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Broker Week 2022: A fine balancing act


Customers are now accustomed to digital-first interactions, with Gen-X, in particular, expecting a frictionless experience. As a result, brokers must rethink how they engage with customers to meet these expectations. Increasing competition from a fast-changing industry – through consolidation and new independent digital-only providers – means they must improve customer satisfaction to stay in the game.

Ultimately, broker business success relies on engendering long-term relationships with customers (and partners) based on trust. Those brokers we spoke with have said that digital transformation has indeed helped.

Laura Mullaney, managing director of distribution at BGL Insurance, explained how one of the most significant core deliveries from their digital transformation has been increased customer functionality and offering them a genuine choice.

“We’ve done a lot of testing that proves that self-service capability at different points in the life cycle is what customers want, and we’ve been able to optimise this, so the journey is as convenient as possible all the way through.”

Meanwhile, Neil Campbell, managing director at CCRS Brokers, said: “Our Digital Broker (platform) unquestionably enhances professionalism as our apps support our account directors to comprehensively understand all our client’s businesses and help them meet their obligations under the Insurance Act 2015. Clients have always been at the core of what we do, but now we can clearly demonstrate how we deliver value and ensure transparency throughout the sales and renewal process.”

“The apps have helped to provide transparency of risk information giving clients confidence in our process and how we present their risks to insurers.”

Customers must be able to trust their brokers and insurers with the safety of their data – this is particularly pertinent now as cyber risk and fraud continue to spiral. As a result, brokers need to ensure their systems and processes are fit for purpose and up-to-date.

However, there is a delicate balancing act between security and making access too demanding for the client.

Security and convenience

According to Mullaney: “Our role is to balance the absolute need for security with convenience for the customer. So, as a digital broker, it will not work for the customer if you outweigh the convenience of having digital by making access so difficult.”

“We must balance this by having checks and controls in place to ensure security. But, in terms of how you then surface that from a customer perspective, it’s working in conjunction with our technical teams as well as our user research teams to ensure that it’s done in a way that customers understand, are confident, but not burdened.”

“By taking this approach, we can save a lot of vulnerable customers from these types of exploitation – without compromising on service levels or customer experience.”

Fraud remains a big issue for the industry. Although identified motor fraud rates remain low at BGL – even reducing between 2019 and 2020 while market rates increased – fraudsters are continually evolving their modus operandi to try and avoid insurer counter-fraud efforts. Data, backed up by solid fraud analytical and investigation capability, often sourced from price comparison forms (spanning some 140 fields of information) for pre-sale fraud analysis, BGL reckoned has been vital. This data alone can be manipulated into thousands of features for fraud identifiers.

According to BGL, insurers and brokers must achieve data hygiene to unlock full counter-fraud potential. Data must be ethically gathered and analysed in a secure method that respects customer rights and privacy. Firms in the industry need to enact total data usage reviews to ensure they harness insight for maximum operational value, ensuring full compliance.

Data can then be used to analyse and understand fraud trends as they emerge, linking these to relevant contributing factors or topical themes to tackle application fraud at the earliest possible stage – and, in turn, reducing it at the claims stage.

At the end of the day, what can digital brokers do to ensure trust remains at the heart of their proposition?

Mullaney concluded: “It’s that consumer-centric view and being able to focus on customer outcomes.”

In addition, according to Campbell: “Brokers need to ensure they are transparent with clients about the benefits and limitations of technology and the investment of time required to deliver innovation.”

Broker Week

This article forms part of Broker Week in association with Applied Systems. To learn more please visit our sister site Insurance Hound

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