| Contact Us

October 04 2013 | Mark Breading

Aside from gaining market edge among insurance competitors, look to outside industries to gain best practices for advantage within. At our recent SMA Summit: Innovate for Advantage, I facilitated a panel discussion on Customer Experience with Hugh Anderson, Senior Industry Principal, SAP Financial Services/Insurance; Brian Piccolo, Director, Digital Strategic Services at Liberty Mutual; Simon Thompson, Global Director of Commercial Solutions at ESRI; and Scott Good of Scottsdale Insurance. The diverse panel shared insights into the importance that the customer plays in innovation and making change, and how customers base preferences and expectations on other industry standards.

Insurers can look to other industries for innovation examples, but you must also recognize some of the unique characteristics of the insurance industry. For example, movie theaters are going upscale by adding power reclining chairs or offering restaurant-style dining in the theater. The result is a completely transformed movie going experience. So too, can insurers, even with complex products, complex organizations, and complex customers, make small changes to innovate and gain advantage. The panel members agreed that small changes can quickly become the standard or customer/consumer expectation. In addition, the panelists stressed the importance of research to the process.

SMA research has shown that a remarkable 87% of insurers say that innovation is occurring at some level, and 20% have already established a strong innovation culture in their organizations. The vast majority of insurers view innovation positively and regard it not only as a way to develop big, game-changing ideas, but also to make small incremental changes. Research is critical for understanding the data and information your organization is already gathering, as well as gaining competitive advantage.

The Summit will continue to push the boundaries of traditional insurance events and begin to offer sessions throughout the year where insurers can share and exchange information about innovative solutions. This will all be brought to new heights at the 2014 SMA Summit, where the theme will be The Power of Innovation and Transformation.  Save the date – September 15, 2014!