Digital Insurance Agenda

How to futureproof your customer experience

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Feb 24, 2023

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global IT services, digital consulting and business solutions organization. It has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses over the past 50+ years. TCS helps insurers to offer not just protection, but also the promise of a better life for their customers, working from the vision of ‘optichannel’: where digital meets personal. We sat down with Egmont Philips, Head of Europe, Digital Marketing and CX Practice at TCS, to talk about the future of digital customer journeys in insurance and how insurance companies can futureproof their customer experience.

Egmont, what do you see as key success factors for insurance innovation?

We all felt the exciting vibe at DIA Amsterdam and DIA Munich last year. All the ambitious and agile teams bubbling with energy to bring their new innovations to the market, lots of smart solutions to better manage risks and claims. But in the end, a consumer needs to press a button to buy the service or use a new feature.

Innovations are worthless without a smooth and iconic customer experience. It is all about an ideal marriage between insurance products and CX. Take for example a peer-to-peer platform to share cars with embedded insurance. It will only fly if it is easy to use and the car owner feels comfortable while handing over the keys to a stranger. The art of customer experience design is creating a User Interface and User Experience that gives a sense of comfort, trust and certainty to its customers. A good example is gjensidige’s Lettlånt.

What do you see as the most important ingredient in creating these great customer experiences?

Design has become one of the most important success factors, because new insurance models are based on a variety of changes in the eco-system:

  • Embedding insurance in other services and platforms: insurance as a ‘plug-in’
  • Becoming the customers’ buddy for travel, mobility, easy living and security: insurers own the platform
  • Optimizing risk-reward models using more and a wider variety of data: creation of new propositions

But the proof of the pudding is always in the eating. So, the eating must be a great experience.

What are the key design criteria for a great customer experience?

There are three design criteria for digital interaction with customers.

You need data to enable personalization and deepen the relationship by offering relevant services and offers. The more you know, the more subjects you can talk about, just like in the physical world.

To create an emotional connection, you need to think and act like a friend. That can be as simple as wishing your friend a happy birthday, but also giving friendly yet honest advice on a bad habit like spending too many hours on the phone.

We all know that functional and transactional interactions should be simple and smooth. But what steps in the journey should be iconic? It is always hard to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) of iconic interaction design, but if customers remember you for that and talk about it with friends and family, that’s an indicator of growth and success. If the purpose of your brand is to help customers to stay ahead, a financial planning app should be iconic. You can think of an immersive design where a customer goes in a virtual time machine to the future – in the metaverse. Could be, but with 2D and 3D designs you can already create something bespoke today.

What is the role of MarTech in this process – and how do you assess if your tech stack is future proof?

Marketing Technology (MarTech) plays an important role in optimizing digital customer journeys. But we see that direct and indirect insurers across the globe face the same challenges with MarTech—it is underutilized, siloed and there is an ever-growing abundance of choice.

With many MarTech stack options, marketers might have a hard time deciding which stack works best for their business. A few crucial questions to consider when evaluating options include:

  • What is the ability to turn data into actionable insights?
  • Have the current applications evolved with time to meet the changing needs of the business?
  • What is the impact of a MarTech platform on customer experience and operational efficiency in the organization?
  • Does the organization have the right use cases to take advantage of the full potential of the MarTech platform? 
  • Is there any overlap of capabilities across technologies?
  • Is current tech used to the maximum of its capacity?
  • Is it worth buying new (niche) stacks or renewing the contract for existing ones?

These questions will help assess and evaluate the existing stack in terms of business fit, maturity, and how it matches up to that of competitors, performance, and scalability. The output you want is a high-level roadmap for execution, based on strategic business goals and mission, including talent and processes.

How does TCS help insurers with futureproofing their customer journey?

At TCS, we take a design-led approach. It means we start with business KPIs and determine what elements of the customer journey needs to be (re)designed. That will set the requirements for the data and tech layer. In an agile approach, we co-create new customer journeys, build on existing or new platforms, and bring technology from our global ecosystem of partners, insurtechs and start-ups. A road map is only the right way to success if the ROI is optimal and customers will make that emotional connection, use services to the max and become advocates. Or better, fans!

Interested to find out more about future-proofing your customer experience?

Contact Egmont Philips, Head of Europe, Digital Marketing and CX practice.

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