March 21, 2023

Have you seen the iconic romantic comedy from 1989, When Harry Met Sally? 

One scene in particular stands out in 2022 where the title characters are placing their order in a diner and we see a classic silver screen example of the ‘high maintenance consumer’. 

Waitress: What can I get you?   

Harry: I’ll have the number three.

Sally: I’d like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing. 

Waitress: Not even the pie?

Sally: No, just the pie. But then not heated.

Fast forward to today and consumers expect the experiences they encounter with sports, entertainment, shopping, and travel to be replicated in every other type of interaction. For insurance companies, keeping up with this expectation for both customers and agents has felt daunting as Technology stacks and both functional and product driven silos have hampered the perceived ability to build enterprise service experiences that satisfy at every turn. Fortunately, the solution to this may be staring insurers right in the face. 

Here are three examples of how industry leaders are building brands and growth strategies based on personalization:  

Personalized service as a culture: Your customers and agents don’t segment their feelings about you by policy phase or business function and your processes and user experiences should reflect this enterprise point of view. 

U.S. healthcare giant Anthem realized this and deployed enterprise rules, service level expectations, and infused their persona driven panes of glass with relevant insights.  Now, regardless of channel, there is complete visibility to every function about the status, ownership, and urgency of every work item. No matter the Anthem team or persona, customers who don’t have to start from scratch with every conversation feel like they have a partner that knows them and has their back.

Real-time decisioning: Insurance consumers are multi-faceted in their needs, so shouldn’t each insurance interaction be dynamic by design?

Leading European P&C insurer Achmea realized this and deployed Real Time Interaction Management (RTIM) to leverage the vast sums of data already in hand, to contextualize every transaction and communication. The result has been a cross-sell increase of nearly 30% and the creation of a marketplace that allows policyholders to leverage the company’s platform for non-insurance products and services that naturally complement their coverage needs. 

From inbound to outbound to paid media, Achmea uses a customer decision hub to manage 10 million customers across 11 channels to provide personalization at true scale.

Persona driven recommendations: Financial services giant Wells Fargo realized the need for an ‘always on’ engine that worked on their behalf to better connect with customers. Their first investment was RTIM that continuously calculated next-best-messaging for their clients real-time and in-channel. But they didn’t stop there, within a year of launching more than 5,000 U.S. branches saw tellers, lenders, managers, and wealth advisors receiving next-best recommendations directly into their systems of engagement. 

Today, more than 5 billion personalized digital interactions are being created by Wells Fargo’s decisioning engine each month, a feat thought unthinkable in the not so distant past. Their more than 60 million customers have responded, with engagements increasing by nearly 10 times.

These examples prove you don’t need to embark on a time-consuming and expensive program to overhaul back-end systems or build complex integrations – low code platform solutions exist to deliver AI driven experiences at scale. You can avoid exposing what is happening in your kitchen and still enable your Harrys and Sallys to enjoy their apple pie however they wish.  

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