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Advertising feature: Transforming the way customers buy insurance over the phone

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Leveraging value from InsureTech to drive innovation into transformation and ultimately competitive advantage in the current climate is a theme across the insurance industry akin to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889, writes Rob Saunders CEO of ActiveQuote.

But which areas do you capitalise on first? Big data, automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, consumer wearables, smartphone apps, self-service, hyper-personalisation? For ActiveQuote, the answer was simple – just do something and when you do it, do it radically, be thorough and leverage your company’s existing infrastructure, assets, and core competencies to create products or services that change the industry for the better.

Achieving radical innovation also relies on a platform of collaboration, creativity, and a willingness to work towards shared goals too of course. You need a culture of persistence and an open mind to truly believe in something different. ActiveQuote’s ‘something’ has ended up being transformational for a legacy business process in our industry and has used several InsureTech components to radically change the customer experience of buying health and protection insurance over the phone.

Many firms in the insurance industry rely on outbound telephony activity to convert insurance quotes into sales, the underlying strategy to this process often relying on applied rudimentary principles around the percentage of enquires that are attempted, the number of attempts made and the time period over which this activity is undertaken.

Not the most sophisticated of processes but nonetheless one which has always widely been utilised and accepted as the norm, and so, we at ActiveQuote set off to see if we could innovate a section of the sales process which is so often overlooked – telephony fulfilment.

Could we combine old and new, and use the power of data to help us identify which customers to contact and which ones to leave alone to continue researching and browsing in peace? Could we use data to help prioritise those customers with a propensity to buy over the phone? Could we supplement this insight with lifetime value so we didn’t just identify those most likely to engage but also those most likely to recognise the long-term value of our service? Could we create contact strategies at an individual adviser level so that each customer experiences something truly unique to them and their situation? And finally, could we write this algorithm so that it was intelligent, and could it evolve and adapt to the changing nature of customer behaviour?

A lot of questions and a big ask, but these were the questions we asked ourselves, and always keeping the end goal and the customer experience in mind we set about obsessing over validating our innovative and market changing ‘something’ and making it real.

‘Rubee’ was born in October 2020, and is already communicating with us and helping us to offer our customers a truly unique buying experience, where success is measured on both the number of calls you don’t make as well as the ones you do. Not the norm at all in our industry, but one that is working and paying dividends already. The model allocates a score to every enquiry, which informs the order and frequency of the customer contact strategy. Rubee has improved conversion rates by 30%, and the overall ActiveQuote experience for customers and clients alike.

It didn’t happen overnight and of course, we had no idea how we would make this happen in the beginning but in combining industry insight, the expertise available to us at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics, and a great deal of determination, ActiveQuote has made an age-old process fit for future purpose again.

Which takes us back to our earlier Oklahoma analogy. To be successful in claiming your land you didn’t necessarily have to be a skilled coachman, have the fastest horse or the most robust wagon – you just needed to line up and give it your all, and that’s just what our team at ActiveQuote has done in the past year to create Rubee, a market-changing innovation.             

This is a paid-for advertorial.

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