Last week at Dreamforce, I heard a compelling story about unifying the customer experience and journey in the Insurance industry. Eran Agrios, Head of Go To Market for Financial Services Cloud at Salesforce, played the role of “Julie”, a State Farm policyholder and brought an experience to life that was exponentially easier than any process I have ever experienced.
Turning a Bad Day Around
The story started with Julie right after she backed into a pole and damaged her car. Instead of putting off an onerous insurance and repair process — as I may or may not have done in the same situation — she logged right into her State Farm mobile app to submit a claim. First, she quickly and easily chat(bot)ted her way through a series of questions to provide the necessary details. Then, the app allowed her to take a photo of the car and the damage it had suffered. Within seconds, she was prompted to go ahead and submit the claim. (Note that behind the scenes, AI had analyzed the photo and compared it to other vehicles, claims and repair costs, and immediately presented Julie with a description and classification for the damage, alongside an estimate for repairs). The claim submission triggered a customer journey where Julie immediately received a text confirmation that her claim was submitted and being processed followed by updates to the claim status each step of the way.
Over at State Farm, Julie’s agent, Craig, was using Salesforce Financial Services Cloud which provided a consolidated view of his business including key metrics, interactions, leads, open claims and policies written. With its Einstein AI capabilities, Craig was alerted that Julie filed a notice of loss claim and received a recommendation to call Julie and check in that same day.
Julie was impressed with the call and her seamless State Farm experience, so she spent enough time chatting with Craig to see that he really understood her household and needs. Sharing news of her coming baby seemed natural as they discussed how coverage was working for her in the various areas of her life. With this additional information, Einstein crunched the data and provided recommendations on additional products Julie is likely to buy, updated her multi-product likelihood score, and gave Craig a whole new set of ‘next best actions’ to take over the next few months.
Creating this type of unified customer experience wasn’t easy for a firm founded 96 years ago, and selling through a network of 19,000 agents throughout the U.S.. It started with a commitment to research and innovation and a decision to embrace disruption. State Farm decided to empower their workforce to be prepared for what comes, starting with the core belief that success comes from constantly looking at things from the customer’s perspective.
The Next-Gen Experience: Turning a Good Day into a Good Month into a Good…
Customers today are more sophisticated than ever before and are exposed to a wide variety of consumer experiences on a daily basis, through various channels. Data, analytics and AI allow for extremely personalized promotions and service, which customers are beginning to expect from the companies they patronize. While 10 years ago, companies expected to compete primarily on product and price, leaders today know that customer experience is often the key battleground. State Farm demonstrates this with the digital tools they’ve built for customers to easily submit claims during the most stressful situations. But one touchpoint alone doesn’t make the next-gen customer experience.
The next-gen customer experience is seamless and personalized, on a day-to-day, week-to-week, year-to-year basis, across digital and offline channels, no matter who in the company is interacting with the customer. People, process and technology transformation is typically required for enterprise financial services firms with legacy systems in place. Automated data capture and synchronization into CRM platforms has enabled State Farm to provide actionable insights to State Farms agents that improves the customer experience and presents agents with opportunities to grow their book of business.
State Farm considers their ultimate weapon to be their unique combination of technology with the local, personal relationships their State Farm agents have created and continue to build with customers. In the last 18 months, State Farm has modernized 90,000 customer-facing associates on the Salesforce CRM platform alongside modernizing business processes and other technologies, all in the name of improved customer experience. These empowered agents are part of the next-gen, unified customer experience, using tools like Salesforce Financial Services Cloud and its AI-driven Einstein Insights alongside Hearsay’s Advisor Cloud to keep customers engaged with tailored communications at exactly the moments that matter.