Even the most advanced technology is worth little if it doesn’t do what the people who will use it need it to do. This is especially true when it comes to customers; the customer experience should drive the technology, not the other way around. That’s why, in helping Direct Line Group (DLG) build an innovative, direct online sales platform for insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), our Intelligent Digital approach began with the basics – a detailed analysis of its customers, their individual journey and their unique priorities.
Direct Line for Business (DL4B) aims to be the first-choice direct insurer for micro SMEs. But to get there they must overcome three hurdles: many products are complicated; most SMEs buy insurance through a broker; and pre-packaged products sold direct don’t always meet the customer’s exact needs.
Intelligent Digital combines business, technological and human intelligence to solve important problems. DL4B needed to reach micro SME customers directly, in a way that put customer experience at its centre. Our solution was to create a new customer focussed digital experience, which allows SME owners to buy the right product for their business, quickly and efficiently.
The DL4B solution is now live in the market transforming the way SMEs buy insurance and puts pressure on competitors to keep up. By making innovative use of technology that’s designed to meet customers’ needs, the solution is helping DL4B to win in the market.
"We’ve created an insurance product and user experience proposition for micro SME’s that we believe to be extremely innovative and potentially market-changing for commercial insurance"
Intelligent Digital means seeing beyond the obvious to find a solution. We knew that if DL4B was to build a model that would transform the micro SME insurance market, it had to begin with the customer: What do different SME businesses need from their insurer? What would persuade them to buy direct? Our starting point was extensive and detailed customer analysis, identifying different groups of SMEs and the needs of each trade. This gave DL4B an unparalleled understanding of what SME customers needed from an online platform and formed the foundation for a technology-powered business model. Our next step was to design the customer’s journey for a single trade – hair and beauty – which could be tested in the market as a minimal viable product before being expanded to others. We worked with DL4B to find the best technology vendor and solution for their needs, always with the customer experience in mind.
The digital solution was more than a technological change – this was about changing the way the DL4B engaged with its SME customers through a direct channel. We helped DL4B to articulate how the business would need to be restructured to support a more personalised approach to targeting, selling and serving its customers. We also helped to embed new "agile" ways of working that will allow DL4B to roll out solutions to other customer segments on a regular basis. In implementing the solution we paid close attention to the wider implications of change management including training, management reporting and communication for rolling out the solution.
DL4B had bold ambitions and this game-changing technological solution, built around the customer experience, will transform the business insurance market.