As this ‘stay at home’ phase demands social distancing, contactless servicing was the biggest challenge for the life insurance sector. For companies, such as Max Life Insurance, it was important to ensure that 80 per cent of its employees could effectively work from home within three to four days of the lockdown announcement.
To ensure that new policies can be issued to customers during a period of lockdown and without any physical contact, the Company has digitised its sales processes to embrace the new normal.
“In line with our commitment to customer centricity, we have digitised all our key operations across sales, policy issuance, claims, servicing, and the entire value chain, making policy purchases and claims settlement possible for customers in a contactless manner,” Shailesh Singh, director & chief people officer, Max Life Insurance.
Living its value of customer obsession, the Company’s quick digital-led action plan ensured that the fulfilment team operated at nearly 80 per cent efficiency with more than 1000 employees working from home.
In order to ensure that the claim processing went on unhindered, all claims and support documents were accepted online, along with an increase in customer connection, which enabled the insurance company to win and sustain customer trust even in these difficult times.
Singh states, “Our investment in building a digital ecosystem began right from the beginning of the lockdown. We have effectively digitised our entire sales process, training more than 9,000 frontline sellers and over 25,000 specified persons of banks and agents digitally, in just two weeks.”
In order to keep the ball rolling, the Company has also digitised its claims management systems to ensure that all support documents are accepted online, and customers are able to submit claims in a timely manner, using the self-service options available on the website, digital bots and AI-driven interactive voice response.
Our focus for the next fiscal will be to enhance the digital way of working and enable digital sales across distribution channels through various training and development modules
In addition, Singh continues, “We have also installed a TeleMER protocol for policy issuance, which is ensuring remote medical underwriting for new customers buying policies during this time. As an outcome of this, we processed a total of 1,938 claims —individual, group death claims and post-death benefits—in the second half of March 2020, even with the majority of our employees operating from home.”
With the COVID-19 situation making customers more aware of life and health-related risks, Max Life, with its quick-response programme, ‘Mission Possible 2020’, has implemented a swiftly-designed digital operating model for distribution.
Under this programme, an agile shift to remote work enabled frontline sellers and sales managers with infrastructure and digital tools to continue working from home, supporting existing customers and selling remotely.
The Company has also rolled out revised ‘Digital Sales Processes’ across all channels. Under this, training of more than 9000 frontline sales personnel and 10,000 agent advisors in the field has been successfully completed, digitally.
Digital adoption has always been at the core of Max Life’s growth strategy and this has helped to re initiate its day-to-day business with utmost safety and efficiency. “We are encouraging our employees to work from home as much as possible, and simultaneously take care of their health and mental well-being,” Singh adds.
Max Life Insurance has also pivoted the end-to-end ‘Agent Recruitment’ programme to a completely paperless and contact-less process, which has yielded nearly 50 per cent increase in unique registrations for new-agent applications.
Currently, it is facing the challenge of getting a minimum percentage of employees to its office spaces without disturbing the new normal of social distancing.
Some of the initiatives include mandatory usage of the Aarogya Setu app, markings in the lift lobbies and reception areas, a cap on more than two to four people in a lift, new seating arrangements within the offices, rotational attendance, no in-person meetings, no physical training sessions, no office huddles and keeping the meeting rooms out of bounds for the employees.
Furthermore, the Max One mobile app, an automated process for checking the eligibility to work, has also been introduced.
“With our business falling under the essential services category, we have reiterated our commitment to a phase-wise opening of offices in the green and orange zones, while complying with the guidelines issued by the Government,” explains Singh.
With these offices being opened, the Company’s focus will be on providing policy-related servicing to its customers, for which only a select number of employees are being called to offices.
Singh reveals, “Our focus for the next fiscal will be to enhance the digital way of working and enable digital sales across distribution channels through various training and development modules.”
Max Life has not initiated any pay cut and has no plans to reduce the workforce either. In fact, regular bonuses, sales incentives, long-term incentives and so on, have been paid out as per plans.
“We will continue to adopt new technologies with agility to sustain our growth momentum and benefit our customers as well as employees at large,” concludes Singh.