Continuing with our thirst for conversations with Exceptional Leaders – Leaders of our times: unparalleled, contemporaries, stopping at nothing but best & beyond. If you are in for contemplation of new beginnings, there is absolutely no better read than this!
Sharing an insight into our conversation with Jack Leeland, CEO of Saxon Insurance, and understanding how this Cayman-based Insurance company is redefining CX, establishing a ‘Replicable & Scalable’ business model, making meaningful changes that build trust, and more…
Jack: I would agree with the market leader part in P&C Insurance within Cayman for sure. We were the first movers when it came to using any sort of technology from having a well-developed website to making e – quotes & claims lodgement etc. available online. Also, Duck Creek with their PAS Suite, entered the Caribbean Market with us. The market is definitely catching up in terms of offering quotes online, but I think we’re still the market leaders in terms of ease of use today. Having said that, we still have significant improvements planned in the near future.
Being a relatively small entity helps us with our flexibility towards new technologies. Our emphasis and appetite for implementing and testing changes in a sandbox environment without risking any downtime is an example of how we leverage technology to our advantage. The crucial thing is that this pattern can be observed across the organization – innovation sets us apart.
Jack: As is true with many other companies, our focus is on growth. The way we would like to differentiate and achieve this growth is through improving our customer experiences continuously. What we’re trying to be is; “easy to use” & “easy to work with”, and that is something that reflects throughout our insurance lifecycle. Yes, technology is one of our very strong levers – that doesn’t mean we focus only on technology to deliver right experiences. The approach has to be holistic. So, the other important lever we invest in is our TEAM.
Overall, our vision at Saxon “To have our employees be proud to work for us and our customers proud to recommend us” speaks for itself in terms of what we believe will help us continue in our growth path.
Jack: First & foremost, get out of the mindset of “one size fits all”. We need to look at different segments and try to understand what they want.
We treat our customers based on their needs – not what we think as their needs should be. For example:
- We have a very good core customer group that likes to come in and have face-to-face interactions with agents. This model helps build trust & creates an emotional bond between them and us. So, we would never move fully away from that.
- On the other hand, a lot of our growth comes from new people moving to the island. In general, these people are young and from parts of the world that are relatively more advanced technologically. Leading us to focus on improving our online tech offerings to meet their expectations.
So, overall, it’s about providing the right experiences for our customers, mapping to their needs.
Jack: That’s a good question and I will keep my response simple. We are very cognizant of the fact that just introducing a digital platform here, or an easy way of processing/accessing there for the customers doesn’t miraculously result in great customer service – it’s about what they want and needs at every stage of the life cycle and every interaction with us.
To us, it’s all about how the customer feels throughout the lifecycle of holding an insurance policy. You know you are doing right when they become your advocate – “continue their trust in you and extend that to their family & friends”. How do we measure what we are doing is right or warrants a correction? We have our methods – insights through our data – for that feedback & reposition cycle.
Let me put it differently: If I were the customer, I would want Saxon to be available when I need them the most. Haven’t we all heard those complaints that “Insurers are not there when they needed us the most? And what’s the point in buying Insurance?” Let’s turn around that viewpoint – identify those touch points where Customers need us the most & ensure right engagement & value (emotional, financial, comfort….)
Jack: Yes, the moment of truth, it is. That’s what the protection is for….
At Saxon, customers can reach us 24/7 to submit claims online through our claims form or they can walk-in, email, WhatsApp or they can just call us. We then aim to close claims in a timely and fair manner. We believe in transparent communication throughout the process.
We have recently begun piloting a different option to the traditional rental cars that are usually provided in an Auto claim. We found the process of obtaining a rental car was overly burdensome for the claimant.
So, we now have our own small fleet of vehicles that our staff will personally deliver to the claimant, at their home, office, the garage etc. The response to this has been excellent and it has given our staff the chance to have more face-to-face discussions with the claimants outside of the confines of our office which has led to us receiving some useful feedback.
We also simulate the situations, with internal & external people being part of the process, for the experiences and incorporate them back in for betterment of our processes.
The value is through combination of people, processes, technology, data & insights.
Jack: We offer flexible coverage options that provide customers with the ability to buy what they need for their own situation – again moving away from the one size fits all approach. We support automated recurring payments – this substantially reduces the burden on customers.
There are several other initiatives that we work on. It’s a continuous improvement cycle. One example: We continuously train our CSRs beyond the standard – this is around what are customer issues, how are we responding and how can we respond better etc. And we identify issue & response patterns too, for reducing the cycle times.
Jack: We are very proud of our retention rate which is high and continues to increase year on year. In terms of our customer retention strategy, it is a combination of things that we discussed thus far. We keep things simple; it is very easy to renew with us and the process is straight forward.
The important part is that we do not deploy any marketing and sales strategy to offer large discounts to attract new customers and then raise premiums at the time of renewals. We believe in reasonable and explained increases instead. A lot of things in Cayman come through word of mouth, so it is important we focus on positive experience.
Jack: An important topic. People are on social media more than on conventional media today. So, the potential to understand the psyche, reach out, make the right noise & at the same time use the insights, in our decisions, is huge. We have been working on this for some time. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to get into the details – we’ll have to save this topic for another day.
One of our immediate focus areas, though, is around addressing the customers’ feedback through their reviews – be it positive or negative. I want us to be transparent in our approach to handle negative reviews & I want us to incorporate the learnings/changes for continuous improvements. When handled right, this becomes a great positive press, very quickly.
Jack: At Saxon we do utilize WhatsApp currently and it is possible to purchase a policy from start to finish over WhatsApp. We have also long considered developing an App but in weighing up the cost/benefit have decided not to move ahead at this stage as we are a relatively small company (being only in Cayman currently) and a large % of our customers have indicated they would not use an App, preferring our other means of transacting.
With our plans to be a Pan Caribbean Insurer, our expanding younger Customer base and impact of e-commerce, we do realize the need to explore these technologies now. The biggest advantage for Saxon is our relatively modern Core Platform, which make extensions relatively easy. We are currently working on the Immediate & Long term spend, from value context. However, I want us to be cautious overall – determine the gap between the fad & the need. It’s not always just about Tech. It’s about what your customers need and what the employees & the company need – around self-sufficiency, empowerment, efficiencies, ease etc.
Overall, we are definitely a tech-based company, but our mindset is Customer first & tech next, for right enablement.
Jack: In the short term, we need to improve our quote to buy online options. Though we were the first movers, the market caught up with us – at least in terms of providing the capability online. So, we are focusing on making this process even easier, faster with flexible options around changing customer demands. First mover again, for the next leap….
Jack: It’s important to recognize the relative size of Saxon compared to our competitors (much bigger in size), in these discussions. With these in the background, when it comes to investments, it’s all about value for money.
For example, the data insights project that we have undertaken was expensive, but it’s extremely important for the kind of Company we want to be. It’s very important to have the right data to make conscious decisions.
A recent high was the launch of our Claims BOT which has significantly sped up the time taken to log Auto claims.
We have a constantly evolving list of ongoing and potential improvement projects; we are fortunate to work with great people (both in Saxon and third parties) that help us achieve our objectives and ensure costs are controlled.
Overall, I can’t think of a time where we’ve invested heavily, and it’s not eventually been worthwhile.
Jack: It’s all about the ground reality, rather than talking big. Like the hummingbird in our logo, we aim to win through speed, agility, and nimbleness rather than through size and force. I would also repeat our overall vision “To have our employees be proud to work for us and our customers proud to recommend us”
Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay
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