6 min read

Digitising Data in Insurance

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In today’s digital-first world, our way of life is constantly evolving. How each of us is connected to each other, the companies we use, the goods and services we procure and how they’re delivered to us today looks very different to the digital landscape of just a year or two ago.

Despite a cautious approach in the early days of digital transformation, digitising data in insurance is well underway. As with the wider Financial Services sector, insurance is in a process of on-going, accelerated change, and it’s steering how the c-suite approach operations and policyholder service delivery. As insurance goes digital, competition for customer spend and attention is fierce, bringing opportunity to differentiate on brand proposition, service and experience. The onus isn’t just on attracting and retaining customers, it’s on ensuring a unified experiences across the entire portfolio.

Recent research by Microsoft has shows that 76 per cent of customers and prospects have researched your website or done a web search on their query, before they make contact with an insurer. Bruce McKee, financial services industry manager at Microsoft UK says: “By the time they’re on the phone, they already know a lot about the products they want so they’re likely to ask more difficult questions and expect increasing levels of expertise from staff.”

For your insurance business to not just survive but truly thrive, the c-suite are encouraged to focus energies and investment on building CRM driven service and operations. Create a digital-first culture, implement new technologies that drive meaningful interaction to truly transform the systems and processes that drive employee, intermediary and customer engagement. To find out more, read our Digital Insurer white paper today, watch our Digital Transformation in Insurance video series, or sign up for our Digitising Data in Insurance blog series, direct to your inbox.

  1. Deliver omni -channel user experiences via a customer centric CRM to gain competitive advantage and drive long-term customer and agent loyalty

When you place your insurance customers at the heart of an interactive business ecosystem, where they can contact you on their channel of choice, as and when they choose, with a unified cross-channel response and real time knowledge and understanding of their needs and issues; you create an immersive sales and service environment that engages. Customer experiences that can’t fail to stick.

Microsoft’s suite of business application tools are delivering these experiences in the insurance sector. Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies insurance customer data in real time and integrates with tools like Unified Service Desk, Power BI and PowerApps to help build communication networks that drive sales, inspire loyalty, encourage satisfaction and increase customer lifetime value. Digital self-service via low and no code apps, developed rapidly in-house increases team productivity whilst empowering the customer to transact on their own terms, often without ever needing to engage with an agent.

Additionally, the data insights leveraged across these communication tools, from agent channels and customer portals, to mobile, social and web interactions build an invaluable 360-degree view of your customer and their needs. Predicative AI and relationship insights tools support by taking the guesswork out what of your customer needs and next step actions are. When those insights are available to your people, customers are provided with pro-active consultative support and sales conversations land with razor sharp precision.

Looking at the claims process, that single version of the truth and the productivity tools of Dynamics 365, Unified Service Desk and O365 can speed up the claims process, allowing remote assessment, works management and completion, often without the need for loss adjuster visits.

  1. Creating digital workplaces that empower relationships and service excellence

End user customers aren’t the only winners of a unified data system. Unlike other financial networks, in insurance the eco-system contains third party agents and intermediaries that often aren’t directly employed by the firm. Building loyalty and delivering smooth operations to these stakeholders and third parties is imperative to the bottom line.

That interconnectivity of the business, agents and policyholders can be achieved with bespoke portals that feed in directly to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, connecting household data and documents with the correct product and service at the right price point.

It goes without saying that ease of service is under serious scrutiny at this point in the sale. With customers often talking to a number of insurers, both price and experience are key differentiators. Additionally, intermediaries will naturally steer towards the platforms that provide them with great accessibility and experience and the ability to sell, connect and close quicker.

Unified communication via handheld devices, easy access to product and service information, forms and eSign capabilities that connect product, agent, system and customer can replace a laptop or desktop without compromising on service levels. On an access as required status that secures sensitive customer data.

  1. Providing accurate real-time insights

Real time insights provided by Dynamics 365 allows you to unify all of your customer data, applications, claims and complaints into one easily accessible system. With Dynamics data insights you can better understand customers, accelerate applications and decisions; create personalised insurance offers; gain a 360-degree view of internal and external data, predict customer needs and provide custom solutions.

With constant advances in the tech and new bi-annual releases, teams can progress action and help when there is trouble, automate processes and augment human ingenuity with AI and cognitive capabilities to meet customers where they are.

For call centre staff, access to these insights and unified service data help provide a pro-active service to consumers who are informed and often quite far down a sales pipeline via their own personal research. Microsoft Unified Service Desk collates data from the legacy sources and knowledge materials that help agents answer tricky questions and fulfil customer needs. Data insights impact all areas of customer delivery and improve profitability. Eradicating ageing systems and disparate silos also helps reduce over and under pricing and monitor fraud, depreciating trends and unnecessary claims payouts that are impacting your bottom line.

