Marketing & Media trends
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
Construction & Engineering trends
- 3 major trends in the commercial property space in AfricaPeter Hodgkinson
- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
CSI & Sustainability trends
- Time for NPOs to show their real impactKeri-Leigh Paschal
- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
Energy & Mining trends
HR & Management trends
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
- 5G is coming. Here's what it could mean for SASamantha Naidoo
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
Logistics & Transport trends
Marketing & Media trends
- Tech democratisation will set the tone for 2021Andrew Smit and Johan Walters
- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
#BizTrends2021: How life insurers can transform the customer experience in 2021
If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it underlined the fact that the future of life insurance belongs to the insurers who go out of their way to make their customers' lives simpler and easier by delivering exceptional experiences.
Gareth Quinn, chief technology officer, FMI
Here are the five top customer experience trends we’re seeing in the South African life insurance industry – and they’re only going to gather momentum in 2021.
1. Highly personalised customer experiences
More than ever, consumers expect life insurers to present their offerings in the most elegant, understandable way possible, that’s tailored to their specific needs. Life insurance is complex, and people run from ambiguity or complexity. So what does a great customer experience look like in life insurance terms?
- Easy to understand competitor product comparisons. They want an apples-for-apples comparison: I pay x for y.
- Digital application and self-service capabilities. Often, consumers don’t want to spend half an hour on the phone with you. They want to engage online, or even better, via an app.
- Support offered across a variety of engagement options to suit customer needs. It’s the old story: they want to engage with you when and how they like.
- Rapid, automated under-writing that makes onboarding easy. They want their risks to be assessed quickly and painlessly, with minimal steps in between.
2. Faster digitisation of advice, application and servicing processes
During the lockdown, much of the life insurance industry ground to a halt because advisors couldn’t meet clients or complete paper-based documentation. This has to change, quickly. Insurers and advisers are acutely aware that digitisation doesn’t just improve the customer experience, but creates a more robust operating base that can function under any circumstances.
What Covid-19 also showed was that when forced to, even the most old-school advisors will adopt newer, more streamlined processes. This paves the way for insurers to be more aggressive in making big process changes that require buy-in from their distribution channels.
3. More automated, algorithm-based financial planning
Customers want to feel confident in the product they’re paying for every month, so insurers need to work at showcasing their value and figuring out ways to stick with clients through affordability cycles and changing life circumstances. They also need to demonstrate that their projections are based on real-time data that talks to their specific needs and pain points.
4. Life insurers will partner more with insurtechs to deliver innovation faster
To bring innovative tech-enabled solutions to market quickly, insurers will need to consider how to innovate through partnerships if they’re going to stay relevant and competitive. Insurers will also look to transition to cloud services with more pace after Covid, given the heightened need for remote access and the new landscape of partnerships with web-based tech providers.
5. Micro-insurance targetting specific events, delivered digitally
The major issues that customers have to navigate in the life insurance space are largely centred around product and process simplification. It’s hard enough convincing customers of the value of life insurance; if it confuses at the point of sale and frustrates at the process level, the insurance gap will remain, if not increase larger than it already is. One way forward could be micro-insurance, where people insure specific events, like hospitalisation or illness, for smaller premiums.
The pandemic has shown us how quickly life insurers can adapt when they pushed to. With the lessons of 2020 fresh in their minds, I’m confident that 2021 will see more life insurers looking for ways to reduce friction and remove admin from the customer experience – and the entire industry will be better for it.
About the author
Gareth Quinn is the chief technology officer at FMI