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December 10, 2018

3 Customer Engagement Takeaways from Denim Summit 2018

Engaging consumers in a new era: the digital edge.

Engaging Customers Fireside Chat

A Denim Summit 2018 fireside chat explored strategies for engaging customers at the digital edge. What’s the digital edge? “It’s that place where consumers live and breathe, and where we all work and operate every day,” said the panel’s moderator, Gregory Bailey, CEO and founder of Denim.

Bailey was joined on stage by an esteemed group of industry experts:

  • Lori Bochner, VP of marketing at Sammons Financial Group
  • Miguel Edwards, CIO, Life & Health Division at Kemper
  • Dustin Yoder, CEO of Sureify

Below are some key customer engagement takeaways the panelists shared during the fireside chat.

Expand your definition of customers.

A successful digital engagement strategy takes into account both agents/advisors and end-consumers. “It’s about providing mobile capability for our agents to serve just-in-time information to have a more productive conversation with that customer,” Edwards said. “On the customer side, how am I going to educate?”

Bochner agreed: “Our distributors are our customers and also our end policyholders are our customers. In order for us to be a vital, successful company today, we have to be able to provide tools for both of those audiences.”

Differentiate by engagement.

Insurance and financial services is a highly commoditized industry. So how are you going to differentiate your products and services from your competitors in the future? “We’re trying to engage people at the right point in their journey in life and doing it in ways that are not intrusive but they’re just-in-time. That’s where the differentiation is going to be,” Edwards said. “It’s not necessarily going to be in our product. It’s going to be at that point of engagement. That’s where we’re focused.”

All panelist agreed that it’s going to be increasingly important to provide an omni-channel experience that allows customers to engage when, where, and how they want to engage. “We need to listen to our customers, understand our customers, meet them where they are, and put them in control,” Bochner said. Yoder added, “I want to be careful to suggest anyone knows what the future holds. That’s why an omni-channel architecture is very important.”

Use a variety of sources to look for directional trends.

Insurance and financial services companies tend to focus on data in legacy systems that they’re 100 percent confident is high-quality and accurate. In the digital era, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to compete using that data alone. Yoder discussed two additional kinds of data Sureify looks at that can stack on top of legacy data to provide a clearer picture: real-time data (including IoT, geo-location, and real-time social) and projective data.

One way Sammons Financial Group is exploring using outside data is through a partnership with Denim. “We’re interested as we experiment with Denim to discover how we can deliver messages hyper-geographic located and right where they are in their life,” Bochner said. “There is an enormous amount of data on the outside. But how do we build an infrastructure that we can take that outside data, take our inside data, and create meaningful messaging?”  Edwards says it’s about looking for directional trends: “By being willing to think about things directionally, and using imperfect data and imperfect analysis, it might show you things you hadn’t seen before.”

One of the key themes throughout the fireside chat is that engaging customers at the digital edge is a journey. To learn how Denim can help your organization on this journey, sign up for a free platform demo today.

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