Digital disruption and transformation is in motion from the top down, and across the financial services and insurance sector, everything is to play for. From new market entrants to established High Street names, insurance firms globally are rapidly accelerating and shape shifting into highly focused, strategically planned, modern and agile institutions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem is steering differentiated customer journeys and operational success. In a rapidly evolving business environment where the strongest and most innovation hungry institutions will thrive and survive, the question is: ‘How does your organisation’s digital strategy stack up?’

At Redspire, when we partner with you, we become your dedicated Dynamics partner throughout your whole improvement journey. We have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and we have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money and Pensions Service and our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem within insurance firms like Ellipse, Saffron and The Judge, we help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that promises return on investment.

Want to find out more? Download The Digital Insurer white paper today. If you’re ready to chat, contact us on 0845 226 8170 or email us at info@redspire.co.uk. We’ll get back to you right away.

7 min read

Five signs that your business has outgrown its current CRM system

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When it comes to organisational change and digital innovation, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it isn’t the best philosophy to lead with. With business applications and integrations constantly evolving and digital-readiness driving organisational effectiveness, the top performers in business are constantly innovating not laggard. When you consider smart, AI-connected households, the Internet of Things and in-phone GPS, it’s easy to see that today’s cutting-edge business technology is tomorrow’s mass-produced household necessity.

CRM technology is moving at lightning speed and system capabilities are rapidly evolving. Whilst it may seem more prudent to squeeze every last drop of value out of existing tech and adapt your evolving people and processes to your legacy system, the opposite is often true. If you’re coming up against some of the most common challenges, it may be time for a new CRM system. If you’re lacking value and efficiencies from your existing solution, investing in a well-deployed, company-wide implementation will be well worth the financial, time and resource investment.

Here, we’ve curated the top red flags that your business has outgrown its current CRM system. If any of them resonate, it’s time to start considering a new system and sourcing a new CRM partner.

  1. Your CRM system has limited growth potential  

Whether you’re scaling up from a smaller team with growing CRM requirements or are a large established business building a more robust digital infrastructure, if your current CRM system isn’t able to adapt to your changing operational needs, now is the time to look for a new CRM partner.

A legacy CRM that doesn’t support new functionality, integrations and advanced tools is an unsustainable foundation on which to build an adaptable, future-ready digital infrastructure. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for example, is fully customisable to support and unify your legacy and extended CRM use cases. Dynamics also uses universal web standards that make it easy to customise and extend the platform to meet ever-changing business needs, and integrates neatly not just with the full Microsoft stack, but all sorts of business applications and technologies.

With an outdated CRM however, data standards and methodologies decline, functionality reduces and integrations with the very latest cross-business technologies become almost impossible.

  1. Your CRM isn’t accessible on-the-go, in the cloud

The modern workplace is changing. Teams work remotely, on-the-go, across global disparate locations. If your people can’t access your CRM system on the road via mobiles and other handheld devices then data accuracy, real-time knowledge sharing, sales opportunity and team collaboration is compromised. Your CRM system should be the go-to-source for everyone in the business for real-time data, knowledge sharing and reporting. From sales to the CEO, the CRM allows every member of the team to perform effectively

Microsoft Dynamics 365 online can be used anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal, at any time on any device. Teams are always connected and able to access the workflows, systems and processes that make their day to day tasks more manageable, whether they’re in the office, or on the road. If they can’t, it’s time to look at a new system.

  1.       Your CRM system doesn’t unify departments 

If you have cross-departmental teams who are working with valuable files and data sets in information silos, then your business is losing opportunities daily. Your people are undoubtedly spending hours of unproductive administration time each day on tedious tasks that could be automated easily with a fit-for-purpose CRM.

What should an effective CRM system look like as we head towards 2020? A solution like Microsoft Dynamics is a suite of end-to-end suite of business applications that manage all aspects of your business. If your departments aren’t sharing their real-time data, then your customer journey and experience will be challenging not just for the end customer but your employees too.

From managing lead generation and qualifying prospects, right through to service delivery, compliance management, finance and operations and reporting, a fully unified CRM drives effective business performance and returns on ROI from the outset. Unify your data and connect your teams with a fit-for-purpose CRM and watch customer experience scores, customer satisfaction levels, employee satisfaction, team productivity and sales soar.

  1. Your current CRM has poor user adoption 

Poor CRM adoption happens for several reasons, the biggest being a lack of user adoption training at the time of installation. With little vendor support in embedding the technology with your users and designated super users, teams are left to decipher complex functionality on their own and never really scratching the surface of what the technology can do as they struggle to deliver their day to day tasks.

