BNP Paribas Cardif at the vanguard of digital insurance
BNP Paribas Cardif’s objective was to become a “digital insurer”. We put nine questions to Gregory Desfosses, Chief Customer Experience & Digital Officer within the corporate division of BNP Paribas Cardif, to find out if the company has achieved its goal and to discover his vision of “digital insurance” in 2016.
1. How did the digital transformation take place at BNP Paribas Cardif?
Grégory Desfosses: It was carried out over several steps. In 2009, while restructuring our organization by distribution channel, the position of “Digital Officer” was created to speed up the development of our digital channels to benefit the partners who market our offers. By the end of 2012, a transformation plan was launched by the Executive Committee to turn BNP Paribas Cardif into a “digital insurer” by 2015. The plan has achieved its results with every department now involved in the process and the efforts of our local employees ensuring that we have completed the digital transformation in all 36 countries in which we operate.
2. What challenges does the “Customer Experience” pose?
Grégory Desfosses: Every day, thousands of customers use the sites and online applications of our partners to view their assets, declare or monitor accidents and more. Today, the challenge is to focus our strategy on enhancing the insurance experience in this context. Our goal is clear: capitalize on insurance to improve the satisfaction of our customers when they interact with our partners, regardless of which channel they use. To reach customers in the digital arena, we must adopt the codes defined by other leading players on the web. The customer experience framework means we must collaborate with a growing list of partners, whose codes are always changing – yet we have to support these changes.
3. Will digital technology replace traditional channels such as the phone and physical stores?
G.D.: Of course not! Even if digital contact channels have become essential, the phone and direct contact in physical stores still account for the majority of interactions. Every customer needs the freedom to choose which channel best meets their needs, preferences or habits at any given time. And they also need to be able to count on a positive experience regardless of the channel selected.
4. How are digital initiatives at various BNP Paribas Group entities connected?
G.D.: We’ve set up a close collaboration between entities. I lead a digital community, which brings together all my counterparts from the International Financial Services (IFS) division, as well as employees from other entities at the BNP Paribas Group. We meet regularly for rich discussions concerning digital issues, while also undertaking transversal projects. This community is a powerful venue for exchange and innovation.
5. Is the digital transformation playing out in the same way in every country?
G.D.: The digital transformation plan is overseen at the highest level in each country, with the CEO leading the way and adapting the plan to local regulations as well as the specific expectations of local consumers.
Innovating in terms of the “Customer Experience” means co-creating solutions together with our international partners. Ideas that meet specific local needs are applied judiciously, while the customer experience is adapted to the typical habits of each country. That is how we capitalize on insurance in order to enhance customer satisfaction for our partners.
6. What role will connected objects play in the insurance industry?
G.D.: Their role is essential. BNP Paribas Cardif quickly realized that fact and we became the world’s first insurer to offer a home insurance solution using a connected box, which we marketed in Italy two and a half years ago already! Called H@bitat, the comprehensive offer perfectly illustrates our innovation capacity.
Over the long term, connected objects will impact three insurance sectors: health, home and car insurance. They will help to anticipate risk using statistics – health risks due to lack of fitness, risk of automobile breakdown based on a car’s year and model – while also making it possible to take faster action when accidents occur, thereby minimizing damage.
The Internet of Things has also emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing our understanding of customer habits, expectations and needs, in order to improve our offers and make them more targeted and effective.
7. Does the subsequent use of data raise any concerns?
G.D.: The BNP Paribas Group scrupulously applies detailed rules for protecting data and regulating their use. We go above and beyond the legal requirements and abide by a set of strict corporate ethics while striving for transparency. The slightest unclear or intrusive data request can tarnish the customer experience.
8. What is your assessment of digital technology in 2015?
G.D.: 2015 marked the end of BNP Paribas Cardif’s digital transformation plan with digital now deeply ingrained in our corporate culture and with a high level of employee adoption. That gives us a solid foundation for undertaking new projects, enhancing the customer experience and offering digital tools that deliver more performance and added value to our partners.
9. What are your new priorities for 2016?
G.D.: They are primarily rooted in our customers’ behaviors and expectations. Mobile is more than ever at the center of our priorities, as we work to keep pace with our customers’ increasingly mobile habits. We also plan to capitalize on open innovation to enhance our offers on a continual basis. To that end, we have expanded our co-creation efforts by strengthening our relationships with more than 20 startups, notably through the Cardif Lab. We will continue to innovate and boost our efficiency, while always placing the customer at the center of our projects.
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