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BIMA protects the future of more families with Salesforce
For millions of people across the world, getting ill or injured isn’t just an inconvenience. In countries without national health services, the breadwinner being out of work could mean whole families are plunged into poverty. Sadly, it’s often the people at greatest risk of poor health or having an accident who are least likely to have access to insurance or affordable healthcare. But with BIMA, 35 million people across 9 countries have protected their family with microinsurance powered by mobile technology.
The trailblazing insurance provider, headquartered in London and Singapore, actively wants to make pay-outs to its customers, but to give more people access to affordable insurance policies, it needs to do it at scale. “Our mission is to provide a safety net via health or life insurance to help families get back on their feet,” said Christina Cosma, Head of Actuarial at BIMA. “With around 250,000 new customers onboarded every month, Salesforce is helping us to grow our business in a sustainable way so we can reach more people.”
People-centric processes and richer insights are also helping BIMA drive real change in the insurance industry. “The data we have in Salesforce has the power to change lives. We can look at claims to identify regional trends and work on educating our customers to reduce the spread of preventable illness there,” explained Cosma. “On a business level it means we can create policies that we know will benefit our customers.”
Since 2010, BIMA has grown to become the leading insurance and mobile health provider for emerging markets, where 93% of customers live on less than $10 USD per day. Customers make micro payments via their phone, with a small deduction in credit from their balance, leveraging the existing mobile infrastructure to make insurance accessible to people who may not have a bank account.
As literacy can be an issue for customers, BIMA gives them the power to choose how they engage with the company – via phone, SMS, or IVR (interactive voice response), and they can use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to view videos or send images relating to claims. Moving to Service Cloud is allowing customer interactions to be captured to enable all departments to manage them across all channels from a single console. Health insurance customers have access to a 24/7 toll free line to talk to a doctor and receive regular tips on how to stay healthy on their chosen channel.
BIMA operates across nine markets each with a different business model and multiple partner stakeholders. To help it streamline processes at scale, BIMA needed a centralised platform to improve collaboration and automate manual processes.
“Our priority was to keep things simple. We loved that we could customise Salesforce to make it work for our business and easily integrate third-party systems or applications to extend its functionality,” recalled James Greenwood, Head of IT operations.
The company’s Technical Solutions Architect, Falgun Naker, built a solution based on Salesforce CRM, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Experience Cloud, unlocking 360-degree visibility across the organisation and automating time-consuming tasks so the team can focus on more valuable activities.
BIMA’s services rely on a large network of partners with varying roles according to the local regulations in each of its nine markets. Naker customised Service Cloud with actuarial tables and flows to simplify claims and integrated an app enabling Salesforce to connect with partners’ accounting software.
In regions where BIMA needs to work with external underwriters, such as Sri Lanka, partners can access Salesforce via a purpose-built community to approve claims. “Having a single source of the truth gives us greater trust in our data and helps us get money to people faster – our target is to pay claims in just three days,” commented Cosma. And with more than 1,500 claims paid per month in Sri Lanka alone, that’s no mean feat.
For regional managers, Salesforce dashboards help to optimise relationship management with a quick overview of planned site visits, meeting notes, and prospect status, helping them decide on the next best action to follow up. Replacing multiple inboxes with a central platform also helps the company keep sensitive data secure and comply with privacy regulations.
BIMA provides teleconsultations to more than 1.5 million customers, which enables customers to speak to a licenced doctor over the phone. The team is currently rolling out a clinical patient management system built on Salesforce for doctors and nurses to document the consultation, including medical conditions, diagnosis, and any medications or tests prescribed. It also allows doctors and nurses to access the customer’s previous history during calls.
To give customers a more personalised and valuable experience, the company is integrating the system with its claims management platform. As Dr Alice Pan, Global Head of Health Operations explained, “By giving doctors a 360-degree view of the customer they can not only give them great medical advice, they’ll also be able to tell them if they can make a claim or qualify for a relief fund.”