CRM today isn’t a plug and play database. Tools like Dynamics 365 are sophisticated platforms that drive multi-million-pound digital business operations. If initial in-depth training and new employee on-boarding processes have been poorly established, your CRM is unlikely to be fulfilling its potential or had update and upgrade schedules met, nor made use of expansion opportunities.

When you do decide to look at a new CRM, choosing a CRM partner who offers in-depth user adoption training and support should be a big part of your selection process.

  1. Your CRM is unreliable or out of support 

If you’re spending more and more time on IT support calls or creating costly fixes and workarounds to repair constantly repeating problems, productivity and output will be the first thing to take a dive. With team morale not far behind. In the modern workplace, teams have such huge pressure to deliver on their measurable objectives, It’s vital to provide them with the functioning tools they need to produce results instead of limiting their productivity with poorly performing technology.

Similarly, if your current CRM is out of mainstream support, in-house IT teams will struggle to maximise performance and your systems and processes are at risk of non-compliant data management and control. This is one of the most important red flags to address as soon as you possibly can, particularly with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ever-increasing data compliance and controls. Microsoft Dynamics allows you to house your data controls within the CRM system and do real-time risk assessments to meet these complex compliance obligations. A GDPR ready CRM will help you avoid data breaches but also reduce the cost and burden of obtaining, signing and digitally storing relevant data and paperwork. If your current system doesn’t offer these time, money and productivity saving tools, it’s time to look at new CRM systems.

Diagnosis: time for a new CRM? 

If you’ve ticked one or more of the warning signs above, it’s time to start exploring a new CRM. Look at the vendors and partners who work in your vertical, explore the solutions on the market and start thinking about the functionality you’ll need to maximise operations. Interview a few potential partners and get a feel for their approach.

At Redspire, we can help you implement and customise your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and importantly, embed it firmly within the organisation with robust user adoption training.

For more information on CRM implementation success, watch our short webinar replay. If you’d like to discuss your project, call our experienced consultants on 0845 226 8170 or email on info@redspire.co.uk, regardless of how far along the process you are. We love to talk about CRM and Dynamics, and we love to help our clients revolutionise how they do business.

4 min read

The Graduate Apprenticeship Q&A: Greg Tierney

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22 year old Greg Tierney has been working with Redspire for just over a year, as a Junior Business Analyst. He joined the business on the pilot Graduate Apprenticeship programme having completed a HND in Accountancy at Glasgow College. With a real enthusiasm for technology, he was the idea candidate for the newly created post. We’ve grabbed a coffee with Greg to ask him a few questions about his first year in post.

Tell us about a typical Redspire day?

I tend to get in the office around 8:15am, throw together a smoothie from the free office supply and get to my desk to catch up on emails before our 9am delivery team stand up. This meeting, along with a one to one with the project manager right after sets the tone for the whole day. I spend the morning on daily reporting, resourcing and billing before lunch. It’s a young, friendly team in Redspire, so lunch is usually with a colleague somewhere local. The afternoon is usually planned project work with the odd reactive, ad-hoc client piece.

What’s been the highlight of the last year since joining Redspire?

It’s just a really great business to work for and the experience I’ve gained in the last year has been incredible.

Redspire aims to be – and is well on the way to becoming – the number one CRM and Microsoft business applications consultancy in the UK. We’re the go-to partner for digital transformation for Financial Services organisations, not just in Glasgow – where some of our partners and clients like CYBG and Golden Charter are based – but across the rest of the UK too. Our vision helps financial services firms create business flows that don’t just improve internal operations but completely revolutionises how their customers bank, save, borrow, buy, interact and transact.

Being involved in that sort of project work and producing workflows, documentation and reports on high six figure projects that really make a difference to our clients’ operations, as well as sitting on the working group that implemented new processes for how projects are created and delivered through the Redspire Project Lifecycle (RPL) were serious highs for me. These are dream projects and I still get excited that I get to gain a BA (Hons) in Business Studies whilst working on both client work and internal business flows that have long term impact.

It’s great to see the work I’m involved in improve operations in such huge commercial businesses and to create lasting impact on the wider financial services industry at large.

As well as our work in the local business community, we’ve also signed the Microsoft Pledge, which aims to reduce the digital skills gap and create a strong pool of digital talent entering the workplace. My Graduate Apprenticeship position is testament to that!

How do you balance workload and studying?

