Change is inevitable when it comes to the need for insurance to digitise, but how do you know where to start?

When it comes to the insurance industry there are a wide range of different customers, whether that be the policyholder, system user or even an insurer itself, the industry covers it all.

And for each different type of customer, the pain points, and the experience of the user journey as a whole, are all different.

But Addedna co-founder and project lead Walid Daniel Dib says, no matter who the customer is, that customer needs to be at the heart of what you do.

“There are three types of customers: clients, staff and investors,” he says. “And the reason I think that is because you have to deal with all three types to keep everything afloat, because they are all going to tug in a different direction.”

And even if different areas within the business are at a different stage of readiness when it comes to digitisation, Dib says you can still reap the benefits of digitisation by building a programme in stages.

“We have a lot of clients who are benefitting even though that solution is not fully integrated [throughout the whole of the business],” he says. “That might lead to a lot of double entry for the business [until they achieve full integration] but it is already a lot more useful for the business than the previous paper-based solution.”

Fadi Hindi, senior partner of Xische & Co’s DigitAI, says that one way to achieve this integration in stages is to have a simple motto.

“We always say improve or remove – you either improve that touchpoint or you remove it so it is no longer a roadblock,” he says. “But once all of this is done, you then have digital engagement, an increase in data and an increase in the information about your customers and how they are interacting with you.

“And then, all of a sudden you can segment and cluster that data and build smart robots to help your customer receive the service better, faster and more efficiently with the least amount of manual processing and paperwork.”

And Braxtone chief technical officer Jaffer Mazaal says the ultimate goal should always be transparency.

“We need to have transparency in our processes and the way we give information to our customers,” he says. “That needs a lot of systems, technology and digitisation, but we need to have a deeper understanding of that so customer service is kept simple and we can answer the questions they need answering, rather than spending time to develop artificial intelligence that sings insurance, but when a customer calls we still can’t tell them where there car is.

“For me, every strong customer service ethos has a very strong communication strategy with its customer. And by communication I mean a deeper understanding of transparency [and what our customers need].”

And put simply, Mazaal says insurers simply don’t have a choice but to change.

“Digital transformation is the future,” he says. “We cannot continue with manual processes and working late nights and weekends just to type in information when there are simple algorithms that can automate those simple processes.

“We need digital, but we also need to understand ourselves, our market, our stakeholders and our customers and how we communicate our values to the customer, so that we can do digital better.”