Posted by Steve Rowley, business development manager at Legal Futures Associate Allianz Legal Protection 
‘Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’ is a phrase which has been widely adopted in Allianz, but how many organisations actually live and breathe this in their values?
Doing the right thing for the customer should be embedded in the DNA of any organisation, especially those in the service industry, which like it or not includes law firms and insurers.
We are not judged by what we create or build; there is nothing the customer can touch or feel when dealing with service industries such as ours. The tangible element of what we provide is service and we are measured by how efficient we are at delivering against this.
Insurance is all about a promise, and for after-the-event (ATE) insurance this promise is to pay the legal costs when a case is lost it is no more complicated than that.
For law firms, deciding on which ATE insurer to recommend can be a bit of a minefield, with many firms believing that by providing the lowest-priced ATE policy available is doing the right thing for their customer.
Of course, the ATE policy needs to make good commercial sense for the customer as part of the firm’s overall client proposition, but the real test is when it comes to making a claim. Law firms and their customers don’t want to be challenged on costs (including disbursements) every time they call upon the insurance policy to deliver its side of the promise.
In addition, the policy needs to be good for the entire customer journey, from pre-issue right through to trial. This is important as it is unknown at the beginning of an instruction at what point the case is likely to be settled. There is nothing more frustrating than for a customer to be faced with additional costs that they believed were wrapped up in the original agreement.
Delivering an insurance policy that is in the client’s best interests goes beyond the terms and conditions written into the actual policy document. The entire customer journey framework is a vital component to ensuring that a positive experience is achieved, especially when the policy is called upon to deliver what it is intended to do.
So what do we mean when we talk about the customer journey framework? It’s about considering and matching the customer wants and needs on a rational and emotional basis.
We do this by challenging ourselves to answer and evidence the following questions: –
- Are we looking at the customer journey from a customer needs point of view?
- Do we know the issues customers face throughout the journey?
- Do we get it right when it really matters, for example when emotions are high or the need is greatest?
- Are we improving the customer journey in line with potential changes to customer pain points?
- Are we living and prioritising the customer’s needs above our internal needs?
Understanding the client pain points in advance, and addressing these as part of the policy and service delivery from the outset, makes the design and delivery of the insurance product that much easier.
We have two customers, the claimant and the law firm. The design of precision ATE insurance, clarity offered through our policies and delegated authority and the behaviour/culture of fairness that exists throughout our company, ensures that we’re providing products that the law firm are confident about recommending to their clients and that clients are confident in our ability to pay their claim – delivering on our promise to them.