Applying for Redspire, being able to study at Strathclyde and gain on the job experience whilst on a demanding graduate scheme has been incredible. However, it hasn’t been without hard work, sacrifice and lots of focus. It’s a demanding workload and good time management skills are required to balance work and studying. However, being able to work with clients like Money and Pensions Services, Skills Development Scotland and Civil Aviation Authority and gain on the job skills is the massive payoff to that.

Working in tech in a business that makes a real difference to clients and their customers, and the opportunities provided by the Microsoft Gold Partner relationship is pretty much my dream job so the hard work will be worth it.

There’s a great social aspect of life at Redspire too. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a team night out, lunch and learn or a training event. Some amazing Microsoft grassroots events have happened here recently too, like D365 Saturday or App in a Day, where I got to learn directly from some of the biggest names in the Microsoft space.

Any advice for Graduates interested in a role with Redspire?

Read up and learn about Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Redspire have a great staff induction and training programme to gain your accreditations and really invest in upskilling you. But the more you know about the technology, the further ahead you’ll be. Show your enthusiasm and hunger for success. This business is build by people with real passion for IT and the sectors we work in so if you can show that you have that drive too, it will be a real bonus!

Working with Redspire

Head of Operations, Kristine Steele says, “Redspire recently signed the Microsoft Pledge to highlight our commitment to upskilling future generations and reduce the digital skills gap. We’re thrilled to also be able to open up a development opportunity for a young person in Scotland in the shape of a brand-new Graduate Apprenticeship, and Greg has become a valuable team member in the past year.”

To find out more about working with Redspire or our Graduate Apprenticeships programmes, get in touch with Kristine Steele.

 

8 min read

The Digital Insurer: Top 10 Microsoft Dynamics tools and integrations that every Board level insurer should know about

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With online retailer Amazon famously releasing new functionality to its website every eleven seconds, it’s clear that continuous technological change is at the heart of customer service and experience. Regardless of the space you operate in, keeping pace digitally is vital to keep customer satisfaction high.

In insurance, the Board and c-suite are under increasing pressure to keep up. And not just with the current tech driving customer satisfaction, but also the change-making tech looming on the horizon. Customer demand coupled with cost pressures and the needs to provide a modern technology-led workplace to executives and third party intermediaries creates an insurance workplace that requires a robust technology strategy. Insurers who will succeed will have an appetite for continus innovation and change that goes far beyond simple lead nurture and risk management.

Thankfully, Microsoft have worked hard to enable insurance firms of all shapes, sizes and budgets to keep pace. The tech giant has created a range of fully integrated solutions and tools that provide increased collaboration and productivity from teams and intermediaries. All alongside the ability to map and enhance business processes and drive continuous improvement and automation.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform include a range of bolt-on technologies that unify data, tech and people. These transformative tools enhance all aspects of the insurance business and enable a 24/7 customer experience that sticks.

Read on for just a few of the key tools that are evolving the digital insurance space. For more information of the new and emerging technologies we’re deploying via our partnerships with the UK’s leading insurers, download our Digital Insurer white paper, watch our video series or sign up for our up and coming detailed blogs series on the individual tools below, direct to your inbox.

  1. Customer Service Insights: enhanced service and reduced costs

With AI and data driven customer service insights, the customer journey from on-boarding to reporting a claim and case management is set up to cater to the customer’s every need. Set 24/7 communication choices to suit customer preferences via Apps, Portals, data-driven Bots and seamless email processes straight into CRM. Your team’s productivity is improved, whilst being available for heavier touch contact when required. With agents accessing the same real-time data, your customers will receive consistent service levels. Decreasing CSAT scores monitoring,

SLA monitoring and enhanced business intelligence dashboards that identify trending call centre activity, means that you’re always on top of any potential issues before they get out of hand. And you can even quickly configure and deploy simple bot activity to resolve issues, whilst measuring individual or collective customer sentiment via cognitive services. Delivering on your customer’s needs and resolving claims and complaints effectively and in a timely manner creates that emotional connection that drives much sought after brand loyalty.

  1. Sharepoint Online: secure, regulatory compliant document storage

With the insurance sector processing millions of auditable pieces of data each day, it’s essential to have a safe, secure space to house these digital paper trails. With risk and data protection and GDPR regulation at front of mind, Microsoft recently enhanced its document storage offering. Sharepoint Online uses AI to identify sensitive information, encrypt where required and watermark and categorise documents. Integrating neatly into Dynamics 365, the application and claims process all sits within the secure Microsoft framework, benefitting from world-class security and classifications immediately.

