December 4, 2015   

The voice of the customer – Zurich

Innovation and organisational change to create a customer-centric 2020 digital strategy.

WAE have been working with Zurich, one of the world’s most experienced insurers, for seven years on a variety of strategic projects, more recently focusing on digital innovation and organisational change.

It’s been well documented that the financial services industry, along with others, has struggled to keep up to speed with the ‘present’ of digital let alone the potential impact the ‘future’ of digital technologies on their business, their internal systems and how they deliver their products and services to their customers. Quite rightly they have huge concerns over security and the protection to data – yet the industry is being disrupted by digital and Zurich understands the need to adopt a ‘customer-centric’ approach.

In 2015 WAE were approached by Zurich’s Chief Digital Officer to put together a rapid approach to help drive the business towards their 2020 digital strategy. Specifically focusing on two key audiences – Commercial Brokers & Municipalities (charities and the public sector), the aim being to gain real insight into a real customer’s ‘end-to-end’ experience, outside of the traditional insurance touchpoints, to create a unified vision of a viable ‘future experience’ from the customer’s perspective.

Customer immersion and insight gathering

‘Back to the floor’ – research carried out by WAE’s team, in complete partnership with C-Suite executives at Zurich over three four weeks sprints, addressed a variety of questions including ‘What does a commercial broker have to do in a day?’ to ‘What is a credible role for Zurich to play within that?’, to help identify opportunities to add value. Facilitated at multiple locations throughout the UK such as Hastings, Ireland and Scotland, these customer immersion sessions enabled the business to directly understand their experience, meet them in their ‘on the road’ environment, and show them how to write discussion guides and host their own customer immersion sessions.

All knowledge gathered was consolidated with the client and fed into a number of internal innovation projects to create proofs of concepts, and into end-to-end user experience maps that represent the current experiences of these two audiences – to identify pain points, frustrations and challenges, not just at the point of getting insurance but through the entire customer journey, therefore enabling the business to adopt a ‘wider lense view’ to customer centricity.

Strategy, insight and design

Zurich is a perfect showcase of WAE services – ‘strategy, insight and design’ – all working together.

At the beginning of our seven year relationship projects were more tactical, focused on website development, traditional UX, user testing and persona activity. In more recent years consultative strategic projects that focus on organisational change and innovation, product acceleration and customer testing on internal platforms, and behavioural science have been a focus to help create and build their 2020 digital strategy.

“I was leading a Customer Experience programme at one of the best known Global Insurance companies, working with the CMO and COO to develop and test concepts for enhanced digital services to drive meaningful differentiation into their B2C and B2B lines.

WAE were selected as a specialist CX agency who quickly brought rigour and knowledge to the process. Gareth and Rachel became part of the Client team, engaging a range of front line practitioners through to senior Executives.

Within the space of two months we had collected, first hand, customer experience insight from several hundred contributors. WAE mapped the majority of the UK CX journeys, identifying customer friction and helped us understand the impacts and the priority moments-of-truth.

Avoiding the pitfalls of long running research and advisory programs, by month three WAE had us designing and prototyping new digitally-enabled experiences facilitating positive contributions from IT, Operations and Marketing.”

Paul White, former interim Chief Design Officer

“As a business Zurich had three key challenges – understanding the end-to-end experience from the audience perspective, what that means for the role of digital technologies in the future, and how we action insights based on our challenges as a large scale organisation. WAE, with their collaborative and inclusive approach, were able to take us on a journey and guide us towards a greater understanding, and of the benefit, of adopting a customer centric approach.

“We had initially set out with a view of working with a large management consultancy, but working with WAE has been proven to be a pivotal point in our evolution towards digital transformation and how we work with our customers. They have made a tremendous long standing difference – not only to the way we approach challenges but how collaborate as a team. Their speed and agility to sets them apart.”

Mark Budd, Head of Business Change & IT

By Gareth Fryer, Partner