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- Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
- South Africa's Competition Tribunal has approved the sale of Yuppiechef to the Mr Price Group.
- It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. Howard Feldman
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- The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
#BizTrends2021: How life insurers can transform the customer experience in 2021
If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it underlined the fact that the future of life insurance belongs to the insurers who go out of their way to make their customers' lives simpler and easier by delivering exceptional experiences.
Gareth Quinn, chief technology officer, FMI
Here are the five top customer experience trends we’re seeing in the South African life insurance industry – and they’re only going to gather momentum in 2021.
1. Highly personalised customer experiences
More than ever, consumers expect life insurers to present their offerings in the most elegant, understandable way possible, that’s tailored to their specific needs. Life insurance is complex, and people run from ambiguity or complexity. So what does a great customer experience look like in life insurance terms?
- Easy to understand competitor product comparisons. They want an apples-for-apples comparison: I pay x for y.
- Digital application and self-service capabilities. Often, consumers don’t want to spend half an hour on the phone with you. They want to engage online, or even better, via an app.
- Support offered across a variety of engagement options to suit customer needs. It’s the old story: they want to engage with you when and how they like.
- Rapid, automated under-writing that makes onboarding easy. They want their risks to be assessed quickly and painlessly, with minimal steps in between.
2. Faster digitisation of advice, application and servicing processes
During the lockdown, much of the life insurance industry ground to a halt because advisors couldn’t meet clients or complete paper-based documentation. This has to change, quickly. Insurers and advisers are acutely aware that digitisation doesn’t just improve the customer experience, but creates a more robust operating base that can function under any circumstances.
What Covid-19 also showed was that when forced to, even the most old-school advisors will adopt newer, more streamlined processes. This paves the way for insurers to be more aggressive in making big process changes that require buy-in from their distribution channels.
3. More automated, algorithm-based financial planning
Customers want to feel confident in the product they’re paying for every month, so insurers need to work at showcasing their value and figuring out ways to stick with clients through affordability cycles and changing life circumstances. They also need to demonstrate that their projections are based on real-time data that talks to their specific needs and pain points.
4. Life insurers will partner more with insurtechs to deliver innovation faster
To bring innovative tech-enabled solutions to market quickly, insurers will need to consider how to innovate through partnerships if they’re going to stay relevant and competitive. Insurers will also look to transition to cloud services with more pace after Covid, given the heightened need for remote access and the new landscape of partnerships with web-based tech providers.
5. Micro-insurance targetting specific events, delivered digitally
The major issues that customers have to navigate in the life insurance space are largely centred around product and process simplification. It’s hard enough convincing customers of the value of life insurance; if it confuses at the point of sale and frustrates at the process level, the insurance gap will remain, if not increase larger than it already is. One way forward could be micro-insurance, where people insure specific events, like hospitalisation or illness, for smaller premiums.
The pandemic has shown us how quickly life insurers can adapt when they pushed to. With the lessons of 2020 fresh in their minds, I’m confident that 2021 will see more life insurers looking for ways to reduce friction and remove admin from the customer experience – and the entire industry will be better for it.
About the author
Gareth Quinn is the chief technology officer at FMI