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Talking Personalization, Part 8: Insurance

An interview with Aaron Tellier

This series is intended to give a vertical perspective on how organizations are working toward delivering more personalized experiences. The eighth interview in this series looks at the insurance and wealth management industry with Aaron Tellier, SVP, General Manager - Insurance Wealth Management.

1. What challenges do you see organizations facing with their strategy as it relates to delivering personalized experiences?

First and foremost, the main issue is organizational structure. At its core, personalization is about understanding the individual customer. However, the way organizations are often structured, there is channel conflict and product conflict —making it hard for groups to collaborate and hard to align with goals around personalization. There is also a lot of pressure to innovate and a lack of time to devote to organizational issues.

Secondly, a lack of imagination within the insurance industry plays an overarching role in why it has a hard time getting beyond a personal header like, “Dear Patricia,”, and there is failure to think outside the box. The lack of imagination could be due to a lack of data, and the absence of the right technology is often holding things back. 

Third, in the offline space, the financial services and insurance models are already designed around people like the agent or advisor, so there isn’t a perceived need for digital personalization. 

2. How does organizational readiness enable organizations to deliver on personalized experiences?

Organizations need inspiring leadership to be innovative. One way to start change is to go outside the core business and tackle a specific customer experience organically. Start small and then scale.

3. What are some key questions organizations should ask vendors and partners?

First, the question to your vendor should be, “what are you seeing in the market place and how are other clients innovating?”  Agencies have the benefit of working with other clients even in other industries, so tap into this knowledge.

4. What questions should organizations ask themselves when it comes to personalization? 

 Businesses should put themselves in the customers’ place. They should determine what type of experience would be ideal from their own individual perspective. This will lead to market research and identify the key pieces of information that will drive customers to action.

5. What trends do you see forming in personalization?

In the insurance area, the trends are all about providing self-service to differentiate on the claims experience. For wealth management, the trend is about being able to gather data around financial health to better serve clients.

Our next interview in the series will be focused on the nonprofit industry and the unique challenges it faces in delivering personalized experiences.