This will help more customers to make a claim and also helps medics to proactively reach out and check on their recovery. “Our vision for the customer experience is to make it even more proactive and personal. Salesforce is the key to making this a reality, and that’s a really exciting prospect,” Dr Pan added.
To kick off automating its marketing activities, BIMA launched a new onboarding journey in Marketing Cloud in Ghana. The results have been so successful, the team has been inundated with requests from other regions to be next in line to adopt the solution.
The team used Journey Builder to automate the onboarding journey and tackle high levels of churn, a common challenge in the insurance industry. “When customers don’t get a tangible return on their purchase, many don’t see the benefit of keeping up with payments after the first three months,” explained Rebecca Shears, BIMA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We wanted to educate customers on how to use our services and the long-term value of health and life insurance for them and their families.”
New customers now receive messages on their preferred channel over four or five days with helpful tips and information. Integrations enable the team to send IVR messaging or rich media on WhatsApp through Salesforce for people with low literacy levels.
“We’re monitoring the campaign and hoping to see greater retention at the three-month stage. We’ve already seen higher levels of engagement and fewer general enquiries, indicating people understand the service better,” said Shears.
BIMA is also using Ad Studio to retarget former customers. Often, churn happens when a customer replaces their SIM card, which means BIMA loses their phone number and can’t contact them directly. But Ad Studio can use customer data to target people via social media instead to maximise the win-back opportunity.
As well as protection in the event of sickness or injury, health insurance customers also get tips on how to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill in the first place. The team is currently trialling a 12-week journey to educate customers on their choice of four topics – ‘Stay healthy’, ‘Women’s Health’, ‘Diabetes and Hypertension’, or ‘Nutrition and Diet’.
“We’re genuinely invested in improving outcomes for our customers. Prevention is better than cure, and with smarter analytics we’ll be able to see if there’s a corresponding reduction in teleconsultations or claims relating to issues we’ve educated customers about,” Shears added.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Salesforce helped BIMA to react quickly to keep its customers safe. As Dr Pan explained, “When lockdown hit, outpatient clinics closed their doors and health services moved online. We saw a huge increase in calls between March and June – up to 100% in some regions – with people looking for advice on how to prevent the spread of the virus, and enquiries from people scared to go into hospital.”
The company launched omni-channel campaigns to all customers to educate them on COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if they contract the virus. It also worked closely with governments in areas such as Pakistan, Ghana, and Indonesia to get as much information out to people as possible and opened a free, dedicated teleconsultation service.
Where benefits were available to help people buy hand sanitiser and face masks, BIMA actively phoned customers to make sure they were aware that they qualified for funding – and over the course of six weeks, 4,200 customers claimed approximately $15,500 USD.
To track COVID-19 claims, Naker added a simple tick box in Salesforce. “We found that we had better data on the pandemic than a lot of official bodies in the countries we operate in. We could track how fast it was spreading based on the volume of calls and how many claims came in,” added Shears.
BIMA is truly a person-centric company dedicated to improving outcomes for its customers, and as it continues on its Salesforce journey, richer insights will help power its mission for change. “We’re proud to be disrupting the insurance industry – we actually want to pay claims and proactively reach out to customers when they qualify for funds, but we’re also fighting to stop insurance companies from excluding events like pandemics from their policies,” said Cosma.
While data captured on Salesforce is helping BIMA to better serve its customers and make smarter business and healthcare decisions, it will also plug a significant knowledge gap in some emerging markets, where health data hasn’t been accurately tracked and there are few insights into the struggles of the people living there.
“Salesforce is giving us a significant competitive advantage and helping us be a thought leader in our industry, and we’ve also had a lot of companies telling us they’re really inspired by what we’re doing,” said Cosma.
BIMA is currently rolling out Salesforce to more regions and has a bright future ahead. Greenwood commented, “Salesforce makes us more agile, smarter, and more efficient, but the bottom line is we’re in the strongest position to help people on the ground. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting to be a part of that journey, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”