Oct 2020

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Innovating to meet changing consumer needs

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Aug 2020

Digital transformation is a key area of focus for companies ready to chart a clear path to revenue recovery.
Ambareen Musa, Founder & CEO,
The current pandemic is more than a health crisis. Within the past few months, it has ravaged various businesses and threatened to destabilise economies – affecting every business and individual in one way or another. 
As the crisis continues to wreak financial havoc across industries and sectors, it has left business leaders with no choice but to mould their companies to fit the new normal. That is where the ability to stay agile and be innovative becomes crucial. And businesses operating within the insurance sector are no exception.
Focusing on customers and their evolving requirements
Business leaders and their management teams need to stay focused on bringing creative solutions to tackle customer pain points and engaging with their customers in meaningful ways. 
Here is a straightforward example. What are you, as a business, doing to attract, retain and support your customers? With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving many UAE residents struggling financially in its wake, targeted financial relief may not only help companies draw in new customers, but also leave a lasting impression on users and help enhance brand equity. 
The Souqalmal team has also been busy coming up with new and innovative services and financial education initiatives for our users. This includes launching a first-of-its- kind ‘Insure Now, Pay Monthly’ service for car insurance buyers in the country, where future instalments do not reduce the credit limit on the customer’s credit card.
Every customer interaction counts
Consumers’ feelings of anxiety and vulnerability right now make it important for insurers to keep empathy and trust at the core of every customer interaction. For instance, various insurance products will not cover damages related to COVID-19, but the average customer may not know that. 
That is where adopting a clear and honest approach to addressing customers’ concerns or queries and educating customers through simple online initiatives can make a huge difference.
Navigating regulatory changes
The evolving regulatory ecosystem in the country has also become the most talked-about development in insurance industry circles. About three months ago, the UAE Insurance Authority (IA) published a new set of regulations governing online insurance operations within the sector. This was obviously going to translate into major changes for all key players involved, including insurers, brokers and price comparison websites. In another recent move, the UAE leadership announced that the IA was being merged with the Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA). 
These changes in the UAE’s regulatory landscape make it absolutely essential for insurance players to stay nimble and be prepared to pivot their business model where required.
What are your post-pandemic growth plans?
Where top-line growth has taken a beating, companies also need to chart out a clear path to rapid revenue recovery. Digital transformation is a key area to focus on to meet this goal. It is high time we bid farewell to archaic websites, clunky mobile experience, and disjointed user journeys. Investing in building a well-integrated multi-channel customer experience is the way to go. M 
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