How innovations improve the customer experience
In volatile times, like during the current pandemic, people’s life situations can change rapidly – radically increasing their sense of uncertainty. To help people manage this unwanted uncertainty, AXA Partners offers insurance that covers illness, accidents, unemployment, disability and death.
“During these difficult times, providing quality services and meeting customer expectations is extremely important. Treating customers with respect and empathy is one thing, but it also has to be as quick and easy as possible. Ever greater digitalization is placing even higher expectations on response times and simplicity”, says Sofia Kwarnmark, Operations Manager at AXA Partners Sweden.
“When analysing the customer journey, we recognized that the unemployed faced a daunting process. On top of looking for a new job, each month they had to ask the Swedish Public Employment Service to send them a new document validating their unemployment status. Once they received the statement, they had to send it to us for review. We would then perform the necessary administration and make the benefit payment.
When each unemployed individual has to perform this task every month, it amounts to an enormous administrative burden for both parties. Furthermore, this process was fraught with errors and delays. In reviewing this process, we saw that there was definitely room for improvement. We needed to help our customers manage life – especially in difficult situations”, says Kwarnmark.
“The goal was to set up a quick, painless and secure claims-handling process – all in an effort to allow people to spend more time looking for a job”, continues Kwarnmark.
“The solution to our problem was to set up a collaboration with the Swedish Public Employment Service, JobTech and technology supplier Stratumn, using blockchain technology. Blockchain is a simple way of passing information from point A to point B in a fully automated and secure manner”, says Lars Edvinsson, Deployment Manager at AXA Partners Sweden.
“With the blockchain solution, the customer gives the Swedish Public Employment Service a consent to digitally share their enrolment status with us and therefore doesn’t have to worry about having to send in further documents on an ongoing basis. Instead, AXA Partners retrieves this information digitally as long as the customer is unemployed and then automatically does the payment”, explains Edvinsson.
In other words, the blockchain solution simplifies administration for AXA Partners. But most importantly, it reduces the burden on the part of the jobseeker and helps society by creating smoother processes and boosts efficiency for the Swedish Public Employment Service.
Not only did the initiative serve the purpose of simplifying the entire claims-handling process for our customers, it also brought other significant benefits, such as a reduction in errors, less bureaucratic paperwork, as well as fewer questions by e-mail and telephone calls for both the Swedish Public Employment Service and AXA Partners.
“The process is running much more smoothly and uninterrupted. We are also able to plan work allocation better, as the customer data is received at a pre-determined time every month directly into our system. On top of this, it has also increased the positive sentiment among our employees. They like being part of an innovative company that provides modern digital solutions”, says Sofia Kwarnmark.
A majority of our unemployed customers elects to give their consent to collect their data from the Swedish Public Employment Service when they register their claim online.
“It's fantastic that so many people have given consent to data collection. And most importantly, we are happy to see the real effect of this effort in our customer satisfaction. The NPS value has increased significantly”, explains Kwarnmark.
AXA Partner's solution has also received international recognition in the international EFMA – Accenture Innovation Insurance Awards, which are awarded in the insurance industry to innovative solutions that use new technology to develop completely new insurance solutions, business models and improve customer experience.
“We received the bronze award in the category of user experience for looking at the claim process from a customer perspective and innovating a new technology that has succeeded in eliminating and simplifying onerous processes for the customer”, continues Sofia Kwarnmark.
“AXA Partners’ strategy is to go from “Payer to Partner” and our ultimate vision is to go towards a fully proactive claims process. This entails that we contact customers in case of, for instance, unemployment or illnesses instead of the other way around. In an effort to reach that goal, we would like to set up a similar solution with all partners who have our customers’ data, such as the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. We believe this would be a win-win-win for the customer, the partner and for us”, says Kwarnmark.
AXA Partners was one of the keynote speakers at the Internet Days conference in Sweden on 24 November, which focused on how government agencies can innovatively collaborate with private actors and at the same time protect citizens' rights.
“The user-friendly and simplified solution we’ve created for the unemployed is just one fantastic concrete example of how to share data with a government agency in an innovative and secure way and that way bring relief for the lives of the unemployed individuals”, concludes Kwarnmark.