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The Technology Changes in Insurance & Wealth Management

Recently, I had the chance to speak on a panel with Ryan Greene of ActionIQ, a leading CDP provider, and Gary Bhattacharjee of InfoSYS. The conversation was informative and sparked some thoughts around the key changes in technology that we are seeing in the insurance and wealth management sectors.

Think about Tech to Improve Service

When implementing new technologies, we often think of the main drivers as the IT and marketing organization. However, it is critical to ensure that the product and services groups are along for the ride when adopting new technologies (such as a Customer Data Platform). Making these big shifts by adopting new technology should be a group effort that transforms the way your organization thinks. By engaging these teams, you won’t run into internal blockages after you’re too far down the road to resolve any misalignments.

Insurance – hyper competitiveness

Think about the last time you completed a request for an insurance quote online. Within a matter of hours, you likely received several emails and phone calls from the moment you placed the request for the quote. The companies that will succeed at winning your business are the companies that have a connected, efficient, and responsive technology stack with an educated staff to back it up.

Retention is another area where competition is accelerating.  Churn from insurance customers occurs most frequently because of a lack of communication on the insurance providers’ part. The insurance management industry is not as innovative as it should be at this point. With the rate that customer expectations are moving, retailers such as Casper and Dollar Shave Club are managing direct-to-consumer and customization well and serve as an example for insurance companies.

On the banking and wealth management front, Citizens Bank and USAA have shined through the competitive field by embracing personalization in the online space, with Citizens breaking the mold as it launched its new digital bank. USAA has been a culture-driven customer-focused journey for many years with a long-term perspective. As a customer I can literally see and feel that USAA’s customer management is fully integrated, and the company continues to find ways to push this culture deeper through the entire organization.  USAA does this by not only embracing the culture internally (there are positions such as a Chief Customer Officer), but externally facing, its staff is truly customer-centric by leveraging customer data and understanding its services and products. For example, I once called USAA’s call center with an insurance issue, and the representative was able to provide me with a plethora of information about the company’s deals on cruise vacations.

What needs to change within the organization?

Your competitive advantage doesn’t lie within the technology, but rather, the people who support the technology. So, individuals within your organization should be excited to embrace change and technology – they should learn how new tools can improve their working environment and help them champion their roles within the organization.

Changes in technology are only accelerating as demand increases, so it is imperative that you become an agent of change by working to understand the people and technological processes within your organizational structure. To keep up with these changes, we need to de-silo teams and harness a cross-functional team structure.  

Successful technology adoption is dependent upon taking the right approach throughout the buying life cycle, from initial consideration to the ongoing enhancements required for a deployed solution. If done correctly, your team can properly leverage the technology to make the most of the investment.

If you’re considering a Customer Data Platform, check out Merkle’s Guide to CDP Adoption for 10 key steps before you buy.