Digital transformation without purpose is a wasted investment. The key question life insurance companies need to answer is why transform?
To reduce costs? Prepare to scale? Meet regulatory requirements?
In part, maybe…but, for most insurers, digital transformation is about enabling an enterprise to realize ROCX (Return on Customer Experience). That’s exactly what’s happening at MetLife‒they’ve made differentiating the company through CX innovation a top priority.
In a recent Life Accelerated podcast, Bill Pappas, the Executive Vice President and Head of Global Technology and Operations at Metlife, discussed the organization's top five priorities. He explained how they executed on differentiation through customer focus and how digital innovation is driven by two types of customer needs.
Customer needs drive innovation #
At the core of this priority is a high-take and high-touch strategy that enhances customer engagement. Metlife recognizes that customers have different needs and preferences when it comes to interacting with their life insurers. Many interactions are transactional in nature and customers are looking for speed and ease of completion. As interactions become more complex, however, customers place less emphasis on efficiency and are looking for explanation, education, and empathy.
According to Bill Pappas, Metlife fulfills both of these complementary needs through high-tech solutions that provide omnichannel, easy-to-use technology, as well as provide the opportunity for human interaction with advisors who understand customers and can provide personalized care
They are aiming to strike a balance between high-tech and high-touch solutions.
The high-take strategy: streamlining transactional encounters #
The goal of a high-take strategy is to enhance customer engagement by providing a seamless and convenient experience. By leveraging technology, life insurers can automate routine tasks, such as updating personal information or making a payment, freeing up resources to focus on more complex and value-added interactions. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improved operational efficiency for the insurer. A high-take strategy for life insurers is focused on delivering a customer-centric experience that meets the evolving needs and expectations of today's consumers.
The high-touch strategy: sometimes you just need some advice #
High-touch strategies for life insurers emphasize building strong relationships and providing personalized support to customers, usually through an advisor. These types of interactions are best suited to the sale of more complex financial products where customers may require more guidance and education to make informed decisions. They require exactly the skillset that advisors bring to the table: empathy, communication, and expertise.
In order to provide the best care for their clients and to create great experiences, advisors need to be supported by digital technology that facilitates:
- activity management and communication
- needs analysis
- solution identification
- illustration and proposal generation
- electronic application submission
- ongoing service.
Bill Pappas, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Technology and Operations, Metlife
CX drives digital transformation and ALL innovation #
MetLife’s customer focus is a critical driver of its digital transformation. New technology and tools are introduced to streamline processes, reduce unit costs, develop innovative products, and fulfill customer needs however and whenever they manifest. And they build empathy into every aspect of every innovation.
Innovation is about more than just new technology #
To make this strategy successful, MetLife needs the right digital skill sets and solutions, but it also needs more traditional ‘people-centric’ solutions, often working behind the scenes. The staff, like their customer care teams, are critical to engaging clients with the appropriate level of empathy and understanding of the products.
Wrap up #
Metlife's strategy revolves around enhancing customer engagement through a high-take and high-touch approach, fulfilling both the need for speed and the need for empathy. Digital transformation is central to this strategy, making it easy for customers to interact with Metlife when they need to. By focusing on this priority, Metlife can differentiate its business by continually providing superior experiences for all of its customers.
To learn more about MetLife’s other 4 priorities, check out the Life Accelerated podcast episode.