Who does personalised service better? people vs technology

28/08/2019

Aaron Dickinson

Head of Product, Portfolio and Analysis, AA Insurance

I’m fortunate to have worked a few years in claims at AA Insurance so I felt like I could contribute a little to the conversation at the recent InsurTech NZ’s event on claims —or more specifically “Creating better customer outcomes across the claims journey.”

What the future of claims in New Zealand could be is an important area to talk about. For New Zealanders, having a claim is a significant driver of confidence and trust in their insurance company. Moreover, in New Zealand the industry deals with over a million claims each year—so it is also a big driver of the overall industry reputation.

A key learning for me, was that personalisation of service involves both people AND technology.  One can’t replace the other, because while we’ve all embraced the convenience of technology, we’re all still human and like to interact with other humans. So, while many may think it’s the answer to all our problems, technology is best used when it’s blended with the existing environment to solve the problems faced by customers. This technology would help customers work better with insurers as well as insurers working with suppliers, in turn producing a better claims outcome for everyone.

Two presenters showed me the importance of both the human and technology aspect of service to give their customers the best experience possible -  the EQC and BeThere.

The EQC’s new FRESH initiative challenges the status quo, culture and philosophy across claims at the commission. It’s a clear vision to staff of the organisation they could be in future, which has allowed the EQC to build an environment far more suited to happier customers and happier staff with much of the work centred on ‘how’ rather than ‘what’. The upshot is that the EQC has produced stronger customer satisfaction scores and a team of people who love doing their work.

By contrast, BeThere produces detailed 3D Virtual Reality maps of real-world environments. For example, they reproduce the inside of a home to allow someone hundreds of kilometres away to walk around and talk to a customer about their claim, progress being made or decisions that may need to be taken. The technology helps the customer have detailed and clear conversations with people managing the claim as the person on the other end of the phone can see what is being discussed.

So, whether it’s analogue or digital, two heads are still better than one when it comes to helping customers.

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About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 750+ staff look after 430,000 customers with nearly 850,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Eden Park, support youth charity Blue Light, and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (10 consecutive years since 2011) and Quality Service Award for Car Insurance (since 2015), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2013-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. Last year, AA Insurance was also named Consumer’s 2019 People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents.

AA Insurance has an A+ (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit aainsurance.co.nz.

For more information please contact:

Nicole Steven, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 025 31886 or email nicoles@botica.co.nz

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance Limited, 027 406 1787 or email Amanda_Fifield@aainsurance.co.nz

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