Joining forces for digitization

Increasing digitalization is clearly changing customer expectations when dealing with public authorities, in commerce and also in the insurance industry. The Zurich Group now intends to make its business more digital and can become a role model for the industry.

Mario Greco, the head of Zurich Insurance, sums it up when he says that today, consumers want "personalized, convenient and transparent interactions as part of their changing lifestyles." As a regular reader of our blog, you know that digitization in the insurance industry is a marathon, not a sprint. As such, digitization requires an enormous effort from the entire organization. It is a worthwhile effort, because current technologies are enabling insurers to make their processes more efficient and leaner. Digitization is the basis for new business models and is taking interaction with policyholders to a new level.

Among other things, remember that:

Are too often exhausted on the first lap of the race

Experienced marathon runners allocate their strength wisely in order to reach the finish line. However, we know from our consulting practice that many insurers start out too ambitiously. In a sprint, new offers and process solutions were often created from scratch. But customers did not fully accept these changes or the changes did not create the desired increase in efficiency.

In customer service, for example, the more the chatbot or voice-controlled AI system knows about the customer, the more targeted the system's answers will be. Data silos are one of the biggest obstacles for the use of AI systems within an organization's IT architecture. The sprint has been completed, but the marathon isn't over.

To use a similar example from another area: Insurers are meeting customer demands for mobility and flexibility by using smartphone apps. But in order to do this, the app must be designed from the customer's perspective. Any media disruption, additional hurdles or inconsistencies will negatively affect the positive customer experience. For example, it is difficult for customers to understand why they cannot select a rate in the app, when rates are offered on the Internet. Customers are also dissatisfied when they cannot directly transmit additional claim information via the app.

Digitization and agility require a change in company culture

Inconsistencies, such as those mentioned above, often arise when the insurer lacks a uniform strategy. Digitization is merely a patchwork solution if it does not cover all processes. And it results in a poor user experience if it does not take into account the viewpoints of all departments involved.
Digitalization, innovation and agile working methods require companies to change their culture and to adopt a new way of thinking.

Zurich has been making these important steps.

This move by the Zurich Group can be a model for the entire industry. After all, by creating a separate unit dedicated to a single goal, the Group is acting like a FinTech that focuses on a single task. In this way, customer needs can be addressed from a fresh perspective and with the necessary mindset.

Another advantage that can result from such a "re-start" is the ability to immediately work on data models and data storage without silos and the ability to avoid interface problems. This is because, in order for AI systems to develop their full potential, data should be able to flow as freely as possible.

In our consulting practice, we have noticed time and again how the inclusion of different perspectives and a clear focus on specific projects creates such a positive impact for companies. So, Zurich's results are something that we all can be excited about.


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