By Nelson Camara, marketing at SilverBridge Holdings
Gamification provides insurers with an ideal platform to enhance customer engagement. With apps like MEGA MEDS, that turns medicine management into a fun experience, and the likes of the Discovery Insure Driving Challenge, that rewards customers who are good drivers, there is significant potential for insurers and others to take a different approach to dealing with stakeholders.
Already, we are seeing insurers targeting millennials with more effective data analysis and customisation. This results in the development of bespoke solutions that better fit their requirements. Part of this shift revolves around being increasingly customer-centric and lifestyle-oriented, as well as finding new ways of gathering data on the likes and dislikes of customers.
At the heart of gamification is the reward response. People enjoy getting recognised for positive behaviour. Many insurers and healthcare providers have taken this to heart and built loyalty programmes around value-added services, product discounts, and even more cost-effective premiums in exchange for customers going to the gym, driving safer, and the like.
Designing games has become as much a psychological exercise as it is a development one. Using the data at their disposal, an insurer can use the power of gamification in a way that motivates behaviour change from its customers. Using healthcare as an example, a medical aid can ensure its members live healthier lifestyles by developing apps and other gamified solutions that reward those who go to the gym, eat their vegetables and the like, and participate in sporting activities. For the customer, they might get points, access to a leaderboard to track their progress, and use those to earn product discounts or reduced medical aid rates.
Incumbents are under increasing pressure to compete with fintech and insurtech start-ups that are more agile, more open to digital innovation, and better able to adapt to changing market conditions. Gamification is a very effective way of getting data that empowers the insurer to better deal with customers. And in doing so, provides the insurer with the ability to change customer behaviour into something positive.
People are no longer satisfied with a one-way engagement process. Instead, they want to interact with service providers using the devices, platforms, and channels they want, wherever they are, irrespective of the time of day.
They are willing to sacrifice personal privacy in exchange for product offerings that appeal to their needs. Just think of the variety of free online services in the market today. While users do not pay in terms of monetary investment, they provide data (often as a natural part of using the service) that the provider can pass on to advertisers, and so on.
An insurer must optimise the channels of input, its back-end data warehouses, and predictive analytical solutions to extract meaningful insights from the information at its disposal. After all, this is the age of Big Data where structured and unstructured data meet to provide insurers with new opportunities to deliver value to stakeholders. When it comes to insurance, companies must find more innovative ways to differentiate themselves as pressure from insurtechs rise.
After all, in the connected world of today people are buying experiences and not products. They do not want a traditional life policy that merely ticks the boxes. Instead, they are looking at a more on-demand way of the insurer delivering something that is beyond the ordinary. Philosophical issues aside, an insurer wants an engaged customer, someone that interacts with them, and provides them with valuable data. As reward, it can use elements of that data to provide a personalised customer journey.
It is all about interactivity. Just think about the menial task of listing household possessions for insurance purposes. Now imagine if an insurer creates a more engaging way of a person to do this. So, even though the data being inputted is still the same, the packaging (and experience) a customer sees is markedly different. This could take the form of a mobile app that gives points for every category completely listed, for example.
Gamification builds an emotional connection between the customer and the insurer. In other words, by combining a sense of competition (with other users), achievement (rewards), and fun (the platform that drives engagement), an insurer can develop a more loyal base for its products and services.