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Event Recap: Insights to Action - Using Research to Drive a Better Customer Experience

October 12, 2017 7:00AM

On October 3, Angelica Bonacci, Director of Market and Customer Insights at Allianz Life Insurance, joined AMA Minnesota to share how to use research to create a better customer experience. From the life insurance perspective, Allianz caters to creating favorable experiences for two types of customers – the financial professional and the policyholder. Angelica mentioned that customer experience revolves around true customer centricity, which involves technical excellence and inclusive meritocracy. 

The discussion began with a brief overview of research methodology:

  • Qualitative: This method is descriptive, full of heart, and sparks new ideas with storytelling; some examples are focus groups, one-on-one interviews with clients, and ethnography.                    
  • Quantitative: The data is based on factual and reliable information which provides clarity and prevents ambiguous results, and provides key performance indicators. Few examples are touchpoint measurement, needs assessment, and trade-off analysis.  

Angelica highlighted the needs assessment, which Allianz has used to bridge the gaps for a smoother customer experience.  For instance, if the customer’s concern is, “The government is making me take RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) from my retirement accounts for tax purposes, but I don’t need them” – Can we design a product to meet that need?

With growing competition among insurance companies, research is an ongoing process to know what makes customers happy and encourages them to return to your brand. As Angelica quoted, “Satisfaction is an attitude, and loyalty is a behavior, which is critical for the financial industry.”

The ultimate loyalty question results in the Net Promoter Score (NPS), such as, “How likely are you to recommend Allianz to your friends or colleagues?” NPS is just a number, but what you do with it is what really matters. The customer experience starts with customer feedback, which is listened and shared by the company to be acted upon with a solution to make a positive experience.

Since we can’t survey every customer at all times, it is important to prioritize the moments that matter. Therefore, journey mapping is used. Its “outside-in” approach is customer centric as it creates empathy, is experience-focused, and records customer behavior and emotions.

To create a better on-boarding experience, Allianz conducted a customer loyalty study which helped understand their needs. Angelica provided a few examples of “Insights to Action”:

  • Insight - While relying on financial professionals, customers also needed a multi-channel experience
  • Action – A “What You Need to Know” insert was provided to clients along with their contract to cater their queries; a welcome email was sent to them, as well as a welcome video, to truly create a personalized experience
  • Insight – Customers need reassurance that their money will be safe in spite of changes in stocks
  • Action – Show customers that with Allianz’s long-standing history, since 1890, they can safely confide; communicate with customers at regular intervals, and provide relevant and engaging information on the website
  • Insight – Customers want more frequent communication and performance monitoring tools
  • Action – Communicate at regular intervals, and use consumer facing tools to illustrate how annuities work

To sum, core beliefs of customer experience are:

  • Create a fact base for journey prioritization and improvements based on feedback
  • Capture and optimize experience from the customer point of view
  • Institutionalize customer experience mindset