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#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: How AIA digitally accelerated services to maintain vital relationships

#AsiaeCommerceAwards 2021 spills: How AIA digitally accelerated services to maintain vital relationships

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At MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce awards, the team at AIA proudly took home the gold award for Best Use of Personalisation and bronze for Best use of AI. 

As a provider of healthcare and life insurance with one of the largest agency forces, AIA realised that it needed to digitally equip its insurance representatives to become agents of positive change in an increasingly online world to ensure that their customers continue to receive the counsel, support, and solutions they need. To place customers at the heart of the business, AIA launched the iSMART app, a data-driven platform to help agents provide more tailored financial advice to meet the specific needs of individuals. The app was successful in allowing AIA to understand their customers and personalise each customer experience.

In an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE Melita Teo, chief customer and digital officer of AIA Singapore said that the past two years have been a point of pivot for AIA as it looked to accelerate digitalisation. During a time on uncertainty, the team knew that keeping in touch with its consumers was viral and given its agility, it was able to move quickly to adapt to changing times. Read more on her views.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Asia eCommerce Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here. 

What has the past two years been like for you given the sudden pivot to eCommerce?

Without a doubt, the way we work, interact and play has changed in the past two years. Along with these changes came challenges which included the need to accelerate digitalisation. Nevertheless, AIA Singapore was well-placed to pivot as we had already begun our digitalisation process in 2018. The health crisis had sped up digital transformation within the organisation and we were able to put in place digital solutions for our customers, staff and insurance representatives.

What was one challenge that took you by surprise and how did you pivot?

In an urgent need to pivot, companies started to put their foot to the pedal, fuelling their digital transformations as they rethink their business strategies. A challenge we had faced was during the height of the circuit-breaker period when face-to-face interactions were not possible, and signing off on policies was still in the form of pen and paper.

We had set up the ‘Non-Face-to-Face’ (NFTF) taskforce two months prior to the lockdown to prepare for the worst, and the objective of the taskforce was to develop a brand new approach to help insurance representatives conduct sales effectively admist reduced or no physical interactions between them and their customers.

Our agility means that we were able to pivot quickly and successfully introduced an e-signature tool on the next day following the announcement of circuit breaker in Singapore, allowing customers to sign off digitally on their policies. Our lightning ability to think on our feet meant that we were able to exceed our business milestones and deliverables.

With markets opening up, what are some trends do you have your eyes on?

We have spent the last year adapting new ways, processes and strategies to pivot to the current landscape. As we begin to emerge to an endemic, our strategy for digital transformation remains. One of our key strategic priorities is the adoption of technology to provide customers with personalised insights and advice for a more seamless and fuss-free digital customer journey.

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

The best form of marketing, in my opinion, is still word of mouth. When a trusted person validates for a service, or quality of a product, we tend to buy into that because it had already been tried and tested for.

Take for example, our AIA Claims EZ portal - a fully integrated end-to-end digital claims platform that simplifies and transforms the claims process using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and supervised Machine Learning (ML) to immediately approve claims with a high confidence rate. With AIA Claims EZ, customers can submit claims on-the-go, use Singpass Mobile as authentication and claims pay-outs are disbursed instantaneously and directly into customers’ bank accounts by leveraging PayNow’s infrastructure. AIA Singapore’s end-to-end turnaround time from the point of submission to the final disbursement of claims payouts, have been reduced to one to four working days; a marked difference from the industry average of two weeks minimum.

Customers with AIA who have experienced this seamless and fuss-free digital journey during the claims process are more inclined to share their positive experience with their social circle – thereby underscoring the greatness of word-of-mouth marketing. With AIA Claims EZ, customer satisfaction improved by 20% within one year, according to our Customer Experience Survey 2021.

How do you feel about your win?

The win is a big testament for all of us at AIA Singapore, and recognition of our efforts to drive a customer-centric proposition and placing our customers at the heart of everything we do. We are evermore motivated and committed to continually upholding our brand promise of enabling "Healthier, longer, better lives" for all.

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