April 29, 2021
During the first lockdown, billions of people suddenly switched to digital for work, shopping and socializing. This widespread digitalization created two new needs among policyholders: on the one hand, faster processes for simple formalities – buying insurance, making claims – and on the other, growing demand for expertise and personalized advice on health, property and casualty, and protection coverage. These trends reflect the goals of AXA’s new Driving Progress 2023 plan: to simplify the customer journey by automating or eliminating low-value tasks for more efficiency, to reduce costs and to focus on consulting and services. This strategy involves understanding customer habits and adopting powerful digital tools.
Ex-CEO of AXA Italy, CEO of AXA France since May 3, 2021
We took insurance customer dissatisfaction on board and found ways to stand out.
“For a long time, the Italian insurance market was lacking in innovation, with fairly generic services. Customer satisfaction left a lot to be desired. AXA Italy wanted to stand out by working on four priorities directly inspired by this dissatisfaction.
First of all, we wanted to make the customer journey simpler and faster with digitalization and new processes. For example, we’ve digitalized claim management: payments are now made within five days, compared to 12 in 2017. Second, we’ve introduced high-value services, particularly in the health market. With our Digital Health Platform, which we launched in 2020, we’ve become the first insurance company to offer a service that coordinates the entire health journey, including diagnosis, remote consultation or guidance to suitable treatment, medicine deliveries, etc. Third, we wanted to bring transparency and smoothness to every step of the supposedly tedious customer journey. We’ve changed the format of our contracts with a document that sums up in one page and clear language the coverage – and exclusions – in the customer’s contract. Our customers are invited to rate our services, and these ratings are visible online. Finally, we wanted to develop services to meet the specific needs of certain market segments, like SMEs in different sectors, to offer tailored coverage.
In 2020, AXA Italy ranked as the leading traditional insurance company in every market segment and customer satisfaction shot up, particularly during the crisis, when we noted three times more traffic on our app.”
Automating insurance underwriting
To reinforce its presence on the strategic SME business market, AXA has developed “OSE”, a corporate underwriting tool that considerably speeds up and simplifies new contracts through data and automation.
AXA agents’ ability to quickly switch to remote contacts – by phone, chat or video – during the crisis has not only confirmed the Group’s competitive advantage in this area but also customers’ appetite for omnichannel services.
In Italy, AXA teams have redesigned contracts to make them easier for customers to understand. They are now limited to a single page organized in three main parts: main contract data, a glossary and a transparent summary of the guarantees.
AXA Next: accelerating the roll-out of innovative solutions to protect customers
“AXA Next is an innovation ecosystem in seven units. It’s designed to provide solutions for improving protection for AXA customers and partners, going beyond its traditional insurance role to become an everyday partner. This ecosystem enables AXA to pool the expertise and knowledge of each unit to accelerate the creation and roll-out of innovative products and solutions across the Group. Their customer experience approach is based on two main steps: first, putting themselves in customers’ shoes to understand the pain points and gaps, and then identifying or co-creating with local teams the right solutions for their activities, which can be widely adopted by customers. AXA is convinced innovation is useful when it combines real value for customers with productivity gains for the Group. For example, the e-Rescue tracker system developed by AXA Partners enables drivers to track the location of their tow truck in real time after an accident. This is a relief for them and also reduces the number of calls to customer service platforms to check how far away their rescue vehicle is.
The role of AXA Next is to help AXA entities shape these solutions, to accelerate roll-out and to offer suitable technologies, building on the Group’s best practices and its network of partners and investments. For example, in several countries, AXA Next recently helped implement AXA XL's Risk Scanning Tool, an innovative digital property and casualty risk analysis tool based on data. Digital solutions and analyses of the vast amount of data at AXA’s fingertips enable us to better understand, anticipate and price risks in the strictest confidentiality. The Group use this data to reinforce its partnership role and technical excellence. What’s more, it focuses considerable energy and effort on developing new health, climate and financial inclusion solutions, which are key customer needs at the heart of the Group’s ambition.”
Rethinking vehicle assistance
The e-Rescue mobile app for emergency vehicle assistance digitalizes the entire claims management process, from requests for assistance to vehicle repairs. Already deployed in seven European countries, the solution should further expand with other services.
AXA is developing solutions to face the threat of increasingly prevalent cyber attacks. For companies, AXA XL has formed a partnership with Accenture, a global cybersecurity expert, to help customers prepare and recover from an attack.
For individuals, AXA Switzerland launched a cybersecurity solution comprising four features – online accounts, cyber bullying and copyright protection, online buying, and virus removal and data recovery – with financial compensation, as well as legal and IT assistance.
Simplifying fraud detection
Sherlock is a data analysis software solution designed to automate and simplify fraud detection. The tool can help identify and extract suspicious claims, while more importantly enabling honest claims to be processed more quickly.