- In This Issue
Capital Measures: Getting Customer-Centric in Argentina
The global economic tailspin provides banks in Argentina with an opportunity for growth
This article was published in the Q3 2009 issue of Aon One, November, 2009.
While today’s economic fluctuations are unprecedented, the world economy is no stranger to market turmoil or stresses in the financial sector. For instance, Argentina experienced one of its worst financial crises in 2001 when nervous investors began sending their money abroad, causing a “run” on banks.
To counteract the subsequent economic decline and help drive revenue, banks opted to sell insurance products to clients. However, the banks’ initial offerings were limited to one-size-fits-all solutions that did little to address clients’ unique needs. Quickly realizing this, the banks partnered with global insurance brokers to redefine their insurance-product offerings.
CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SOLUTIONS BRING A BANK AND INSURANCE COMPANY TOGETHER
Leveraging the brokers’ wide network of insurance contacts and product expertise, institutions worked together to create custom-tailored insurance solutions. They also tendered out products to multiple insurance companies to obtain the best possible price and parameters on coverage for auto, home, business and life insurance, to name a few. In addition, rather than selling insurance in a piecemeal fashion, coverage was often directly integrated into credit solutions. So, a homeowner taking out a mortgage would be able to acquire life insurance as part of the package. This helped increase the volume of insurance products sold and offered consumers a simpler approach to buying insurance products.
SPREADING THE WORD AND FULFILLING THE PROMISE
As the partnership between insurance brokers and banks matured, the next step involved working with bank staff to improve service quality. Here, communication was key. Banks took the simple but effective step of ensuring that each customer had his or her account executive’s contact information, including cell phone numbers for 24/7 access. To foster awareness, the banks communicated this new customer-centric focus to clients through television commercials, personalized letters and one-on-one phone communications. The banks also set up user-friendly online interfaces that were conducive to fluid, interactive communication.
LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR EFFICIENCIES
To streamline insurance processes, 90 percent of data on certificate of insurance issuance orders and other forms of documentation was digitized, shifting to efficient and rapid underwriting and online follow-up of sales processes.
As service improved, the banks began to regain consumer trust. So, while banks initially set out to sell insurance to enhance revenue, the benefits of improved efficiency and client satisfaction—as well as the resulting increase in commission rates—proved to be invaluable. This, in turn, created a mutually beneficial partnership between insurance brokers and banks that lessened the financial crisis.
This model proved so successful that banks were able to expand their services to small and mid-size businesses, an oft-neglected, but valuable, niche market. The scope of major services offered by insurance brokers via the banks allowed these businesses to receive more—and better—coverage terms.
And, it all began with economic disaster—proving that even during tough times, companies can find opportunities to build service sets, customer satisfaction and partnerships.
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