Great Eastern: Changing the Game with Digital

| 17 Nov 2020

Ryan Cheong, Managing Director, Digital for Business, Great Eastern Life Assurance

"Digital is an opportunity for us to change the game, and how we can deliver better advice and service to our customers," said Ryan Cheong, Managing Director, Digital for Business, Great Eastern Life Assurance.

“We need to start with a customer-centric mindset to step into the customers’ shoes to experience their pain-points. Then, by applying design thinking and creatively re-imagining the ideal customer experience that we want to create, we challenge the status quo by combining digital solutions with process improvement, automation and data analytics,” he said.

The Results Speak

And the results speak for itself. Great Eastern was ranked first in the life insurance sector in the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore (CSISG) 2020. It is the fifth consecutive year that the insurer topped the sector in this industry ranking conducted by the Singapore Management University.

 “This augurs well for how our customer-centric culture is shaping up, both in the frontline and also the teams that develop products and initiatives to engage customers at every touchpoint, including on digital platforms to meet customers’ digital lifestyles and changing behaviours,” he said.

“All these while bringing innovation to our products and services to give customers the continued peace of mind that our business provides.”

He had shared why "doing digital" is not enough, the need to look beyond the obvious in serving customers through a fresh perspective, and the evolving role of financial advisers in a digital universe in a previous article “Great Eastern: Connecting with Customers in the Digital Universe”.

Digital with a Human Touch

For those who feel that digital in the insurance space means no service or advice from financial representatives, Ryan said: “For us, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Digital is the way to empower the distribution network and tip the scale in terms of how to engage and connect with customers, he said. This has involved an integrated set of digital tools to empower its financial representatives to deliver better customer experiences.

For example, it is able to launch insurance solutions through protection campaigns. These solutions can be made available on Great Eastern’s website or through a personalised link from financial representatives.

Customers who do not require financial advice for these simple and annually renewable insurance products, such as personal accident plans, can make these simple transactions on their own.

Yet, customers who purchase products through this platform will still enjoy the post-purchase services from their assigned financial representatives, he shared.

Riding on the Digital Advantage

Digital transformation is an on-going process, and financial representatives need to see digital as a platform for driving business and not as something to be feared. And at Great Eastern, they have.

“Digital is here to stay and is an opportunity and competitive advantage for our financial representatives. We have seen our distribution force embrace digital and transition from offline to online seamlessly,” he said.

Since the company launched the Great Digital Advantage in April 2019, over 90% of its field force has adopted the digital tools to equip them with capabilities to serve customers in the digital economy and to enhance agency efficiency, productivity and professionalism, he said.

This includes,

GreatAdvice: A highly interactive financial planning tool based on a Life Storyboard concept. With this, Great Eastern financial representatives are better positioned to provide value-added guidance to customers to make more informed decisions regarding their needs and life stage and providing a more engaging and seamless customer experience.

GreatPlanner: Enables financial representatives to better manage their sales activities and monitor sales performance results at a glance to significantly improve overall productivity and efficiency.

Gerica: A chatbot that helps financial representatives obtain more timely answers to their queries around-the-clock, greatly reducing their turnaround time to respond to customers.

Looking Ahead

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation and has the world looking at a new normal. As the situation evolves, there will be changes in how insurance is distributed and how advisory is conducted.

The “new normal” – which we are already seeing – is one of financial representatives servicing on an even more “anytime, anywhere” mode. This mode of operation has seen an acceleration in engaging customers much more on digital channels, from the comfort of their homes, offices, or anywhere they choose.

But the essentials will not really change, and that is providing protection for our customers’ needs, said Ryan. Customers still need and want to be properly informed when considering their protection needs for longer term financial planning.

“Our financial representatives will continue to be empowered to provide the best professional financial advisory with digital tools provided by the company, to help facilitate them meeting customer needs. Adoption for these will doubtlessly continue as all see the benefits and competitive advantages that they bring,” he concluded.


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