Swiss health insurer Atupri wants to differentiate itself by ensuring consistent customer experiences across all points of contact. Kaspar Trachsel, Head of Marketing & Sales, and Dieter Genge, Head of Information Management & Projects, discuss how its digitalization project with Appway makes this possible.

Atupri is one of the smaller players within the Swiss health insurance market. How have you positioned yourself?

Kaspar Trachsel: Today's customers are well-informed, and they want insurance that addresses their personal concerns, offering more than just good service in the event of illness. We want to be this insurance company for them. We want to inspire people to do something for their individual health. They should decide what’s right for them. And we, as their insurer, are by their side whenever they need us.

This means you want to differentiate yourself through service…

K.T.: Indeed. In terms of product design, entrepreneurial freedom is pretty limited by the regulator. We want to distinguish ourselves in terms of brand, approach to customer behavior, and communication. Our customers are setting the pace for us. They decide when and where they use our service. This also means they want to communicate seamlessly with us across all digital and personal touch points.

How do you want to achieve this?

Dieter Genge: By aligning our internal processes with a defined customer journey, we can create a better customer experience. This will allow us to adapt our offerings more quickly to our customers' needs.

Why is omnichannel capability so important?

D.G.: Our customers communicate with us across a variety of channels, both digital and traditional. To provide customers with the experience they want, we serve them via the channel of their choice. However, managing the various input and output channels shouldn’t complicate our employees’ work. This is why we need a platform that makes it easy for our employees to handle various channels.

You said you want to listen closely to customers...

D.G.: To get a better understanding of our customers, we’ll redesign the underwriting process based on customer data. This will allow us to offer more individualized services and to identify insurance risks as well as potential market opportunities.

K.T.: All of this requires us to better integrate our consulting and sales process with the underwriting process and implement both processes from the customer perspective.

What is the business case for your digitalization project?

K.T.: Apart from increased efficiency, we expect to convert more prospects into customers because we’ll be able to manage the customer journey with the support of data. We’ll continuously improve our customer interfaces by implementing follow-up processes that are directly actionable. Our long-term aim is to achieve a pull effect on the market through brand positioning and delivering strong customer experiences.

D.G.: Digitalization is a strategic necessity for us. But no one knows exactly where our digital journey will take us. That’s why it’s important to prepare for upcoming changes by honing our digital skills.

Can you give a specific example?

D.G.: Digital literacy is necessary if we want to increase our network capability, for example. I’m thinking of our ability to work with partners, such as external portal providers, through which we get access to new customers.

We also want to lay the foundation for the use of artificial intelligence, like chatbots or auto-response systems. They’ll help us reduce the amount of repetitive, manual work, so that we can pay even more attention to our customers.

Where is Atupri now on its road towards digitalization?

K.T.: We started out by focusing on front end digitalization. We built the Atupri customer portal which, after 12 months, is already used by more than 25% of our customers.

Now we’re concentrating on digitalizing our data and processes together with Appway. Our goal is to be truly customer responsive and have integrated personal advice with our digital customer communication tool.

D.G.: Although we have a well-documented and certified quality management system, many processes are ‘black boxes’ for those not directly involved. We’re actively challenging the business rules that control these, because we ultimately want to become more agile and more open to experimentation. We therefore need systems that can be changed flexibly, where things can be tried out and measured, processes can be amended at short notice and results can be analyzed. The systems must provide answers to questions such as: What leads to a higher conversion rate? And how can repeated requests to the contact center be eliminated?

Does all this also spell a cultural change for Atupri’s employees?

K.T.: It does. We’re experiencing this now. We need to get our colleagues on board and offset fears that people will be replaced by machines. This is why we emphasize that digitalization reduces routine tasks and frees employees up for more value-adding activities.

D.G.: Business and technology are merging; not just at Atupri, but in general. This can be seen across different disciplines. Job profiles that have been valid for decades suddenly require a strong technological affinity. We actively promote the coalescence of individual disciplines and technology in our company. Everyone has their specialties, but we all need to have a common business understanding, regardless of the tasks we're working on.

K.T.: Our customer portal is a catalyst for pursuing our chosen path. Our employees are proud of our new market presence. Interest and willingness to cooperate in the projects are increasing. We’re designing a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, which encourages continuous testing and learning. Customer and market surveys show that we’re on the right track. This gives us confidence that we can successfully shape the next stages together with Appway.

Watch our webinar, Digital Insurance - Leveraging Customer Journeys for Better Business Results, for more relevant insurance info.