CX Innovators: KV Dipu, Bajaj Allianz

Reducing Friction in the Insurance Customer Journey through Strategic Technology Deployments

CX Innovators - Bajaj Allianz

Bajaj Allianz, a general insurance and life insurance company doing business in India, is a joint venture between Allianz SE, a leading global insurance company based in Munich, Germany, and Bajaj Finserv Limited, a diversified financial services company headquarters in Pune, India. KV Dipu is Senior President and Head Operations & Customer Service for Bajaj Allianz and serves as the company’s lead for CX initiatives. Dipu joined the firm more than 6 years ago, having previously been at GE Capital, where he was deeply involved in CX programs.

KV Dipu, Senior President-Head Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz

Most Significant CX Challenges

Dipu states that Bajaj Allianz is the leader among its insurance competitors in India, according to third-party research that benchmarks net promoter score (NPS) benchmarks for the insurance market. The company holds an NPS score of 70 versus 58 for its nearest competitor, has the lowest grievance ratio among its peers, and has gathered a collection of industry awards for its pace-setting customer programs.

Anticipating customer needs is the key to effective CX, says Dipu, and his overarching goal is to ensure a unified experience across the entire value chain under a philosophy of “customer first, technology next.” The company has drawn on experience in Lean Six Sigma to design its CX initiatives, with a five-step process at the core of the process:

  1. Customer deep listening
  2. Listening to customers’ unstated needs
  3. Taking an honest, transparent look at the market landscape
  4. Keeping the customer at the center of everything
  5. Deploying the digital solution

Throughout the process, Dipu asserts that it is a key priority to ensure choice for customers in how they interact with the company. Balancing customer priorities has been a particular challenge in the COVID-19 era, but Dipu feels that Bajaj Allianz has done a highly effective job of using strategic technologies and business process refinements to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position with regard to CX.

CX Success Stories

Bajaj Allianz has deployed several technology-based enhancements that have helped the company make progress on customer journey optimization over the past few years:

  • Contact tracing: The company implemented a contact tracing feature on its mobile app to help customers during the height of the pandemic and associated lockdowns.
  • Blockchain: Bajaj Allianz utilizes blockchain technology to sense if a travel insurance customer’s flight was delayed, based on data from an aggregator, and therefore the customer would be eligible for a claim payout. The key objective of this enhancement was to minimize customer effort and reduce friction in the customer journey, therefore also reducing customer service touchpoints.
  • Internet of Things: The company utilized Internet of Things (IoT) technology for geofencing while driving. With this approach, frequently used routes could be digitally marked; customers would receive alerts if their automobile deviated from usual routes; fuel efficiency could be improved; and behavioral feedback could be provided to drivers. The customer provides consent for this use of driving data.
  • Smart Contracts: Blockchain-based smart contracts have been utilized to streamline and simplify the Bajaj Allianz customer experience.
  • Chatbots and Data: The company has leveraged automated bots, supplemented by back-end systems data, to help customers avoid visiting a branch location. Dipu states that Bajaj Allianz has been among the leading pioneers in integrating their chatbot with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, in a touchless and contactless fashion that was very useful during the height of the pandemic.

Internal Barriers

Dipu explains that the linchpin of its CX initiatives, from an internal perspective, has been to shift the organizational culture toward the mindset that the customer should be at the center of everything. According to Bajaj Allianz analysis, customers want a human-like experience in all their interactions with the company, even when dealing with automated bots. The company examined the top reasons customers called for service, and then designed frictionless journeys using bots, which continue to learn and optimize themselves throughout the process.

The Lean Six Sigma mindset has been essential to shifting that culture in the right direction and improving internal stakeholder engagement, says Dipu. The guiding approach has also helped when sorting through technology integration issues, such as the very disparate set of legacy systems utilized by Bajaj Allianz. As part of the company’s digital transformation and CX efforts, the organization has moved away from siloed data marts to a unified data lake with a digital handshake between systems.

Key Technologies

As described above, Bajaj Allianz has been an industry leader in the innovative use of technologies such as blockchain and smart contracts, IoT, chatbots, and mobile apps. Looking forward, Dipu and his team are already exploring several key technology enablers for continuing to enhance the company’s CX:

  1. Voice, with a focus on continuing to humanize the digital experience
  2. Touchless interfaces
  3. The metaverse
  4. Augmented reality (AR)
  5. Virtual reality (VR)

Predictions for CX Market Development

“Consumers are far more aware and informed than ever before,” says Dipu, adding that their attention spans are shorter than in the past and therefore it is imperative for CX initiatives to eliminate delays and latency throughout the customer journey. “It’s a much more connected world,” states Dipu.

In addition, “the one size fits all approach does not work,” says Dipu – experiences much be personalized, optimized, and tailored for various customer personas, and customers expect companies they do business with to be proactive. Firms should not compare their assets only to direct peers and competitors, but should also look at best-in-class practices across industries. Finally, admonishes Dipu, “COVID-19 is not the last black swan – there will be more.”

About the CX Innovator Series

The CX Innovator Series is an actionable and educational industry initiative that showcases the best practices that leading end-user executives are using within their organizations to shape their community’s experience. The series is a collaborative effort between Dash Network, Sleeping Giant Labs, and Team Wakabayashi. Using expertly curated executive interviews combined with quantitative research from consumer surveys, the CX Innovator Series provides tangible insights and a deeper understanding of how successful companies are utilizing CX programs resulting in positive business outcomes.

The CX Innovator Series is made possible by support from our lead sponsors: Concentrix, eGain, Tealium, and QuestionPro. If you would be interested in participating in the CX Innovator initiative, either as part of an end-user interview or as a supporting sponsor, please contact us.

Author Information

Clint brings over 20 years of market research and consulting experience, focused on emerging technology markets. He was co-founder and CEO of Dash Network, an integrated research and digital media firm focused on the CX market, which was acquired by The Futurum Group in 2022. He previously founded Tractica with a focus on human interaction with technology, including coverage of AI, user interface technologies, advanced computing, and other emerging sectors. Acquired by Informa Group, Clint served as Chief Research Officer for Informa’s research division, Omdia, with management and content strategy responsibility, formed by the combination of Tractica, Ovum, IHS Markit Technology, and Heavy Reading.
Clint was previously the founder and President of Pike Research, a leading market intelligence firm focused on the global clean technology industry, which was acquired by Navigant Consulting where he was Managing Director of the Navigant Research business.

Prior to Pike Research, Clint was Chief Research Officer at ABI Research, a New York-based industry analyst firm concentrating on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets.

Clint holds a Master of Business Administration in Telecommunications Management from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington & Lee University.

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