Today, Salesforce announced new insurance focused enhancements to Financial Services Cloud. This extension of Financial Services Cloud will help enable insurers to build stronger, more personalised relationships with policyholders
We spoke to Jon Mansley, Digital Director at LV= General Insurance, who has recently implemented the platform to better understand how the technology will benefit his business and the insurance sector more widely.
Insurance companies cannot afford to be product driven and operate in silos. If they do, a customer might be offered cover for a policy they already have because the sales rep can’t see the services that the customer has purchased or enquired about in the past.
This has often resulted in customers getting frustrated about repeating the same conversations, perhaps offering their personal details, preferences or policy history on multiple occasions to the same insurer. Understandably, customers expect to be remembered and feel cherished every time they interact with the brand.
Similarly, the representatives want to go into every customer conversation fully armed with relevant information, so that they can build a good relationship over the phone. They certainly don’t want to make customers repeat themselves or offer services that are not relevant to their needs.
Until recently, the databases and systems in place have been able to provide little alternative to this siloed approach. But cloud technology is now offering a range of solutions to drive more personalised and intuitive customer services.
Tech giants like Amazon and eBay have completely changed the game for customer-centricity. Their models are based around asking what customers most desire and structuring their whole business to deliver on that need, as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
This customer-first approach has naturally raised expectations among consumers who now expect all brands to operate at a similar level. After all, if I receive stellar service from Brand A, why shouldn’t I get the same from Brand B?
At LV=, we hold ourselves to the standards of these digital-natives, modelling our online experience, speed of response to enquiries and customer feedback procedures around the example set by the elite customer service providers. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service but also need to ensure we are adapting and evolving with our customers at the same time.
This is where industry-leading CRM solutions like Salesforce’s Insurance for Financial Services Cloud can have a significant impact on our efforts to develop and fine-tune our customer service practices. This new platform empowers our representatives to have a holistic, 360-degree view of the customers they speak to, so that they can tailor policy offerings, monitor preferences, stay abreast of key life events like job changes or babies on the way, offer cross-brand policies and so much more.
When representatives have a detailed picture of their customers in this way, the relationship is completely transformed. Salesforce’s intuitive CRM solutions are helping us to improve our knowledge management, so that we can dramatically reduce our response times and deliver more targeted products, all through the power of richer customer data.
How companies gather, store and use customer data has come under the spotlight in recent years. There is a fine balance between collecting the pertinent information you need to improve the service you provide customers and complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). What we have found is that we need to operate to different standards in a post-GDPR world.
And this is a really powerful benefit of Insurance for Financial Services Cloud, because it automatically tracks conversations with customers, noting what was discussed, when it was discussed and which permissions are required to access that data in future.
Salesforce helps us coordinate and centralise the vast volumes of information our customers produce to this effect, in a way that is consistent, secure and fully GDPR-compliant. This removes the responsibility of handling lots of disparate and potentially sensitive customer data from our representatives, so they can focus on their core job – providing great one-to-one customer service.
For a while now, there has been talk of digital disruption in the insurance sector from outside parties looking to take a chunk of market for themselves. This hasn’t really happened yet but I believe it is coming to our sector. To date we’ve seen ‘traditional’ insurance companies collaborating with clever technology suppliers, to improve certain aspects of their existing infrastructures.
There’s no doubt that legacy IT and customer service processes in this sector need revitalising to bring them up to speed with the expectations of modern consumers. By learning from the examples of best-practice in other sectors, insurers are engaged in a customer experience arms race, whereby the company with the strongest connected customer experience will likely gain customers’ validation and endorsement.
At LV=, our employees are really getting onboard with this shift. When we democratise data and technology so that everyone in the business feels they have the best tools to do their jobs and get closer to customers, it has a very positive impact on company culture. We have a truly customer-first culture in this respect, and this latest investment moves the dial again in terms of what we can offer customers.
Technology used to be an inhibitor in our sector, but now it opens possibilities for staff at all levels that simply didn’t exist even five years ago. This is a great position to be in and we look forward to investing further in digital infrastructure to promote this transition.
Read Creating Connected Insurers: How General Insurance Providers Can Create Effortless Digital Experiences for All and kickstart your journey towards a more agile and collaborative future.