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The Hidden Barrier to Digital Transformation that Insurers must be Ready to Overcome


Digital transformation continues to pick up pace across the financial sector. However, in spite of the potential benefits on offer, many insurance firms continue to lag behind their peers in terms of their overall digital maturity. 

Too many firms continue to depend on cumbersome legacy applications - many developed in-house, on an ad-hoc basis - that are increasingly showing their limitations in our increasingly interconnected age. With many such outdated systems and processes firmly embedded in many firms' company cultures and day-to-day operations, there is a natural hesitance to embrace change at a fundamental level.

Nonetheless, the potential benefits are enormous, both for firms and their customers.

An exceptional customer experience is a must for organisations across all sectors, particularly as customers' expectations continue to evolve. Customers expect to be able to make contact through whichever channel they prefer - be it email, phone, chat, or video calling - and still enjoy a seamless, stress-free journey to a successful resolution.

But even with the growing sophistication and availability of such solutions, insurers face a unique challenge in that their products and services, though essential, are something customers hope to never have to use. This puts additional pressure on firms to ensure that each investment in digital transformation serves their customer service goals and empowers their employees to ensure the customer journey is as smooth and stress-free as possible, even for the most challenging, emotionally charged cases.

With this in mind, let's consider some of the key factors that insurers must consider as part of their long-term digital journeys… 

Invest in improving digital literacy at all levels

Establishing a proper awareness of the immediate and long-term benefits of digital transformation is key to obtaining the best possible ROI. This must extend to all levels of the firm, from proper training for the employees who will be making use of these systems each day, to ensuring key stakeholders are able to make informed decisions about where investment is required. Successful digital transformation is just as much about cultural change as technical innovation.

Keep the customer at the centre of everything! 

Amidst the rush to implement new technologies, it is important to not lose sight of their true purpose. As we have touched on already, insurance is an inherently people-focused sector. Any new investment in technology must ultimately be in the service of optimising the customer journey and enhancing service quality at all levels.

Cultivate robust technology partnerships

Few firms' internal IT teams will possess the time, resources, and specialist expertise to navigate the growing complexities of the digital landscape in-house, which means the support of a trusted technology partner is essential. Any partners firms choose to engage with must not only be able to demonstrate tangible experience and capabilities within the realm of fintech, but also be able to apply the lessons learned from other sectors to firms' customer experience. For example, innovations in online shopping can potentially be used as a model for digitising insurance services and taking them online.

Automate routine process, wherever possible

Nascent technologies like AI and machine learning are opening up a rich vein of opportunities when it comes to streamlining internal processes, freeing employees to focus on business growth activities and that all-important customer experience.

Being willing to explore these different elements will help insurance firms accelerate their digital journeys and, ultimately, prove transformative for the sector as a whole, establishing new standards of efficiency and service quality. While the results of this process will likely take years to fully reveal themselves, firms that are willing to lead the way are sure to establish themselves as innovators in their field, strengthening their brand reputation and building customer confidence.

To explore your own firm's unique challenges and how a fresh approach to digital transformation can help you solve them, do not hesitate to contact our team

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