Elevating customer experience in insurance - Manu Lavanya, director and COO of Max Life Insurance

| 09 Sep 2021

Amidst the uncertainties it has introduced, the pandemic has sparked an irreversible transformation in every sense-economic, societal, and physical. Given the impact, there is no denying that every business is reinventing itself to address the challenge of exceeding customer expectations in the COVID world. In light of the rapid transformation taking place globally, businesses across sectors are compelled to revitalise their operations to meet customer demands and unlock higher value with digital agility.

The insurance industry is experiencing growth at a steady pace, even as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Increasing awareness and understanding the importance of protecting one’s future is giving the impetus to consumers to opt for life insurance. However, there are several other factors that are driving this growth, as well. These include significant investments in delivering end-to-end digital experiences, flexible products, and most importantly, customer obsession seeped into every single process.

Let’s look at three ways in which you can transform customer experience in the insurance industry in a highly digital world:

Building an intelligent enterprise

An intelligent use of data insights and analytics is helpful in making informed decision-making, which is vital for businesses today. They say ‘data is the new oil’ because access to data can help organisations get customer behaviour. Improved analytics skills and artificial intelligence (AI)-based customer modelling is being developed and deployed across various customer life stages. Be it the right customer selection for managing mortality and persistency risk, or intelligent underwriting, AI led fraud detection and prevention, BOT driven automated customer self-servicing or mortality analytics and claims settlement, AI/ machine learning (ML) driven - analytics are finding a strong value proposition on the impact delivered to the customers. Data on different life insurance policies, personal details, work experience, and past experience of purchasing life insurance can lead to innovation and rethinking the insurance policy design.

Personalising insurance with digitalisation

Generally, customers acquire their insurance through an agent or broker, with the product offerings being very similar to each other. The time has come to move the customer conversation from ‘why insurance’ to a ‘which insurance’ mindset, for which brands must use the digital insurance process to offer customised insurance solutions. This is even more relevant today with the focus on annuity and rider offerings that provide ability to the insurers to customize the offerings to the needs to life stages of individual customers.


Personalisation is important when it comes to dealing with the millennial and Gen-Z customers, who tend to lean heavily towards customised offerings. Becoming digitally adept and offering solutions that are relevant to their life stages and savings-cum-protection needs is critical. Collaboration with InsurTech ecosystems is another way to leverage digital innovation to create processes and solutions that better address the needs to digitally oriented consumers.

Digitally enabled omnichannel experience is the key

If a company doesn’t keep up with the changing demands of the customers, then they run the risk of losing their brand loyalists. Many organisations find it challenging to turn around their servicing, operating model to enhance customer journeys. This is where agility plays an important role. Digital will continue to play a significant role in providing seamless, customised servicing to our customers in an efficient manner. We believe that parts of the insurance service value proposition will be driven through a hybrid model that has the right balance of empathy and automation. The ability to service the customer through simplified, effective omnichannel experience is critical, be it intelligent renewals, auto underwriting and TAT reduction of issuing a policy or AI/ML driven customer self-service and claims processing. Use of design thinking principles to put the customer at the centre of the process design is extremely important to build a service strategy that drives customer obsession and delight.

At a time where we are witnessing an overhaul in the business landscape due to the COVID discontinuity, it is critical that insurers understand the changing pulse of customers. Delivering a fool proof customer experience is a continuous journey and technology can be a great enabler to ensure we double down, develop and deliver in the new normal.  

This article is in paid partnership with Max Life Insurance and was authored by Mr Manu Lavanya, Director and Chief Operations Officer, Max Life Insurance.

Image: Manu Lavanya

Manu Lavanya is the director and chief operating officer of Max Life Insurance. Manu has over two decades of valuable experience in successfully creating, transforming and scaling IT business across multiple industry domains and geographies including the US, Latin America, Eastern Europe, UK and India. Manu leads the “Fulfillment group” that comprises operations, information technology, underwriting and claims, digital transformation and quality, innovation and service excellence. As COO, Manu plays an instrumental role in enhancing the operations value chain, leading the company's digital transformation agenda and strengthening the quality culture thereby helpingits craft superior customer experiences.

Before Max Life, Manu was the global COO at Incedo. Prior to Incedo, he created and scaled Brillio, a global digital services

More from Max Life Insurance:

Riding the digital wave in insurance - Manu Lavanya, director and COO of Max Life Insurance

Three traits for life insurance agents of tomorrow - Max Life Insurance Deputy MD

How life insurers can transform into a new-age digital hybrid sales distribution model post COVID-19


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