By Ricardo Coetzee, Head of Auto & General Insurance
When Covid-19 hit, we realised that we needed to adapt our products to provide customers who are now working from home more options. We also needed to look broader to see what additional value we can provide.
When lockdown first hit, many had to start working from home and most insurers adapted by offering a work-from-home vehicle insurance offering. At Auto & General, we introduced, Coffee, a discounted offer structured around this consumer needs.
Although this work from home offers are currently providing some relief, they are not the only options available.
There are currently alternative options geared toward minimising policy premiums. One such way is to insure multiple vehicles under one policy and another option is to place both your vehicle and home insurance with one insurer.
GOING BEYOND THE PRODUCT PROPOSITION
At Auto & General, we believe that we need to look wider than the product proposition and pure innovation, in order to answer consumer needs. One of the initiatives we have come up with has been the introduction of a customer service promise to all our clients.
This service promise guarantees our vehicle insurance customers, amongst other things, that:
- Their vehicles will be repaired right the first time;
- That we will honour the claim if a customer has followed our claim certainty guidelines, and
- That we will pay claims immediately.
We’ve gone a step further and put our proverbial money where our mouths are, by introducing a customer penalty fee, should we not comply with this service promise. Yes, you can argue that service should be a table stake, but we believe that in the eyes of today’s consumers it is a differentiator.
Accenture in 2019, in their Global Financial Services Consumer Study, found that consumers “still expect and value, above other considerations, fast and efficient service, prompt resolution of problems, access to polite and knowledgeable staff and value for money”.
“They view these conventional features of customer service to be more important than, for example, loyalty schemes, personalised product recommendations or well-marketed brands.”
“There are currently alternative options geared toward minimising policy premiums. One such way is to insure multiple vehicles under one policy and another option is to place both your vehicle and home insurance with one insurer.“
For us, this research points to the need for a well-rounded offering. This is a tough market and very competitive, so in order to stand-out a robust approach is needed and service levels are part of it.
We all know that today’s consumer wants things faster, easier and simpler than ever before and devising a service promise, presents our customers with a nonnegotiable standard of operation.