Trevor Williams | Founder
Speeding Up Digital Transformation for a Centuries Old Industry
While the origins of insurance differ from story to story, the fact remains the same – insurance is a centuries old industry that has fallen behind recently. Despite being a multi-trillion-dollar industry, insurance still needs to fast-forward its digital transformation plans in order to drive efficiencies. Will insurance disappear if they don’t? No, not at all. But will there continue to be costly inefficiencies? Absolutely.
Let’s Take A Look Back
Insurance’s roots are somewhat unknown. There are known efforts by ancient Greeks and Romans ensuring funerals and shipped goods. The first US based insurance company was created by Benjamin Franklin in 1752. Between 1870 – 1877, 81 life insurance companies were started and went bankrupt due to inefficient operations.
In recent years, some insurance companies have begun to take advantage of digital transformation. Haven Life is an online life insurance experience that almost makes getting life insurance fun. Geico has made it easy to get car or renters insurance directly through their app. However, this is just the consumer facing aspects of digital transformation. There are a multitude of ways insurance companies, whether the premium holder or brokerage firm, can speed up their digital transformation plans in order to perform at their absolute best.
Inefficient Onboarding Operations
Historically the onboarding process for insurance could take days if not weeks to finalize before even getting started with one’s policy. This is seen quite often, especially with insurance brokerage firms and with some of the biggest insurance companies in the world. These manual operations take time away from insurance employees who should be out selling additional policies and driving bottom line.
The reinvention of business models with technology at their core will assist insurance companies in their digital transformation. Whether it is by taking processes online or on the cloud, by working with tech companies to develop platforms that streamline account efficiencies or by automating workflow patterns that can be migrated across business units to quickly run approvals, signatures, modifications to policies, etc. the optimization of onboarding operations for new policy holders, insurance agents or account managers will ultimately increase the amount of time spent on outreach and driving new business.
Lack Of Engaging Messaging
This one is mostly for the insurance brokerage firms however large insurance companies with several divisions should also take note. The lack of engaging messaging in the marketplace is killing your chances of engaging with consumers. Think about it in two ways; the lack of engaging messaging isn’t helping bottom line, but also isn’t attracting young talent to your doorstep. Who wants to work for something boring?
By developing engaging messaging you’ll be able to target and interact with your audience through various personas in order to increase conversion rates. Speak your audience's language, utilize human centric imagery and use a tone that is fit for the current landscape, whether it is good or bad. By focusing your messaging on your consumers, NOT yourself, you’ll see that your consumers or prospects will be more likely to engage with your company.
Legacy Systems Continue To Be A Hurdle
The insurance industry is riddled with legacy systems that don’t integrate with each other, making day to day operations long and costly. Taking technology to the core of insurance will begin to rectify the issues caused by these antiquated systems. Centralization, collaboration and connectivity are key when enhancing these platforms.
According to a Forrester report, there have been four rules identified for a digital business. Mind you this is just as important for B2B insurance as it is for B2C insurance.
Digital Experiences: Deliver easy, effective and emotional customer experiences
Digital Operations: Focus operations on things customers value.
Digital Ecosystems: Build platforms and partnerships to accelerate and scale.
Digital Innovation: Innovate at the intersection of experiences and operations.
Digital Experiences – The whole point around digital experiences is the ease it provides your customers. Anticipating what your customers outcome is and enabling easability throughout their journey is critical when taking the insurance industry to new digital heights. Establish a consumer first mindset with technology that works for your company.
Digital Operations – Make sure you have a clear understanding of your core business metrics and make sure your digital metrics align to these. Engagement with consumers can be connected to lifetime customer value. Increased online following is an increase in prospects and potential sales pipeline. Website demographic data should correlate back to your consumer personas. These metrics provide a thorough understanding of your consumer personas, which will enable you to increase investment or shift business strategies where needed.
Digital Ecosystems – What does your business do well vs. what does it not do so well? Take these core competencies into account when digitizing your platforms. Focus on what consumers need from your insurance company and develop those needs as a primary focus. Digital ecosystems should be easy to use and focus on the challenges your consumers have, bringing best-in-class solutions to the forefront of your offering. This doesn’t mean you need to change everything your business offers, but rather pivot what you can in order to drive increased conversions with lower capital investment of upfront labor costs.
Digital Innovation – There’s digitizing your ecosystem and then there’s digital innovation. While it is important to take the insurance offering online, it’s equally as important to research emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve. The last thing you want to do is invest valuable time, money and resources to still be behind the competition. It’s also important to ensure that the consumer profiles the business focuses on are weaved into the digital ecosystem. Utilizing these insights, insurance companies may be able to identify key breakthroughs that will take their offering to the next level.
Where Can Insurance Go From Here
Do your research and see what innovative technologies are out there that would enable companies to speed up their digital transformation. Keep consumer outputs at the center of the business strategy and technology at the core of the business. Focusing future technology investments on consumer challenges will help insurance companies overcome their legacy systems while mitigating exuberant costs and use of resources. The result will bring insurance companies into the digital age and enable them to not only engage with their audience like never before, but also drive bottom line by increasing efficiencies and output by internal resources.