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The art and science of being responsible

Emerging Insight #:

  145
 

Date of Release:

  August 8, 2018
 

Subtopics:

  Premium collection, Renewals, Claims, Enrollment, Sales, Promotion, Product development, Improving value
 
 

Designing the right organizational architecture

Becoming a responsible insurance provider is a mix of art and science. Responsible insurance provision requires the delivery of appropriate (1) products in an accessible (2), transparent (3), fair (4), responsive (5) and respectful (6) way to informed consumers who can use (7) those products effectively. These seven principles need to be applied in a structured process; deciding on which to address first and finding ways to apply them in a cost-effective way requires creativity. 
 
A key building block is to put in place an organizational architecture (constituting human resource management, institutional culture and organizational structure) that encourages and empowers providers to listen and respond to clients.


The three dimensions of organizational architecture


Following are practical tips for each of the three dimensions of an organization’s architecture:

Human resource management

  • Communicate the importance of listening and responding to clients in new staff orientation
  • Train employees on the complaints mechanism and how to appropriately manage it
  • Provide training and coaching to strengthen listening skills
  • Monitor satisfaction with the way clients have been listened and responded to, share this feedback with staff, and jointly celebrate or plan how to learn from the feedback
  • Promote staff that demonstrate the ability and willingness to listen and respond to clients

Institutional culture

  • Identify listening and responsiveness as institutional values
  • Articulate why listening and responding to clients is important
  • Share client responsiveness success stories and appreciate those who write or tell them
  • Listen and respond to staff in a way that models the behaviour desired for clients
  • Recognize and reward those who serve as client champions

Organizational structure

  • Identify a client-value champion within each business unit who ensures that clients are heard
  • Invite a client representative to serve on the Board of Directors, or regularly meet with a client advisory group
  • Create a 24/7 hotline to which clients can report any grievances or suggestions
  • Schedule a regular customer satisfaction survey
  • Negotiate service level agreements with distribution channels, technology providers and value-added service providers

To learn about other practical guidelines to make your organisation more responsible, see our latest paper, Providing insurance responsibly.