Clued-up and more demanding, consumers expect a quick response time, innovative services, and interaction at all times. The insurer’s front-office is really the frontline service for meeting these expectations and, as such, they must use digital transformation. Below, we set out our advice for successfully transforming the traditional front-office into an agile and flexible interface.
As the visible interface of any insurance company, the front-office brings together each action relating to client interaction (think of an agency with general staff, advisers, etc.). As the name would suggest, this is contrary to the back-office which groups together anything administrative or logistical (think of the stock room in a shop, for example).
The front-office, then, can’t escape this global digitalisation movement. Smart machines, connected objects and data science are already revolutionising many insurance applications to meet new consumer expectations; a consumer who is better informed, more free and demanding, but one who is also still expecting to receive a service.
In an industry overwhelmed with quick, agile and flexible strategies, it is vital for well-established players on the insurance market to go one step further in their digital transformation, particularly with regard to their front-office. But how? By integrating digital tools all the way up to the distribution network’s workstation. By going paperless. By interacting with the client in a multi-channel, multi-access approach.
Digital distribution networks
Digitalisation should be included in every stage of the front-office. First of all, let’s take the distribution network’s workstation. This should undergo important developments in both its functions and ergonomic qualities or even its end-user services, due to the integration of digital sales tools (new customer search, decision-making, file management).
These tools play an important role in improving the networks’ business performance as well as in facilitating multi-distribution within a multi-channel, multi-access approach. They also improve productivity during customer care processes. As a result, they free up business time and must absolutely be rolled-out on a long-term basis through the use of new technologies.
Big Data and associated data science are, then, modernising the outlook for networks and distribution processes thanks to better customer insight: for example, mobile applications give information on which customers might be more inclined to purchase a particular insurance policy. Or, they will be able to strengthen their customers’ ownership rate thanks to the use of multiple data.
Lastly, since the rapid development in the data science profession, insurers need to be on the lookout for even the smallest clues which will allow them to detect a life event. For example, a home relocation is the perfect opportunity to anticipate new needs relating to the customer’s new housing situation (i.e. new home to be insured).
For managers, over time they will be able to access paperless solutions and an integrated workstation with a goal to increasing efficiency. We can also add improved customer service quality, where processing times are reduced and customer claims are dealt with quicker.
Lastly, with a digitalisation programme open to every service, all managers will eventually have access to shared tools which will make it easier to pool resources.
Interact directly via the Internet and mobile applications
If there’s one digital development relatively important in terms of the front-office, it’s definitely direct interaction (the insurer’s website and social media) and customer relations via the Internet and various mobile applications.
Firstly this aims to increase traffic coming from new potential customers and to help win over new ones. Additionally, these tools can be inserted straight into a multi-channel process which is supporting nearby networks. New projects for bettering online customer relations are making their way to the foreground, offering increased service quality, ensuring customer loyalty, and developing multi-equipment opportunities. Finally, the emergence of virtual agencies and tools for capturing website traffic or directing potential clients to the site will come to assisting intermediaries over time.
If one thing is clear, today’s insurers must use a remodeled, modern and interactive front-office, not only to maintain the link they already have with their customers but also to ensure that the customer journey is an attractive one.