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Chapter 4 - Customer Journey Optimization: Lean Operations in the Age of Customer Centricity

The Problem

A European insurance company was struggling to compete in an increasingly digital, increasingly customer-centric marketplace. Like many of their competitors, they instituted a series of objectives and policies that they thought would improve the customer experience. These initiatives included:
  • An online e-commerce capability to sell directly to customer’s online instead of only through a broker channel
  • Multi-channel client communication
  • Guaranteed 24 hour response times to online inquires, claims processing and insurance applications

However, contrary to their expectations, their NPS score declined after the release of their new online services and multi-channel communication offerings. Customer surveys informed them that their customers were having an inconsistent experience across channels and locations. Additionally, their response reliability for web-inquiries, claims processing, and insurance applications was rated poorly across different countries.

To address the customer’s needs, the insurance company designed the most “likely” customer journeys including various segmentations. However, they had no way to validate their designs and no capabilities to establish a fact-based analysis of customer behavior across their various digital channels. Additionally, because they didn’t have a full picture of customer behavior across channels, they didn’t know where they could best focus their customer journey optimization efforts.

The Use Case & Methodology

To gain fact-based insight into customer behavior and the intersection with their own internal operations, this insurance company turned to Mavim. Together the following objectives were formulated and the project was scoped:

The Business Results

  • Identify how customer journeys actually run vs how they were expected to run
  • Identify and visualize actual customer behavior across channels
  • Create and optimize a uniform cross-channel customer experience supported by optimal internal processes
  • Find root causes behind the poorly (perceived) response reliability across different countries
  • Issue #1: Many broken journeys were identified where customers abandoned the online process before (after researching insurance products), or during the application process. Some of them converted to the customer contact center, but many did not come back. This was a clear indicator of revenue leakage.
  • Decision: Based on analysis of broken touchpoints, specific large bottlenecks on the website are being resolved, now offering the (previously missing) information people appeared to be missing.

  • Issue #2: A large portion of the outbound client communication was still done through mass mailings when the strategy was to move communication to their online channels. Also, many customer journeys were routed through the customer contact center after searching for information online, instead of via the self-help portal, as intended.
  • Decision: A (series of) marketing campaign(s) was launched towards registration on the self-help portal, enabling direct and personalized communication with customers and steering the customers more towards the self-help functionality online and less to the customer contact center. Also, customer segments and personas were re-designed based on the actual customer journey data enabling them to offer this personalized communication and offer relevant personalized online offers instead of mass-mailings with general offers/info.

  • Issue #3: Peaks in online traffic were found after e-mail campaigns, but this did not lead to the expected increase in online applications. As it appeared the (offline) campaigns were not executed consistently online (the web-team was not aware of all campaigns), leading to customers abandoning the web channel as they did not find what they were looking for. There was no integrated marketing campaign calendar.
  • Decision: An integrated marketing calendar was created, shared and maintained centrally between involved departments enabling a uniform customer experience across channels, leading to a higher conversion (online sales) and less broken journeys due to unavailability of information.

  • Issue #4: Multiple countries did indeed have issues with their response reliability, where response times could go up to an average of 8 days (instead of 24 hours). A number of bottlenecks were found in the process that were causing delays. Web-inquiries and online insurance applications were not picked up in time for processing. Also between several steps in the processing and approval process there were delays, as the process was still executed manually and was not supported by a workflow.

    Additionally, there were issues (delays) with claims above threshold values. Claims where an additional approval was needed due to an exceeded threshold amount were delayed, as there was no automated workflow pushing the claim through the process. This was done though e-mails that were not always picked up in time and due to a lack of direct communication. There was also a connection between response reliability and response times from customers. In cases where the insurers response times were longer than 3-6 days, customers also were not in a hurry to reply and in several cases canceled their online insurance application.
  • Decision: Several workflow (process automation) tools were being investigated to automate the back-end processes as much as possible, aimed at increasing efficiency of the (claims processing and (online) insurance application) processes, shortening response times and increase response reliability.

    Why Mavim

    • Mavim helped the European insurance provider gain a level of transparency that was previous unavailable to them with the current knowledge and tooling in-house. Mavim provided them with the 1.) the visualization of their operating model 2.) the ability to measure and monitor the progress towards their pre-defined goals 3.) the ability to discover hidden impediments along their way (process and customer journey bottlenecks). These three components brought together in one platform helped the insurance company with the visualization, prioritization, and continuous monitoring of their customer experience management.

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