When we hear talk of “digital capabilities,” most of us think about Amazon and its powerful delivery network, or Twitter and its amazing communication tools.
But financial services have critical digital needs as well. Many companies are facing challenges on which solutions to implement and when, as well as how to transition effectively to modern technologies that enable digital capabilities.
Anoop Warrier is digital products executive with USAA Life Insurance. He will help lead a workshop session today on “Attaining Digital Agility” at the 2016 LIMRA Annual Conference in Chicago.
“It is a journey for a lot of folks,” Warrier said of digital integration. “Nobody has cracked the code yet on what is going to be a perfect experience. There are a lot of companies who are still trying to figure out how to do it.”
Founded in 1963, USAA Life is the 23rd largest provider of life insurance coverage in force. The company is 100 percent direct-to-consumer with no field agents.
Still, Warrier said the lessons of digital – from consumer interaction to policy service to automation of processes – can be applied across business models.
Front to Back
Warrier will be joined by James Gauger, managing director, Deloitte Consulting. Gauger, who could not be reached for comment, will discuss digital integration at the “front end,” or the core systems companies need at the production phase.
Warrier will discuss “back-end” digital processes. Embracing digital can change all aspects of client interaction, he said, from scheduling to dealing with claims.
“Before we started putting all this emphasis on digital, our process on paper when a member would buy life insurance used to be very, very long, sometimes as long as 12 to 15 steps,” Warrier explained.
“What we paid special attention to is making sure we are not just taking the same process and digitizing it, but making sure that we revamp the process and relook at everything. Then we digitize those experiences in a short and simple form.”
Digital integration doesn’t mean only having a website where consumers can pay bills and download forms. Other tools — for example, video — can be become important parts of everyday interaction with clients.
“It is a way to reach out to the member,” Warrier said. “So the agent could be sitting in his or her office and they could be video chatting with the member, which is not too dissimilar from what our contact centers could be doing instead of having them talk on the phone.”
Integrating digital is not just a matter of competing, he added. Globalization, regulatory pressure and consumer demand are all pressures forcing financial services to adapt and adapt quickly.
If not, there’s a “level of trust that will be broken” and consumers will look elsewhere, Warrier said.
“When you look at what our members are facing on an everyday basis. These are the same members who are on Netflix, who are going to Amazon (and) who are experiencing Apple,” he added.
“Their expectations of what needs to be delivered to them are on a scale that has never been seen before. They have the same expectations of every financial services company.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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