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Why hyper-personalization is the future of insurance

Have you seen the iconic 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally?

One scene in particular stands out in 2022 where the title characters place their order in a diner and we see a classic silver screen example of the ‘high maintenance consumer’.

Waitress: What can I get you?

Harry: I’ll have the number three.

Sally: I’d like the chef’s salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie to be heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I want strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing.

Waitress: Not even the pie?

Sally: No, just the pie. But then not heated.

Fast forward to today and consumers expect the experiences they have with sports, entertainment, shopping and travel to be replicated in every other type of interaction. For insurance companies, keeping up with this expectation for both customers and agents felt daunting as technology stacks and both functional and product-driven silos hindered the perceived ability to build enterprise service experiences that satisfy at every turn. Fortunately, the solution to this may be to face insurers squarely.

Here are three examples of how industry leaders are building brands and growth strategies based on personalization:

Personal service as a culture: Your customers and agents do not segment their feelings about you by policy phase or business function and your processes and user experiences must reflect this enterprise point of view.

US healthcare giant Anthem realized this and deployed enterprise rules, service level expectations and populated their persona-driven panes with relevant insights. Now, regardless of channel, there is complete visibility for each function on the status, ownership and urgency of each work item. No matter the Anthem team or persona, customers who don’t have to start over with every conversation feel like they have a partner they know and have their back.

Real-time decision making: Insurance consumers are multifaceted in their needs, so shouldn’t every insurance interaction be dynamic by design?

The leading European P&C insurer Achmea realized this and deployed Real Time Interaction Management (RTIM) to leverage the vast amounts of data already in hand to contextualize every transaction and communication. The result was a cross-selling increase of nearly 30% and the creation of a marketplace that allows policyholders to leverage the company’s platform for non-insurance products and services that naturally complement their coverage needs.

From inbound to outbound to paid media, Achmea uses a customer decision center to manage 10 million customers across 11 channels to provide personalization at true scale.

Persona-driven recommendations: Financial services giant Wells Fargo realized the need for an ‘always on’ engine that worked on their behalf to better connect with customers. Their first investment was RTIM which continuously calculated next-best messages for their customers in real-time and in-channel. But they didn’t stop there, within a year of launching over 5,000 US branches tellers, lenders, managers and wealth advisors were receiving the next best recommendations directly into their systems of engagement.

Today, more than 5 billion personal digital interactions are created each month through Wells Fargo’s decision engine, a feat that was unthinkable in the not-so-distant past. Their more than 60 million customers responded, with engagement increasing by nearly 10 times.

These examples prove that you don’t need to launch a time-consuming and expensive program to overhaul back-end systems or build complex integrations—low-code platform solutions exist to deliver AI-driven experiences at scale. You can avoid exposing what’s going on in your kitchen and still allow your Harrys and Sallys to enjoy their apple pie as they please.

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