Insurance companies going digital must focus on customer engagement. Source: Shutterstock

Insurance companies going digital must focus on customer engagement. Source: Shutterstock

How a focus on customer engagement is transforming MetLife

INSURANCE companies understand the need to go digital. In the past 12 to 18 months, they’ve made a significant effort to transform themselves — the bulk of which is directed by the desire to boost customer engagement.

Recently, MetLife was crowned the Life Insurance Company of the Year at the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) Australian Insurance Industry Awards.

On winning the award, MetLife CEO Richard Nunn credited the team with making a significant effort to driving digital projects within the organization.

“While it’s a challenging time for the industry, we’ve kept our focus on customers, striving to give them the fastest, easiest, and most caring life insurance experience.

“We’re using innovation to support them when they need it most, for example, through our digital claims solutions. And we are partnering with our super funds, employers, brokers, and advisers to educate and inform Australians about their benefits and options, empowering them to take action and ensure their cover provides the right level of protection throughout their lives.”

To better understand how MetLife is improving customer engagement, Tech Wire Asia interviewed MetLife Senior Digital Product Manager — Customer Transformation Sourav Shah.

“This year, MetLife Australia’s focus is on greater member engagement. We’re achieving this by creating strong educational content to support our key areas of research and utilizing our social media channels to promote the insights.

“We’re also sharing this content with our fund partners to use on their own websites. We’re extending our digital claims lodgement and tracking solution to more superannuation fund partners, while continually optimizing it to provide an even greater experience for those members who wish to use the online channel.”

According to Shah, the team at MetLife is proud of the fact that digital solutions are being welcomed by customers with open arms, with more users going online to lodge their claims.

Customer-first teams at MetLife are now agile

MetLife’s Shah revealed that he believes the move to adopting an agile way of working, involving the entire organization as part of the process, was key to delivering better customer engagement.

“The cross-functional delivery team involves stakeholders across the customer & marketing and technology teams who work with the broader business to achieve a common goal.

“Breaking the organizational silos using the cross-functional delivery team has been a big success. We have had challenges and dependencies with other functions, but we have been able to navigate those complexities and bring in the right skills and expertise for an effectively functioning team.

“This has resulted in the team being able to deliver changes, as well as implement feedback, from our customers and clients faster.”

According to Shah, MetLife’s customers are starting to experience the increased responsiveness to feedback, with changes being implemented quickly.

Given the efforts to put the customer first, the insurance giant is working extensively on projects that include new and emerging technologies such as APIs, machine learning, as well as the blockchain — and believe they all will, cumulatively, create phenomenal value for customers in the future.

MetLife is excited about the recognition its work has brought the company. However, it believes that technology will create new opportunities to delight customers and grow revenues in the future, and hopes to continue to be relentless in pursuing those opportunities.