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Case study | Generali


Human experience that delivers a competitive edge



Delivering consistent, world-class customer service across all countries is a priority for any multinational business because the human experience an organization offers can be a key differentiator–a tangible and compelling competitive edge. Global insurance and asset management provider Generali was looking at ways to become its customers’ lifetime partner. It hoped to achieve this by offering innovative and personalised solutions through its unrivalled distribution network, optimising the experience of how customers interacted with it was a critical place to start.

Consistent worldwide customer experience is best achieved when teams in design and IT work effectively together at scale organisation wide. Generali’s challenge was to unify an approach to design and IT that was previously fragmented – between platforms, between business units in different countries and between its business teams and the head office.

In 2015, Generali asked Accenture to work with it on a design-led strategic project to create a consistent and world class mobile app experience for its customers across the many countries in which it is active. This project involved building a Mobile & Web Hub. But before this could be done, a new way for all of Generali’s stakeholders to collaborate more closely needed to be designed and implemented.

The success of the Mobile & Web Hub project led to a follow-on program, focused on Generali’s agents. Agents are the critical link between the business and its customers, so they are critical for the company to achieve better business results. Accenture worked with Generali to create an Agent Hub designed to improve the human experience between customers and agents.

Building Generali’s omni-channel experience

Generali was looking at ways to become its customers’ lifetime partner. It hoped to achieve this by offering them innovative and personalized solutions. Optimizing customer experience and interactions was a critical place to start.

Collaboration in action

Our work began by developing the Global Design Framework – a ‘living design’ system that achieves faster, more effective implementation of human-centered solutions by placing humans and human experience at its heart. This framework is a way of providing clear instructions to designers and developers on how to implement a principle. It also enables re-use of existing features by offering a suite of streamlined design components. Built into this approach is space and flexibility to enable intentional creativity and room for continuous improvement.

We gathered feedback from Generali designers and IT colleagues, as well as customers interacting with the company digitally, to better understand pain and power points in the current digital offering. A Rumble™ workshop helped to identify hone this further and prioritize needs. Insights from this discovery process were refined and a vision and goals set. People from across the business were brought together with customers to co-create possible solutions in a series of task-focused quick-turnaround service design collaborations, or ‘sprints’.

Through this process, a series of digital features and experiences were created which could be adapted by different business units to local needs and capabilities. A Mobile & Web Hub was then built to house them, the aim being to assemble elements needed for a world class mobile experience that was scalable towards one global ecosystem. Attention turned to enhancing experience around Generali’s agents, again using the Global Design Framework and our collaborative service design methodology.

We mapped the likely future of the agents’ journey across multiple countries, creating a plan for how to optimize customer/agent interaction. Solutions that best enabled agents to deliver world class service and spend more time focusing on customer relationships were outlined and then made available to local business units for their agent network.

Today, clients are seamlessly connected to our Agents and Generali which provides a better omnichannel experience and greater proximity to the brand.

Isabelle Conner / Group Marketing & Customer Officer at Generali

The human experience

For Generali to successfully improve customers’ experience of interacting with the business and its agents’ experience when interacting with customers, a human-centric approach was critical. We started by understanding customers’ human wants and needs and how well these were met by Generali’s existing experience before prioritizing which tools could best optimize such interaction, then implementing an appropriate solution. There was clear scope to make mobile usability more consistent, to make vocabulary more human-friendly less data-driven, and to optimize iconography to improve navigation of digital platforms and enhance the understanding of Generali’s products and services.

Customer/agent interaction posed different challenges.

Agents are the people who sell Generali’s insurance products, so they are the frontline managers of customers’ relationship with the company. It was important to improve not just the experience for customers but also for agents. The goal was to give agents access to tools that better meet their customers’ needs, in turn freeing them up to focus more on customer relationships.

Achieving the human-centered approach needed to address the complexities of each project and depended on enabling closer collaboration between all stakeholders – a critical aspect of our work. The Global Design Framework and our service design methodology united all relevant stakeholders within the business, Generali’s customers and our joint teams to identify problems and possible solutions using a number of human-centered collaborative tools. It also provided a common structure, a common goal and a common vocabulary within which collaboration could occur.

Agent Hub, Mobile & Web Hub
Agent Hub, Mobile & Web Hub

Value delivered

The collaborative approach we developed for the creation of Generali’s Mobile & Web Hub resulted in a 40% reduction in the time needed for a business unit to on-board design and IT development, due to the re-usability of assets across different markets. Meanwhile, on-boarding costs reduced by 70%.

Business units in different markets can now easily access best in class tools most appropriate for their particular needs, and a structure enables close internal collaboration and sharing of best practice and other ideas. Customers found usability significantly improved by the Mobile & Web Hub. Navigation is simpler. And as all mobile apps and web-responsive portals have a common foundation, user interaction components are now compatible across both. So far, 14+ countries have benefitted from the improved usability and strengthened collaboration achieved by adopting the Mobile & Web hub program.

It is still early days for the Agent Hub, which by June 2020 had been adopted in three countries. But early evidence suggests that it, too, has already delivered clear cost and time-to-market savings – notably, by offering teams predesigned user interface features. And with agents accessing fewer, better tools, their experience – like their customers’ – is both better and more consistent.

By encouraging closer collaboration between design and IT teams, Generali is aligned more closely with them globally and locally – a major step forward for the company as it becomes a living business wired for flexibility, with the ability to shift and reshape as the external environment and expectations change.