Insurers have been ramping up their digital offerings over the past few months, rolling out new chat tools, online adviser platforms, and making communication easier for every side of the business.
CEO Nick Stanhope says that for AIA New Zealand, some of its digital capabilities were quite limited before COVID-19 hit, but now they’ve become the primary channel of communication for customers and advisers.
“We’ve fast-tracked some of the digital things that we’d been working on in terms of customer experience,” Stanhope told Insurance Business.
“Chat was something that was very limited going into COVID-19, and our chat now is almost a primary channel for the business in terms of customer communications, which has been great.”
“Naturally, our thoughts are also towards supporting customers from a claims point of view – but we haven’t seen any significant trends in terms of claims at this point,” he continued.
“There’s been some increase, but nothing that’s put any considerable workload or stress on the team.”
AIA recently rolled out a new online tool for its advisers, which allows them to ask clients a series of questions and get a rough insurance decision ready for approval. Stanhope says that although some advisers were initially reluctant to switch from paper to online, those who have had to do so have been impressed with the ease and efficiency of the offering.
“The pickup of our online tool has increased significantly as expected, but some advisers also have a preference to do their applications through papers,” Stanhope said.
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“In a situation like this, the advisers do spend more time learning and getting comfortable with the online platform, and we’ve had advisers telling us that they hadn’t really used it before COVID-19, and now they’ll never go back.”
“It’s a great experience, and there’s a great quote that we should never let a good crisis go astray,” he concluded.
“We need to make sure that we do make improvements in the way that we work, and this crisis has made us look at the things we can do better.”