The client, a leading multi-national Financial Services company, approached us with the central question: how might we reduce orphaning along the insurance journey, while facilitating the building of better relationships with our customer?
Some of the key questions we asked
What does a great service experience look like for your customers?
How might your desired service outcomes enable you to shift customers from transactions to relationship?
How might customer touch points across their journey with your agents and team become holistic and orchestrated, instead of variable?
If we are able to build, with the support of digital tools, self-service platforms, would your customer still feel orphaned?
Regardless of the market, we move in quick and understand what drives your customers – Not what do you think about money, but how do you live your life, what is family to you, and what do you aspire to?
For this project, we worked on the basis of the principle that we would contextualise their lives to insurance, not force fit insurance into their lives. This gets customers into a different mind space altogether, one that facilitates openness towards new products and methods of approaching something they thought they already are aware of and understand.
We were engaged on a 10-week project in Southeast Asia, with 2.5 weeks out in the market for research. At the core, the client was interested in understanding and mapping fundamentally – how to scale in a growing market, without losing the quality of service.
The key question for this project was an existing issue of unassigned customers – customers who don’t have agents due to orphaning at different points of their customer journey.
The short-term solution was to recruit and train for more agents, but through our research, we uncovered that there is a deeper problem: An orphaned state does not happen at just the singular point of losing the original assigned agent. Rather, there can be multiple points of orphaning throughout the customer journey – ranging from agents leaving the company, to moments of payment, and the claiming process.
In 10 weeks, we produced a working prototype to a digital self-service claims tool, which we tested with the users in Vietnam. This enabled us to understand some key behavioural patterns amongst the customers that the client wanted to reach, and to design for opportunities and solutions from this key understanding. Especially in the context of wanting to implement and move towards digital technology, we also needed to understand the level of knowledge around technological know-how.
The importance of understanding behavioUr
We learnt that the people in Vietnam, from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue to Danang to Hanoi, have very different subcultures and attitudes. Even within 1 country, you can have very different sets of behaviours and attitudes, in this case, towards money. For example, in Hanoi, people are extremely prudent with their money. Ho Chi Minh City, on the other hand, is starkly different, where the Vietnamese people were more liberal in their attitudes toward money and expenditure. These different beliefs, behaviours, and their distinct nuances impacted our approach toward prototyping, as these greatly influence the take-up of a business idea, product, platform, and the overall innovation strategy.
Hence, one of the primary learnings we walked away with is that context is key: in this case, the way that the developed market and economy thinks about money, savings, and rational decision making is thrown out the door once we enter a different context. This doesn’t just impact the process of research, from questions, to design, to the prototype process, but also impacts the communication between the client’s market and regional teams.