The on-demand link for the Panel Discussion is also available at the end of the blog
In this panel discussion at InsureTech Connect Asia 2021, the world’s largest gathering of insurance leaders and innovators, the discussion is about changing consumer expectations and the role of insurance companies in adapting to it.
The panelists are Yamini Bhat, CEO & Co-founder, Vymo, Pieter Kemps, Principal, Sequoia, and Al-Noor Ramji, Group Chief Digital Officer, Prudential. The event was moderated by Juergen Weiss, Head of Global Financial Services Industry Research and Advisory, Gartner.
The world of insurance is a fast-changing one, add technology to the mix, and you have the opportunity to create a stellar product. These stalwarts who are a part of the panel discussion are either enablers or active participants in the field of insurance.
One of the pressing questions surrounding insurance products is about the experience that a customer goes through when buying one. It is one area that most insurance companies have not been able to nail. There is a lot of room for improvement.
Customers these days are looking for quick solutions, they want options where comparisons are easy, and the decision-making process has less friction. Providing a seamless digital experience is the need of the hour as it offers speed and transparency.
Customers these days are looking for someone who can act as trusted advisors. Someone who understands their pain points and gives them a solution. It isn’t enough that they shift from offline to online, but digitalization should help them make consumer interaction better. That’s what is going to propel the insurance industry forward. Turn their salespeople into trusted advisors.
In the insurance industry, there needs to be deeper introspection and end-to-end technology delivery to reduce the friction and make it easy for the customer to buy and consume.
One of the reasons why most people don’t bother with insurance is the lack of implicit trust. If you walk them through a bunch of jargon that they don’t understand, they will be skeptical of your intentions. Insurance companies can make the entire process tolerable by efficient use of technology and a lot of empathy.
In the insurance industry, the whole customer journey needs a complete revamp and it has to be done with the customer in mind. The incumbent players in the industry need to have a consumer DNA. Digital will help better the experience for customers at all interaction touchpoints. They should also adhere to the regulations, be in compliance and be positioned to meet changing customer expectations.
How does Vymo fit into the picture, and what is the kind of relationship they have with insurance companies, asked the moderator.
“There has been a disruption since a decade, and players like Vymo act as an enabler in making things happen. Customers want to be risk-averse when choosing insurance companies. They want to know how long the company will last when they are going for life insurance or a retirement plan since it’s long-term”, Yamini added.
Insurers need to understand that customers have a variety of needs and need to position themselves in the right way. Companies like Vymo enable the incumbents by improving their distribution systems 5X and also provide them with the ability to scale on demand.
If there is one thing that all the panelists kept repeating over and over, it is this- you should delight the customer by focusing at each and every touchpoint. Empower your sales team that will help them ‘wow’ the customers. The sales team should develop a deep relationship with the prospects even after they have become paying customers. Being aware of each touchpoint is the key here, which will help the sales team to make changes to their strategy.
Thanks to Covid, remote sales has become a necessity. While remote sales have been a reality, it wasn’t something that was optimized completely yet. When the world scrambled to get back to their homes to mitigate the spread of the virus, we had to make do with whatever little resource was available, including the insurance agents.
Here are a few excerpts from the conversation on how remote selling could be done in the insurance industry. The remote agents should be highly motivated individuals who act as trusted advisors. They should be given tools to make them highly productive. Train your salespeople through digital means. The consumer sales interface also needs a complete re-work. The sales agents should also be given sufficient ways to increase their income while doing all of this.
Pieter, a sought-after VC opined that the incumbent insurance players should have a deep understanding of the actual insurance stack and not just focus on the distribution. An enabler like Vymo helps you see how the agents can get more out of every interaction, he added.
Here are the parting comments by each of the panelists on what the insurance industry should tackle and address.
“Grow up and embrace the customer,” said Al-Noor.
“The industry should look at themselves as trusted advisors,” added Yamini.
“I wish that insurance becomes easy and accessible, and maybe even fun, for the customer.” -Pieter Kemps