Open's COO, Nathan Amaral, speaks to IBTV on Open's cutting edge customer engagement technology and gives us a look into his session, 'New Heights of Customer Engagement', at the Future of Insurance, Sydney Conference. Nathan is a panel speakers to the March 3rd event. He is joined by many notable speakers to discuss the future of the insurance industry after a tumultuous few years.
To learn more about the conference, visit the Future of Insurance website HERE: https://fst.net.au/event/future-insurance-sydney-2022/
Speaker1: [00:00:14] Hello and welcome to IPTV. On today's episode, we will be speaking to Nathan Amaal, a speaker at the highly anticipated Future of Insurance conference, which will be hosted in Sydney on March 3rd. Twenty twenty two. Nathan is the CEO at Open, a digital insurance partner, on a mission to provide the fastest insurance at the best price for the world. Nathan is a panel speaker at the Future of Insurance Conference. His his session focuses on the new era of customer engagement in the insurance space. Today, Nathan shares with us a sneak peek at his exciting session at the March 3rd event. Hi Nathan, thank you for joining us. Open is making big strides in the uninsured tech space that gives the traditional insurers a run for their money. Could you take us through open source mission on revolutionizing insurance?
Speaker2: [00:01:06] There's a number of things that we're trying to do to revolutionise insurance. As people imagine relatively old industry, that is not sexy, I guess in the eyes of consumers at least. And for us, I think there's probably three things that we're really looking to take into this industry, I think. And you think it will be technology, but it's not. You're not really. Even the first one is definitely technology, and it's building our own software for our operation center and agents and our customers. And so I think for myself, Jeff, coming into the insurance industry three years ago, it was just a given that every insurance company builds their own systems and you just modify it and you do everything. And it was quite surprising that most insurers don't actually have their own systems, but they buy it from larger companies and then modify it to suit them. And it's quite interesting because I think it definitely helps you go faster at the start and gives you that baseline. But obviously a lot harder to mould and do your own thing down the future. And so I think for us, it was definitely a slow build over the last few years, but we're starting to reap the benefits right now. When you start, I guess owning all your systems end to end, whether it's the systems our agents use or what our customers use, you can really see our flux we can be and how much you can change things and really build everything all in one. And so I think we're really excited about what that looks like over the next two or three years now that we've built the foundation. So I think that's Jeff. For the first thing, I I think the secondly. We're really trying to take a mindset of no excuses to customers.
Speaker2: [00:02:57] And so what that means for us is really like putting the onus back on ourselves when customers get upset in areas that I think traditionally we wouldn't have put the onus on ASOS. And so I think we had this real mindset shift. I think it was 18 months ago where we felt like we were still falling back into. If a customer was not happy with a price or an outcome of a claim, it's, you know, it's kind of their fault. We've done everything we could and then I think we had we had this kind of lightbulb moment, which was like, wait a second, like pretty much every single time. Generally, when a customer is upset, even if we feel like we're on the right, it's because we haven't communicated well enough. We don't. It's hard. You know, we need to explain why pricing is potentially gone up or why the claim made may not be the right way and obviously doesn't happen that often. But when you do it, making sure that we figure out what have we done the best by ourselves? And so we really try to build this no excuses culture out open. And then finally, it's talents. I think insurance isn't like, you know, too much, as I mentioned, isn't that exciting. And so attracting the right talents, the right software engineers, the right people, right operators isn't necessarily that easy. And so I think really trying to build a town culture in a system and open that really attracts the best people for all around the world. And I think we get those best people, regardless of which industry they've come from and just throw them at really complex problems. I think we can build something really exciting and revolutionize insurance.
Speaker1: [00:04:25] Thank you. Give us a sneak peek into some of the interesting projects that you are leading at open.
