CAPE TOWN – The insurance onboarding process is evolving to better reflect the digital needs of today’s customer.
A high level of service and improved customisation are key elements to ensure its success, according to Kelly Preston, digital manager at SilverBridge.
“Even though the onboarding journey will be different for every customer, financial service providers and insurers must do more to create an enabling environment. One of the most significant ways this can be done is to start eliminating the traditional paper-based processes of signing on,” she says.
Thanks to the ubiquity of mobile, there is no need to rely on such an old-school approach.
Today, it is about empowering customers using the devices they are comfortable to take control of the signing on and onboarding process.
An added benefit of going this digital-focused route is that insurers are also better enabling intermediaries and agents to be more effective in their jobs.
According to Deloitte, 38 percent of customers say that the user experience (UX) is the most important criterion when choosing a digital bank. The same holds true for insurance. If the process is slow, ineffective, or becomes too complicated, a customer will simply move to a competitor offering despite the price.
“Leveraging mobile apps with other innovations such as artificial intelligence (or machine-learning), insurers can provide a friendlier customer experience that is designed to be a frictionless process. Furthermore, a mobile app has the added benefit of feeding important data directly into the back-end system and can cut out a timeous manual process,” she says.
Consumers are now used to a more integrated, digital experience thanks to the likes of services such as Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, and so on. They expect the same degree of sophistication from their service providers as well.
“Insurance must be about the experience as much as it is about the product offering. As can be seen by fintechs and insurtechs, those who create such an exceptional experience are the ones that grow the business quickly.
Even agents are able to benefit from systems that provide a central view of a customer instead of disparate processes that do not link with one another.”
The shift is already happening. A recent report found that 42 percent of UK consumers had adopted fintech services. And in South Africa, the recent launch of the Discovery ‘behavioural’ bank is evident that the market is changing.
Those unwilling to embrace the digitalisation process and equip not only their agents but their customers with the tools to do so will be the ones struggling for survival in the future.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE