Customer expectation shift in India

Why so and how do we get ahead of it?

Digitalization & innovation, 30.09.2019

As of 2018, India has over 556 million internet users, which makes it the second largest internet user population after China. With innovation development and customer expectations complementing each other in India, we asked Mehmood Mansoori, President Shared Services and Online Business, HDFC ERGO, for the background and how the company is getting ahead of it.

Make it Matter at HDFC ERGO

Ritesh Kumar, CEO HDFC ERGO, at "Make it Matter"

In India, the development of Innovation and customer expectation complement each other. What does it mean?

The drive for innovation often come from customers – which means it is not about what we offer customers, but what they expect from us. The changing landscape in the B2C segment is disrupting the way businesses engage with their customers. Speed, convenience and overall customer experiences are now the core of a successful business model and expectations from the insurance industry remains the same. Therefore, it has become imperative for us to constantly innovate and align products and services with the expectations of the new age customers.

Can you share few insights with us, specifically on the customer experience in India?

Indian population is swiftly turning digital. India’s younger generation prefers to purchase online with the use of e-wallets. Some interesting online purchasing models includes buying online and payment made in cash on delivery. This makes instant purchase and post sales services the basic needs. In order to maximise revenues, e-commerce players with larger customer base are innovating and partnering with other players to offer products which are not core to them.

These are the new opportunities for us to innovate, as digital presents the agility it also gives us the flexibility to be as imaginative as one can think of.

Does this phenomenon also apply to insurance industry? What does it mean for HDFC ERGO?

Yes, indeed. Today, a customer expects more than just an insurance policy from an insurer. They seek an end-to-end experience right from the point they consider HDFC ERGO, and that is why we must think from the customers’ perspective. Our goal is to think like a Fintech company and improve the customer journey. For example, self-survey of vehicles prior to policy issuance, self-survey of motor claims and overnight repair services are the integral offerings for our customers.

Our self-service model is equipped to support over 70% post sales scenarios. We have also enabled service inquiries on Google assistant and Alexa for our customers. Aby, our agent chatbot works 24x7 to assists our call centre agents, helping them respond to customer calls effectively. Our agents have more free time now to engage with customer and cross sell, while Aby does the background transactions like sending emails or posting a transaction in the system.

With the help of AI, we are proudly the fastest in approving cashless health claims with an average turnover time of 12 minutes from the time of admission in the hospital until the patient is given discharge.

I am sure you have a great team working behind the scene to make things happen. How does HDFC ERGO cultivate innovation and support the improvement of customer journey?

We encourage innovation both ‘horizontally’ and ‘vertically’ within the organisation. There are two dedicated units for innovation, one focuses on technology and process and the other one known as ‘PING’ (Providing Insurance for Next Generation) focuses on product innovation. They explore emerging trends within and outside insurance industry, take inspiration and apply them in our ecosystem.

Chatbots and robots, developed by our in-house teams, support our customers, partners and employees. The ‘PING’ team launches innovative products, such as vector borne disease insurance, bicycle insurance and backpack insurance each that cost less than few Euros per year.

At HDFC ERGO we have also launched a knowledge sharing platform called ‘Make it Matter’, which is similar to the TEDx platform. Any employee can self-nominate to speak on any topics close to their heart, which may be related to work or their passion in any field. They are encouraged to connect with each other and further improvise the ideas individually or collectively, which further helps in building the culture of innovation at HDFC ERGO.

Author: Eva Fung

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