Who Really Is The Customer For An Insurance Company?
Traditionally the insurance companies across Asia have distributed their products through agents. This means they do not have direct contact with their customers/policyholders. It is always hard to understand the needs and requirements of customers without direct contact.
Sure, the agents can help explain customers needs and changing demand but when there is a middleman the relationship between supplier and customer is always watered down. In fact there is some misalignment of interest as an agent may not wish to share customer information for fear the insurer will go direct to the customer and cut them out. Also a commission driven agent has inevitably an incentive to sell which may not always align with the customers interest. So as you can see having an intermediated business means it is very difficult to align your business processes and products with customer needs.
So what’s the solution ? Build an insurance company which cuts out the middleman ! A direct to consumer business can put the customer at the centre of it’s operation. This type of company can talk directly to the customer online and offline. It can understand customer needs and can adjust it’s products and services accordingly. Focus on in-bound sales not outbound. The cold-call model is hated and outdated. The in-bound model of DirectAsia.com is the future (ie. advertise in relevant places so customers know about your offer, customer makes his own decision to visit your site, call your call centre so the buying process is controlled by the customer).
Interestingly, when DirectAsia.com did it’s market research on the demand for an inbound direct personal insurance company the results were very positive. It was clear that many customers do want to deal direct with the insurer. So the demand was not the issue it was just the supply. DirectAsia.com is creating this supply.