Tavio Roxo, the CEO of OWLS™ Software
In this, part three of our journey on the fundamentals of insurance and how these impact your digitization journey and your specific technology decisions, I tackle the customer or user experience part of the journey. It is the softer side, but it is a crucial side.
Before we start the discussion about the optimal journey for a customer or the optimal journey for an internal administrator or claims assessor, whoever is interacting with the system, let us just unpack and understand what most of us believe are the attributes of a good system, or a good journey.
There is some stuff which is pervasive across all technologies, not just to insurance. Let us use Takealot, by way of example. I use Takealot because they built a cool digital journey for a customer. You login to start and you choose your products, it is easy to engage with. Rule one adhered to. You can pick up the Takealot app, download it, and you can order and buy your first item within minutes after that. It is intuitive, understandable, and relatable to someone. It adheres to industrial design principles of starting at the top, moving to the bottom, having the search bar, et cetera.
The next critically important attribute of technology is to keep the person who is engaging with the technology engaged, consistently. If you log into Takealot today and choose a jacket, adding it to your cart, it is still in the cart for the same price when you log in tomorrow. If you went and looked for that jacket again, you would find it again, assuming that it has not been sold out. That is the consistent engagement that you have. We have easy, intuitive, consistent, and then it must be up all the time. Takealot is up all the time. It has high availability, which is key. We do sometimes have some outages, but technology has become much better today than what it was five years ago, where there would be intermittent service.
If you cannot get those three fundamentals right, then you are on the back foot for any journey, whether it is an internal administrator or an external client journey, whether it is a policyholder, a claim or whatever, it does not make a difference. If it is not easy, not immediate, not consistent, and it is not available when you log in, then you are dead in the water.
Let us assume that all those three attributes are there. Then you must unpack and decide exactly what that journey will be, what you will allow that user to perform and what you will not allow that user to perform, very succinctly.
You must be brutal about it in the sense that, when a user logs in and they want to perform a refund on a premium because they were downgraded, that would not be something that you want to expose to the user. You might be exposing the user to only a claim lodge functionality or just the “view policy” functionality, but you must be very intentional about what you want them to see and how you want them to get there to see it.
Internally, an administrator is obviously a more technical person, so you can be a bit looser on that journey. But what we found is that you must provide quite deep detail, because as someone interacts with a system over time, they want to go down to the GL transactions on a policy. They want to go down to what the endorsements were on the policy, and what upgrades or downgrades were performed. These are technical users, and you must allow that information to be accessible for them. But as a technology person, a CIO (Chief Information Officer) or a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in an insurance business will need to decide on what they will allow the “lodge claim” administrators to see. That is a decision for the business to make, rather than “give us the system, we will try and figure it out.” It cannot be like that because then you have an unwanted mishmash of confusion.
OWLS™ Insurance Software
Proud providers to insurance companies, UMA’s,
administrators, intermediaries and financial services companies.
So, how do you know that UX journey is successful? Each of your clients have their own journey, which they want to preserve. That journey seems to be different per client, even though they are in the same vertical.
I like to use data to assess whether a project is successful. One mechanism would be, looking at something as simple as a cash allocation where you are receiving a premium into your bank account via cash or eft, that does not have the correct reference number, and you need to allocate it to a policy or to a group. What then?
Another mechanism to see whether your system’s journey is working is looking to see if there are thousands of transactions in your to-do list to be allocated, and they have not allocated one, then you know there is a genuine problem. You either cannot allocate, or it is too cumbersome or complicated to allocate. Compare this to where you had 10,000 transactions per allocation and 7,900 have been allocated immediately. You can see that you have a decent journey there. It is not as perfect as it could be (it never is in fact as perfect as it could be), you can always tweak and optimize, but you are dealing with 70, 80% of your issues using technology.
That journey is working because those items are being actioned, and that is your measurement tool. For a UX journey, onboarding an external customer, a good test would be where you do an outbound campaign of a thousand SMS’s and a hundred people click, but 99 of them do not sign up. Then there is most likely a problem there, compared to where you send out a thousand, a hundred click and 75 join. You know that of the hundred that clicked, you have a 75% hit rate of people joining. That is a much better journey for that simple product.
High expectations – When a customer engages with you from an IT (Information Technology) perspective, they are expecting the same journey as Amazon or Netflix, which is unfair. Most cannot live up to that. Those are billion-dollar companies with thousands of developers working simultaneously to fine tune and fine hone that journey. As an insurer in the South African context, we just do not have that scale. We do not have the depth of architects, engineers and knowledge or sheer money required to do R&D and build up a cool journey.
It is a bit unfair that the customer’s expectation is high, but it is, which means it is a balancing act. Ultimately, there are industrial design principles and IT principles. When you walk up to a door you know that you must pull the door towards you. No matter which building you go to, you know how that works.
When you go to a website, and you go on a digital buying journey, there is just certain things that a customer will always expect, and you must adhere to those.