. We are on that path and the journey to offering a more omnichannel experience.”
Insurance companies used to have an advantage with proprietary tech systems, but those days are at an end, said Chris Longo, COO of Amtrust Financial Services. Insurers of all sizes now have access to technologies they didn’t 10 years ago. “It’s a gold rush,” Longo said. Several insurers, including Amtrust, said they created new innovation groups within their organizations to understand gaps and opportunities for improvement in digital technologies. Seems like a trend in carrier org structures.
Wrapping up InsureTech Connect: What’s next?
A common thread among attendees: forward-thinking insurers know their competition looks more like Amazon and Uber, not like traditional insurance. That’s why tech providers like Intelledox have emerged to help insurers rethink the customer experience across those moments of truth.
Despite the sad events just one night before in Las Vegas, it was exciting to feel the crowd energized by new ideas and strategies. If you attended ITC2017, I’d love to know your top takeaways. I can tell you we’re walking away with renewed enthusiasm and excitement for how Intelledox fits into this digital insurance ecosystem.
If you’d like to know more about how we help insurers, please click here or email me at Karen.email@example.com.