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Five principles for great customer experience in the digital era



Kwena Moabelo, Head of Customer Excellence, Hollard Insure


Technological innovation and digitisation are changing customer expectations, but how can insurers use technology to enhance their customer experience? 

The Japanese have a phrase that roughly translates to “master yourself”, a martial arts concept that demands continued growth. It ties in with what we as an industry need to do: master ourselves as we navigate this digital era that is upon us.

As some technologies fundamentally change the insurance industry, we certainly need to do things differently – but this process is not as unfamiliar as it sounds. Below are my five principles for an insurer applying technology to improve customer experience.


Put the customer AND the broker at the centre

Start with the customer and not the technology, and apply a digital solution that satisfies the customer’s expectations. But also understand the broker and their journey.

To paraphrase, you can’t solve the customer experience without also solving the broker experience. You need both parties on board.


Empower the broker

Insurers should work more closely with brokers to come up with better solutions for our customers. We need to continually seek each other out as insurers and intermediaries, as we navigate this tricky period of digital innovation and heightened customer expectations.

Insurers must thus support brokers to be more effective advisers, and share such things as digital tools and advanced analytics to help them in their role as advisers.


Relationships are still king

The insurance industry remains driven by relationships. Research shows that customers are more interested in a relationship with their broker than their insurer, and there is no reason to change this equilibrium. 

All we insurers need to do is support brokers in digitising their talents. The challenge is in maintaining the human touch – the authenticity and warmth we find in these relationships.

Digital creativity and agility

Be creative with technology and the huge amounts of data acquired from it. Identify and embrace forms of technology that make work more effective, and digitise and group customer information in one place.

It can be complicated in the back but keep it simple in front for the customer and broker. 


Keep it simple

We don’t have to introduce every technological innovation out there, but rather pace ourselves while delivering an excellent customer experience.

One of the dangers and challenges of navigating this digital era is the increased complexity that comes with it. We need to guard against creating more problems while trying to solve the ones we have.

Many companies see the digitisation of their processes as the finishing line, but to truly create the future, they need to think beyond what they already have. You can only master yourself if you believe in growth, and embracing digital technology is the growth that we all need to be better versions of ourselves.