Zühlke – Empowering Ideas

Group of insurerers handshaking

Reshaping Customer Experience in Insurance

Lukas Urech & Nele Eckstein &

Digitisation makes insurance customers the key point of focus for offers. Strategically-anchored customer experience helps insurers to evolve from being single solution providers to customer experience enablers.

Insurers are faced with ever-increasing demands from customers due to digitisation. Potential insurance customers generally no longer request quotes directly from a representative. Instead, they prefer to compare the benefits and costs via a portal.

Insight in brief

  • Digitisation makes insurance customers the key point of focus for offers.
  • Strategically-anchored customer experience helps insurers to evolve to customer experience enablers.

In April 2018, Adcubum and the Leipzig Insurance Forums published the “Insurance 4.0” study, which predicted a complete overhaul of the insurance world within the next five to ten years. Among other things, the study expects full automation of the entire value chain, using robo-advisors. Networked value creation using data-based services is only the beginning in this regard.

With customer experience to innovation

As an almost reflex response to digitisation, companies have built customer portals. Many insurers have done their homework in this regard, thereby improving internal processes and permanently reducing costs. However, in the needs pyramid of insurance customers, such customer portals now figure at the lowest level: they have become commodities.
Customers now assume it is a given that an insurer will provide a good customer portal. In order for insurers to be able to put this into practice, the customer experience at insurers must become a strategic obligation. Due to the consistent focus on the customer experience, it is not only breaking points that become apparent in processes and customer journeys. Professionally-run customer experience management also reveals innovation potential at all levels. The consistent taking of the customer perspective thus reveals, for example, blind spots in the depth and breadth of products and services. Insurers must first and foremost say goodbye to silo thinking in their own companies. Once this has been successfully eliminated, insurers have to not only think outside the box in terms of their own value chain but must also look beyond the industry boundaries.

Creation of ecosystems

First and foremost, the customer wants to be properly insured. This must be the top priority for insurers. This means, when buying a car the customer is offered car insurance at the same time, when booking a trip the customer can decide immediately on travel insurance and the customer can be taking out supplementary insurance together with basic health insurance. From the customer’s point of view, the linking of singular offers to a complete ecosystem of products makes sense.

While the digitisation of processes and the optimisation of legacy systems are given priority by companies, it is already an absolute must for insurers to link offerings to complementary products and services. With the possibilities available today, such offerings are also feasible from a technological point of view. This is why, in terms of business, companies are now forced to think in terms of interlinked offerings – so called Smart Services. However, insurers need strong partners with expertise to achieve this.

Using the customer experience as a catalyst for insurance companies

This interlinked reality requires that insurers form alliances going beyond their own core business activities. If real customer needs are understood, this automatically results in cooperation across industry boundaries. Die Mobiliar sets a good example in this regard. Through its subsidiary, the Swiss company Mobiliar Services AG, it is experimenting with non-core offerings and running agile developments such as smide.ch, tooyoo.ch and findme-tracker.ch. For insurers, the acquisition of industry-specific start-ups is also an option.

The customer need, or the outside-in perspective, acts as a catalyst for creating new combinations of offerings. In addition to technology and business, customer experience is a key factor in successful digitisation strategies. Insurers need to clarify what role they want to play in networked, cross-industry supply ecosystems and give the topic of customer experience corresponding strategic importance.

Lukas Urech Zühlke

Lukas Urech

Director Business Development
Contact person for Switzerland

For more than 20 years Lukas Urech has been helping companies implement digitalisation projects. He joined Zühlke in August 2016 and is responsible for the insurance business as Director Business Development. Lukas holds a MASt in General Management from ETH Zurich and specialises in solution-orientated business development. Creating value for customers is his number one priority. 

Nele Eckstein Zühlke

Nele Eckstein

Business Solution Manager
Contact person for Switzerland

Nele Eckstein is Lead Consultant for Customer Experience. She has more than 15 yeas of professional experience in the areas of UX, design and brand development. As consultant she managed numerous projects in diverse industries and designed customer experience from a strategic level to the conceptual and visual detail. She is specialized in the initial product development phase, where she establishes client focus with state-of-the-art methods and helps to find the right product and scope. Nele Eckstein holds a degree as designer of electronic business and as a landscape architect.