Placing your customers at the heart of your strategy more than ever before - Vermeg

Placing your customers at the heart of your strategy more than ever before

Placing your customers at the heart of your strategy more than ever before

placing your customers at the heart of your strategy more than ever before

WHY DO BANKS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES DEVELOP A DIGITAL JOURNEY? 

With new digital channels (websites, mobile applications, exchange tools and social networks), the situation has changed, which urges banking and insurance stakeholders to make a big change with 180-degree turn. New stakeholders (GAFA, fintech, supermarket players, etc.) invest significant efforts in simplifying and streamlining entry paths in order to speed up their acquisition of new customers, as well as the loyalty/ maintenance of existing customers.

The response of the previous stakeholders, confirming their eligibility for intermediation and services and proposing an 100% digital journey without any paper, in real time and an automated end-to-end process, did not take long to come. The digital journeys lie at the heart of customers’ problems while being the main point of discussion during our second VERMEG Digital Meet-Up in Paris.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? 

This extreme simplicity and ease of use for the customer is based on the advanced use of technology and data: real-time check-out of different files (compliance, risk control, etc.), documents digitalization, accounts creation. All these new IT devices are undoubtedly new levers to re-enchant customer journeys offering a way to get over all major “irritants” (complexity, lack of fluidity, and slowness).

However, beyond technology, we are talking about a profession and organizational related challenges. Until very recently, banks and insurance companies were organized by department, function, or type of activity. It was considered effective management at the time; however, functional silos at work are not perceived as such.

Multi-channel has radically changed the situation. Today, their customers expect a fluid, cross-channel, and smooth customer journey. They want to interact with their financial institutions as being a global entity that takes into account their most compelling needs, and not as department A or division B. To use a geometric analogy, the journey must be orthogonal to the financial institution’s organization.

Digital transformation reforms all of the operating techniques and realigns the route structures for organizational silos. As expectations are changing, these investments are deemed necessary. Customers, partners and end users no longer want linear and transactional journeys, managed by their bank or insurance company, but journeys they initiate at any time and via any channel!

The good news about it is that these journeys maximize contact opportunities and make it possible to build customer loyalty and new customers’ satisfaction.

CAN YOU NAME THREE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED?

Market stakeholders face three challenges.

To speed up the process of creating and realizing journeys in line with expectations of users, banks and insurance companies must mobilize new skills (“KYC”, design thinkingwhich are not necessarily found within their teams. Sourcing these skills can take time and may constitute a challenge (technological, managerial, and human resources): to bring together “the old ” and “the new” world.

How would it be possible then to create a “good journey” with a multi-dimensional approach? Undoubtedly, Personas (commercial, customer), types of journey (purchase, request for information, complaint, etc.), business units, impacted information systems will give you a pretty good idea about your customers. If we represent all these dimensions in a matrix, we will generate multiple combinations! However, you have to make choices and ensure that you adopt an agile method over time. We do not want to build rigid journeys for our customers. On the contrary they must rather be modular, expandable, and oriented towards continuous improvement based on field-study feedback.

Finally, “how to reconcile two visions” is another key question. We either opt for reconciling the “traditional” (process and transaction oriented) with the oriented vision “services and journeys” of the end user or we strive to reuse our analogy, the orthogonal vision and the cross-level vision. This involves constant feedback communication based on a strong analytical and data orientation in order to adapt the journeys to the customer experience. For example, measuring the success of a sales channel today is no longer a question of calculating the transformation rate. It is rather related to analyzing the speed and simplicity of the journey, as experienced by the end customer before the digital transformation phase.

WHAT SOLUTIONS DO YOU PROVIDE?

The VERMEG teams have been considerably strengthened by new skills (UX, design thinking). It was a real challenge, considering our publisher “ERP”, to open up and develop a business-related ecosystem. Like what our banking and insurance clients do, our Digital Transformation teams, have driven the customer voice right to the heart of our solutions. We spoke at length to brokers, end customers, all stakeholders in the value chain to create our journeys. Seeking to boost our customers’ digital transformation, we managed to avoid the Blank Page Syndrome and offer “starting points” and accelerators.

The intention of our approach is also to reduce complexity, by mobilizing business practices and technical devices that have proven to be effective and pave the way towards ready-to-implement digital journeys. These are of course highly configurable. Finally, we integrated an analytics approach into all our technical components, in order to measure and collect all data necessary for the continuous improvement of our journeys.

Reducing complexity and simplifying these customer journeys, above all else, is what poses as a problem. Some stakeholders approached this subject from a workflow and business process management perspective, and they ended up with an 150 steps business process (the anecdote is a real story). Adopting an end-user perspective, we succeeded in designing the same customer journey in six main steps.

In terms of digital transformation, it is essential to put yourself in the shoes of the end user in order to analyze their customer experience and meet the needs arising thereof. You must not miss the opportunity to learn from first-hand. In insurance, as in banking, you only have a single chance to win over prospects and customers. The simplest the customer journey, the more attractive is going to be.