  1. Relationship insights: Close deals and manage relationships with AI

Microsoft Relationship Insights builds strong relationships not just between customers and relationship managers, but also helping drive productive, effective networks between insurance teams, stakeholders, intermediaries and brokers. Going far beyond nurturing and close deals, the AI that’s housed within the CRM and email systems analyses and highlights trends and sentiment for appropriate action. Additionally, the user is served reminders on next steps required without having to manually set tasks or create events, enhancing productivity and ensuring no opportunities are missed.

  1. Office 365: Seamless productivity and team building business applications

With brokers in the field working directly with agents in call centres across disparate geographical locations, staying connected is vital. Office 365 combines office tools like Excel, Word and Outlook Exchange and introduces new, innovative productivity tools like Microsoft Teams. Teams provides a full collaboration space for online meetings, phone calls, video conferencing, document sharing, screen sharing and so much more. Easy to use across all devices, and integrated with rich data application Delve and the Dynamics 365 CRM, Office 365 is a much under-utilised tool in the insurance space. Yet it’s one our clients are seeing huge productivity value and benefits from once we steer them towards using to it’s full capability.

  1. Sales Navigator: social selling that turns relationships into sales

Get rich insight into your current and potential clients and the broker network by connecting Dynamics 365 to your LinkedIn account. When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26billion, they combined the winning formula of Dynamics 365 and Sales Navigator to help Relationship Managers create warm connections and close deals faster. With huge success in Financial Services, the insurance sector should follow suit to differentiate, accelerate relationships, increase deal sizes and improve win rates.

  1. PowerApps: Putting business applications processes in your development team’s hands

Our top pick for the future and some exciting new features coming in the next wave. PowerApps is relatively new to market but revolutionising app development within the insurance and financial services space. With PowerApps, in-house developers can bring task-driven mobile apps and model-driven data apps to market as soon as they need, greatly reducing development time to market as well as partner development costs. Our clients are using PowerApps in the field to allow loss adjusters or even customer self-reporting of claims, with the capability to upload photos of damaged assets direct to CRM for attention via a simple, secure, bespoke built app. Claims can be validated quickly and efficiently, increasing customer satisfaction.

Many insurers are also using model driven apps to manage compliance and underwriting processes, connecting with tools like Flow to build out the entire process as a seamless extension of the Dynamics CRM.

  1. Marketing Insights: AI powered insights

Understand what your customers feel about your products and services, the claims process and your brand with Marketing Insights. Insurance services can be emotive, as you hold the security of people’s homes, cars and travel, or in commercial insurance, high value sums and risk in your hands. Marketing insights pulls the sentiment from your own online mentions, allowing you to take action and shape shape future service levels and marketing activity. Track what competitors are up to too, cut through the noise of what doesn’t interest you and find out what’s trending in insurance at the click of a button.

  1. Adobe Sign: digital document share and sign that closes more deals, faster.

One of the biggest tech giant partnerships of recent times, Microsoft and Adobe joined forces to collaborate on Marketing Cloud and Adobe Sign, increasing lead quality and quote volume and speeding up insurance customer on-boarding. Integrating fully into Dynamics 365, Dynamics can feed new and cross-sell insurance customer data from the CRM. Create, prepare and share digital documents for signing in seconds, rather than days or often weeks before they were returned. Conversions are improved, drop off reduces and customers benefit from a slick digital service and insurance coverage as and when they need it.

  1. Power BI: Enhanced Business Intelligence, visualised

Gartner’s top performing BI tool for the 13th year running, Power BI is the best way to understand what the data you hold on your clients, broker performance and teams actually means in the here and now. Part of the Power Platform, turn insights into action and data led decision-making across every department, from relationship management to risk and compliance, when you combine PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow.

  1. Portals: safe are secure self-serve communication with great impact on ROI

Reduce costs and increase productivity and experience by connecting to your partners or customers to the business via bespoke build, secure data-sharing portals. Manage your broker relationships, share insights or information on claims, policies, renewals and customers.

Adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape in insurance

As with the wider Financial Services sector, insurance is in a process of on-going, accelerated change, and it’s steering how the c-suite approach operations and policyholder service delivery. As insurance goes digital, competition for customer spend and attention is fierce, bringing opportunity to differentiate on brand proposition, service and experience. The onus isn’t just on attracting and retaining customers, it’s on ensuring a unified experiences across the entire portfolio.

The cost of not keeping up with the new technologies driving change? Your digital strategy could veer off in the wrong direction or you could rule out initiatives that could be executed in your business quicker and at a lower cost than what you think. Advancing InsureTech is providing innovation hungry transformation teams with the opportunity to breathe life into an evolving sector and engage and deliver slick user experiences like never. To find out more, download The Digital Insurer white paper today or contact us on 0845 226 8170 or email us at info@redspire.co.uk.