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Data analytics makes customer king

Data analytics delivers great value for businesses and customers. This is also the case for insurance company, FWD Singapore. Started in April 2016, the company provides a wide range of insurance solutions, including Travel, Car and Employee Benefits insurance for corporate customers.

Being one of the new kids on the block in Singapore’s insurance industry, FWD’s strategy for success is to leverage on technology to change the way people feel about insurance. To this end, they believe that data analytics have enabled the company to deliver products and experiences which are relevant, easy-to-understand and direct.

In October, the company launched the FWD Flyer mobile app. It allows customers to seek medical treatment at any of its 500 panel clinics in Singapore within 48 hours of returning from a trip, without the need to fork out their own money. Prior to this, FWD Singapore also introduced electronic claims payment via DBS IDEAL RAPID, and PayNow. This eliminated the need to make payouts via cheque which may be delayed or lost. As a result, customers can now receive their claims payment the next day upon approval, rather than the five days or more it would take for the cheques to be delivered.

Indeed, for FWD, innovation is the way forward. Riding the wave of digital disruption in the insurance landscape necessitates lacing insurance products with technological advances. FWD’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr Narasimhan Parathasarathy, shares with OpenGov Asia his thoughts on the importance of a data driven strategy.

Responsible for the company’s digital and information technology development, he thinks data and analytics are key enablers in his organisation. Yet, the age-old business adage still stands – the customer is king. He said, “Only if you know what your customer wants, can you service them efficiently. And to do that, there has to be a much deeper understanding of the customers’ needs. This is where we use data analytics. A data driven strategy is very important for customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

He added that business begins the moment a prospective customer visits the company’s website to enquire about or buy an insurance plan. From that point forward, creating a positive customer experience is key. Be it covering the customer’s needs to providing support when it is most needed, the time a claim is made, FWD is committed to providing the best service along every point of the customer journey.

In this way, customer satisfaction is increased. “A happy customer is also our champion. And through that customer, we can look at referrals to make the customer’s contacts our customers also. This provides us with endless opportunity.”

However, seizing these opportunities is no straightforward task. Businesses need to think out of the box to gather the right data.

Mr Parathasarathy explains, “The golden data is not in the traditional places but in the interactions and without the structure. This is the challenge and change in mindset that we should be looking at and [should be putting more efforts into knowing] more about it.”

Indeed, there is much more strategizing and frontiers of knowledge to explore for a truly valuable business transformation. Mr Parathasarathy was one of six speakers at OpenGov Asia’s Insurance Analytics Forum on 16 November 2018. With more than twenty-five years of experience in the information technology and insurance sectors, he had a wealth of information to share.

A half-day session, participants of the Forum met and learnt from other industry practitioners on how data analytics and visualisation can aid business transformation and drive more value for customers. Delegates walked away with knowledge of the best tools and strategies needed to optimise customer experience analytics, claims analysis, fraud and cybercrime and other key challenges within the insurance and financial services industry.

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