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Generali puts customers at the center

Released at: 14:27, 05/06/2018 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Generali puts customers at the center

Photo: Generali Vietnam

Ms. Tina Nguyen, CEO of the Generali Life Insurance Company (Generali Vietnam), tells VET about the drivers behind its strong performance, its future outlook, and how it charts its own course in the local environment.

by Linh San

How has Vietnam’s life insurance sector performed over recent years?

Vietnam’s life insurance industry has seen consistently strong growth in the last decade. New business premium growth in recent years has averaged some 30 per cent - an enviable performance versus regional peers. 2017 was yet another strong year for the industry, buoyed by a strong economy and increasing awareness and demand for insurance products.

Do you expect this strong performance to continue in the years to come?

Despite strong growth for many years, Vietnam’s life insurance industry remains very young, with a low penetration of 0.4 per cent of GDP in life insurance and 2 per cent in total insurance, which is well below regional peers such as Singapore (14 per cent in total insurance), South Korea (11 per cent), Thailand (5.5 per cent), and Indonesia (2.6 per cent). This means the potential for further growth is very strong. Besides the need for savings and investment, increasing demand for health and protection is a key driver of growth. I believe that most life companies are prepared to continue to invest strongly in products and services in order to capitalize on this potential.

Ms. Tina Nguyen, CEO of the Generali Life Insurance Company (Photo: Generali)

How does Generali differentiate itself in the competitive environment?

Generali was among the last entrants into Vietnam. As a latecomer, we knew we could not do the same thing other players had done and expect the same or better results. However, we have never considered our late entrance to be a weakness. On the contrary, being new can be a key advantage as we chart our own course and differentiate ourselves from the competition. One of the key differentiators we identified early on was the focus on customers, which is also the key focus of the Generali Group. Our operating principle is “simpler, smarter, and customer-centric”, as we understand what customers want most is quick, simple solutions from insurers whenever they need us. To achieve this goal, we have invested significantly in skilled personnel, advanced technologies, and streamlined processes. We ensure our products provide superior benefits, transparent terms, and competitive pricing. We also make sure that we listen to our customers at all times and take action as quickly as possible to continually improve the customer experience.

You mentioned listening to customers at all times. How do you go about that?

Customers want to be heard. And in this digital age, everyone is online. Therefore, there is no better way to listen to customers than to be where they are and engage directly with them. Last year we launched a state-of-the-art NPS (Net Promoter System) called GENPS, which allows us to reach out digitally to all our customers after any interaction they have with Generali. We do not stop at just getting their feedback, however, but also reach out to any customers that are not satisfied within 48 hours of receiving their feedback, to understand their concerns and address them as soon as we can. This is a top priority of Generali globally and we are very happy to be the first insurer to have launched this initiative successfully in Vietnam. I have no doubt that our investment and commitment in this aspect will help Generali build strong trust with our customers.

How has the focus on customers helped Generali Vietnam?

To earn the trust of our customers, we needed to build a customer-centric culture at Generali Vietnam. First, we focused on getting the buy-in of all our staff and agents in this effort, by always talking about customers, as well as getting them involved in implementing specific initiatives to improve the customer experience. We then listened to our customers using GENPS and acted upon their feedback in an innovative and speedy manner. Many customer-related services have been launched as a result of understanding customers’ needs. For example, last year we successfully launched GENOVA, a paperless sales illustrations app to improve the customer experience during the sales process. Earlier this year we launched the GenClaims app, which allows our customers to submit a claim request via their mobile devices and receive a response from Generali very quickly. We are very happy that customers who have experienced our new services have given us extremely positive feedback. This provides strong motivation for our team to continue to innovate and act in the interest of our customers.

GenClaims sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about it? What makes it unique and how does it affect the customer experience?

Solving claim requests quickly and satisfactorily is one of the key priorities for any insurance company. But this is also an area that often attracts the most criticism from customers, as you would expect. The traditional way of submitting a claim in Vietnam is to send a paper request, including original supporting documents, to the insurance company via post or lodge it at their customer service center. With GenClaims, our customers can simply submit their request from their smartphone and get a response on the outcome of their request within 30 minutes. The majority of claims are health-related and if they meet certain thresholds in terms of amount and policy duration they can be approved instantly and paid within 24 hours. The feedback from customers as well as agents about GenClaims has been fantastic. I believe this has set a new standard in the area of insurance claims settlement in the industry.

Going forward, what are the areas Generali Vietnam will focus on to achieve its ambitions in Vietnam?

Our main focus will continue to be constantly listening to customers and improving their experience with our products and services. We will continue to leverage on our parent company’s strength in technologies to explore new opportunities in terms of products, services, distribution channels, etc. My goal is to build Generali Vietnam into a modern insurance company - one that is flexible, agile, digitally-savvy, and customer-centric. This will be a long journey, but I am confident that we are moving in the right direction, with the right team and focus to get there.

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