Speaker2: [00:04:32] Great, I think that's a great question, so I think. The one I'm really excited about at open is our project right now around integrated communications. And so I think we've looked to comes for a long time. You know, my my my 10 year old the whole time I've been open. And you know, what's the best channel was? And I think everyone right now everyone's like, Oh, go omni channel, because that's the best way and give customers all the options as possible. And I think we've taken a different take on that. We go through some of those channels. We don't we've noticed we don't love email. As you would expect, I think it's not great for insurance. There's so much back and forth like you've got to ID someone the disclosures and they don't understand something, an email. You've got to get back to them. They go, Wait, why? Why is my price going up or can I change this like I can't? Because this and or like they want to add an optional extra? They go, let's explain to them. They don't fully understand it. You could explain it again. Conversations can take days through the back and forth, and it's painful for everyone involved. Um, so we go, okay. Email is painful, less painful than email is chat, and everyone seems to be liking chat these days because it's live. The conversations take minutes or hours instead of days. But what we've also noticed is chat isn't always the best channel.
Speaker2: [00:05:56] It's useful sometimes. But when things get complicated, you don't want a long conversation over chat. You don't want to go, for example, you know, a logical claim or to do something really complicated in your policy through chat because it would take a long time and it's hard to really get that really get that communication through. In addition, I think most systems that we've seen are that insurers are by third party providers, and so it's not easy to fully integrate everything into that chat system. And so we've gone, Chad, is good, but not for the optimal all the time. Then you go look at phone calls and you go phone is better because you can actually solve things within seconds like you can, you know, a chat show or an email. An email may take a few days and a chat may take a few minutes. You can literally solve everything in seconds and the phone call. Um, but also, you know, it has its own problems, you've got to authenticate someone, they've got to be on hold growth or not. Yeah, yeah, painful. And so for us, like we've looked it off and gone like we want to take some of the best parts of all that. And so what we're looking to build is, you know, I guess I feel kind of like appointments and messaging technology that's fully integrated and owned by open. And so we've we've gone down the path right now of appointments specifically one of our brands huddle where you can book an appointment, no waiting, no overs.
Speaker2: [00:07:25] We know exactly who you are when we speak to you. We know exactly what you want your history. We just go. We literally just call you and go, Hey, let's be straight away. There's nothing else. And call was from what we've seen have been like, literally like 50 percent faster. And so we kind of like appointments. I think it's a really good way to go forward. We're also trying to invest right now in messaging, which is similar to chats, but we think we can do better by actually owning our own systems and being able to kind of like now that we're not using, say, provider, being able to go, Hey, yeah, call you and update your policy, here's your options and send things to completely quickly. They can open up. They're already in their portal. We can work them through it. I think messaging is something that we think we can really invest into and we're doing right now and then pulling that all together, I think, is how do we like look at channel optimization for the customers? And so right now, you know, most of the time as your customer, as you mentioned, you just go and choose a channel that you prefer, but you may get stuck in the wrong channel like. And for us, what we want to do is go, Hey, look, OK, like, let's let's find the channel that works best for you, given what you want to talk about if it's a question about a payment.
Speaker2: [00:08:38] This is really easy. They just, you know, speak to us via messaging. We can provide you a really quick response link you to the right way. It's quite simple, but if you want to talk about the policy options and have you know and really talk it through, you know, let's let's book an appointment or speak to us over the phone. It's going to be a lot easier for you to really talk to us, probably rather than communicating about out. And so we're really excited about bringing integrated communications, I think there's a long way for us to go there and I think we can say over the next six months. So that's probably a big one. Think the second one is New Zealand, our entry into New Zealand and the UK. I think there's not that many insurers that right now when you actually that really operate operationally from the same kind of operation centre across multiple countries. And so for us, that's a really interesting problem trying to figure out how we can streamline our processes and keep things very simple, but across multiple geographies and their own regulations. And so that's definitely something that we're doing this year with with New Zealand, the next month in the UK, the back half of calendar year, really excited about what that looks like for us and the things that we can do.
