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“We have this interesting hybrid approach to innovation. We use focus groups and primary and secondary research like everyone else, but we have the advantage that all of these financial representatives – our advisors – are essentially constantly tested. They are always trying to figure out the best way to serve their customers so we can tap into and leverage those real-world insights, & # 39; & # 39; said Christian W. Mitchell, EVP and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual.
He added that Northwestern also holds a unique position in the market as a joint company, in light of which, he noted, “We are thinking about what the metrics are to determine if a customer is better off if he's worked for us., as opposed to working for someone else, and include that in our business statistics, what we report to the board about, and what we hold ourselves accountable for. "
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At Tokio Marine HCC, the focus was on innovating during the recent crisis and afterwards all on improving the experience of the stakeholders – be they brokers, policyholders or employees – through online digital & # 39; basics & # 39; such as First Notice of Loss and self-services, as well as O for brokers in particular, think more concretely about the renewal and submission processes.
"Retaining renewal is such an important way to drive and improve results at a specialty insurance company, so how can we make that process easier and achieve a higher retention rate?" said Susan Rivera, the CEO of Tokio Marine HCC. “With the COVID situation, [we're] also looking at triaging submissions – how can we bring in submissions more effectively, supplemented with information from third parties, making it easier for the broker and able to quickly get back to brokers for new business submissions of what suits our appetites and what doesn't suit our appetites? "
As carriers reflect on a post-COVID world, a few key items are coming to the top, including an ongoing commitment to digitization and interacting with customers in a variety of new ways – all faster than ever before. After all, one of the lasting effects of COVID is acceleration, Mitchell noted. Fortunately, insurance companies have already proven that they can act much faster than they might have thought before the pandemic.
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"We're going to work faster… and from a customer perspective, I think one thing I'd like to emphasize is the need for a multi-channel approach to customer service," Mitchell continued. “As the lines between home and work are blurring for everyone, customers are now going to demand that they can communicate with their advisor or their company, make a change of address, or read a piece of content when they have a spare time – maybe at 10 a.m. & # 39 in the morning, that could be 9:30 am. "
He believes COVID will also place a greater premium on financial and brand strength, as after enduring volatility, people will want to work with companies they can trust and know will be there for the long haul. A heavy reliance on data will also be part of the future of the insurance industry, Rivera added, particularly in the field of specialty insurance. Customers want their insurance partners to know them, for example that they already have two policies with a carrier, or that they are about to make a takeover.
"They want you to have that knowledge and offer an insurance policy that is more complete and responsive … to what their needs are," said Rivera, adding that she simultaneously sees a growing reliance on risk management tools and other resources that can help customers lose. to decrease. be it in employee compensation, wearables or cyber insurance, with a range of risk mitigation software and training.
"They want to have a real partnership because [no one] wants to have anything that will affect their business," she continued. "They want to speed up and move forward, so how can we make sure they avoid some of those unnecessary bumps in the road from a risk perspective?"