As technology is a tool, not an end in itself, it should be used to improve the value of service delivery. While the insurance sector has developed and offered some specialised insurance products in response to shifts in the behaviour of economic agents, it has lagged behind in providing customers with those products with the comfort and ease that mobile technology can give.
To significantly improve the industry, digital transformation is essential. RPA (robotic process automation) and Intelligent Automation pilot programmes are now being introduced by insurance companies, but they are likely to have a significant impact on the industry.
In an interview with Rajesh Krishnan, Chief – Operations and Customer Experience, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, we discussed all these pointers. Excerpts:
DQ: How are you enhancing insurance operations through process automation and virtualization?
Rajesh: In the present business environment, organizations must have automation and virtualization as their priority to deliver customer experience and stay relevant for the new age customer. This has been one of our biggest priorities and we are effectively leveraging them across our customers’ journey with us, which starts right from onboarding a customer and goes all the way throughout the customer lifecycle.
Considering our key focus is enabling delightful customer engagement and building efficiencies, we believe that a strong technology architecture plays a very critical role. We are continuously evaluating new age technologies and platforms to ensure that we offer the best solutions and experience to our customers, distributors, and other stakeholders.
SmartAssist is our unique co-browsing service platform that was created during the Wave 1 of COVID-19, where meeting people face-to-face was a challenge. This co-browsing platform helped agents as well as customers keep their goals on track. We had a similar journey on ‘WhatsApp for Business’ for agents as well as employees. We created a robust platform to ensure that the engagement of our stakeholders was seamless.
DQ: What are the practices for serving customer with data driven insights?
Rajesh: The insurance industry generates huge volumes of valuable customer data. Increased tech adoption, better access to the online users’ footprint, and the use of evolved technologies such as AI & ML help in churning out interesting data insights, help us create personalized experiences for customers.
We have several data analytics models in place that use new age technologies like AI and ML to yield better outcomes and create secure workflows. For instance, our strong and mature fraud detection models continue to help us identify high propensity fraud patterns, mitigate potential risks and optimize our business performance. We also leverage these data driven insights to improve customer retention by achieving consistently high persistency ratios and establishing continuous engagement across multiple touchpoints.
DQ: What are new investments made in technology and future projects?
Rajesh: Customer obsession continues to remain our goal. We are focussed in strengthening our investments in technology, including UI/UX, data integration, process automations and several aspects of digitisation.
One of our most recent service innovations is an industry-first QR Code feature across our 509+ branches, which allows customers to self-service their needs with immediate closure. It is a simple and safe feature, and provides customers access to 15 popular services on their phone. All that the customer has to do is scan the QR Code and enjoy a ‘branch-on-the-palm’ experience. We continuously enhance the features of all our digital assets to ensure a seamless and delightful experience for our stakeholders.
DQ: Trends that will drive customer experience post-pandemic?
Rajesh: We believe that we are now living and building on the post-pandemic business environment. Businesses like life insurance were able to deliver through all parameters during the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic period. Our tech and digital transformation journey that started many years before 2020, saw us deliver well on customers’ life goals, and enabled us to become one of the fastest growing life insurers in the industry.
Each of our stakeholders expect seamless delivery, and our continuous endeavour is to make these deliveries simple, safe, and fast thereby making the entire experience delightful. We have a series of digital assets for all stakeholder groups, and each one is enhanced keeping the developing business environment in mind – be it to recruit and train our sales force and agents or provide our customers the opportunity to engage with us or self-service their queries, or even learning platforms for our employees and agents.
The digital and tech trends point towards ensuring delightful, quick and safe experiences. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance is well positioned on this path.
DQ: What are the technologies impacting the business of customer experience?
Rajesh: New-age technologies like AI, ML, Big Data, NLP (natural language processing), etc. are playing an important role in helping companies connect with customers meaningfully through various innovative applications. Advancements in these technologies will further help improve the back-end efficiency, thereby improving front-end customer experience as well.