Speaker1: [00:09:56] The upcoming Future of insurance conference hosts a plethora of insurance executives who are some of the speakers that you are looking forward to hearing from.
Speaker2: [00:10:04] Yeah, I'm really looking forward to a number of speakers. I think specifically for me, I'm really looking forward to Catarina and Peter from Ali on some resolution life. I'm talking about the advanced analytics and insurance. I'm definitely a bit of a data nerd when it comes to this stuff, and I think it's especially in insurance. It's such a data driven business and so much more that insurers can do here. And so I'm really interested to see how other insurers are looking at data and what they're doing. And I think how that can relate back to was especially paid on life insurance and really understanding what that looks like. And so I think that there that generally two people that I'm really, really looking forward to. I'm also looking forward to Fiona and automation. Again, I think every insurer is on this path of automation right now, and it's really interesting to learn from other insurers and how they do that so that we can make it better for our customers
Speaker1: [00:11:07] As a CEO. What do you expect to take away from the conference?
Speaker2: [00:11:12] Yeah, thanks for asking. So I think there's three things I'm really looking forward to taking away. I think one. I really expect to understand how the accelerated technology trends through COVID have affected industry as a whole. I think we've seen it. You know, our level at open. But seeing how it's affected other insurers in our space and in different parts of the general insurance industry, really quite excited, too. I'm I'm expecting to have learned how other insurers are looking at the future for insurance and applying technology and data to a fairly ancient industry. And then finally, I expect to be further engaged, energized to take some of the insights of forward starters back to open, to see how we can deliver more for our customers and see. I think we're looking forward to it.
Speaker1: [00:12:06] The pandemic has surely accelerated innovation all over the industry. Where do you see the insurance industry heading in the next two to three years?
Speaker2: [00:12:16] Yeah, so I think like this, too, I mean, I think as a whole, the insurance industry will be. Affected largely by the same trends talked about in the news that are affecting all industries. And so I think the ones have been talked about like hybrid working, of course, and means that especially in insurance that the operations teams and support will be more sparse and global than ever before. And I think we're seeing it right now. And I think how that how operation centers work remotely will be quite interesting because they've been quite a, you know, office driven kind of teams before. Naturally, I think as people as mentioned, customers demanding digital properties more than ever, I think everyone is advancing. We've seen what, 10 years of technology adoption in about six months. So I think it will mean that insurers will have to work harder to get the go faster. But specifically to the insurance industry, I think. What I expect to see is a number of new competitors entering the field. And I think as a whole insurance is if you look at the technology curve like insurance is is getting, it's probably on that, you know, on that exponential curve right now. But definitely further back than some other industries like retail, like banking that are much further ahead and there's a lot more competitors in this space. Insurance is being one of those areas that have been harder to crack.
Speaker2: [00:13:44] Given the natural barriers to entry and you've got to, I think, invest quite a lot at the start to actually develop a company that can actually compete. But what we're seeing right now is a lot of venture capital firms across the whole world that are willing to write substantial checks very early and have patient capital to tackle large industries like insurance where they know the market is big. And technology can add a lot, and I expect there to be, I guess, over the next few years, many insurer techs like Open that are really into end and getting a lot more funding to go ahead and compete with these incumbent insurers. So I expect that I expect open, as you know, also, I guess, a challenger in the digital space to have a lot more competitors. Very quickly. Um, yeah, I think it's quite interesting, I think banking, which is, I think is, you know, five years ahead, has been adopted fast. It's a lot more sexy, I think, and people can. It's people. It's easier for people to understand how to probably create a neo bank. Insurance is being like, Oh, there's a lot of regulations. It's like you've got underwriters. How does that still work? And so I think people are becoming more comfortable and don't want to come here.
Speaker1: [00:15:04] Thank you so much for being here today, Nathan. To hear more from Nathan and other industry leading speakers. Register for the Future of Insurance Conference live from Sydney on March 3rd. Twenty twenty two.