Linda Roubinek is the EVP, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Grange Insurance, providing peace of mind and protection during life's unexpected events. Linda was interviewed by Andrew Daniels, Founder and Managing Director at InsurTech Ohio.
Linda, how does Grange determine what new technologies will be valuable in innovating the customer experience?
“Before we look at technology, we look at the business opportunities, challenges and strategy around the experience. Then we assess current technology assets, capabilities and how a potential partner or technology can help us advance that business strategy. We look at the ability to collect, analyze and act on our customer data across multiple touchpoints, delivering those experiences in real time as best we can. Understanding the key business drivers, target users and use cases allows us to define the best technology or provide enhanced experiences.
For us, we look to identify technology and cultural barriers to adding technological resources. How will it impact our infrastructure and our operations long-term? What’s the total cost of ownership of that technology and the benefits we want to derive from it? View it from the customer or even agent point of view because you cannot connect the dots through the customer's insurance journey unless you're looking at it holistically in that way.”
What role does data play in developing the customer experience?
“Data is critical, and we continue to mine and better understand our customer data as we collect it. There's always a goal of knowing your customer and interacting with them according to their preference. Collecting and analyzing that data helps create the best customer experience. It’s important that we know our customers and how they like to do business with us.
Now, it also comes with challenges. You have to manage privacy consistently and in conjunction with all the compliance regulatory requirements, and it's hard to collect and manage that data. We have leveraged our data over the course of the last several years to improve our experience for the customer and agent as well. We share our customers with an independent agent partner, make sure they're able to interact with us and ensure it’s a smooth experience between the agent and Grange as a whole.”
How does Grange foresee artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning impacting the way it’s able to generate insights and learn what customers want?
“AI is the future. It's been around for some time, but the pace and the speed at which it's starting to pick up, specifically with generative AI and other advancements in the AI space, is unbelievable. It's crazy how fast that's going relative to the adoption of other technologies. We're doing the correct due diligence by looking at both the risks and the rewards of leveraging AI going forward. We practice and use it today in certain areas around claims and our automation of evaluating a claim along the way. As we look to engage further with AI, there are many opportunities for us to consider around the agent experience.
It can definitely be something that we leverage for upselling and bundling products along the way. If we better understand a customer and the risk, we can provide advisory services and consulting around the best products you need for the understanding of your environment. We believe AI and machine learning is the way of the future. It will enhance the customer experience as we move forward with adopting it with caution into our environment and feel like it's an opportunity to foster customer loyalty through personalized service.
Data is the heart of AI. We created an AI Working Group at Grange to establish a governance model and a well-defined AI strategy and processes to ensure proper controls and safeguards are in place.”
What are some partnerships you depend on to educate your team on new technologies, and how do they play a vital role in staying knowledgeable?
“We leverage a lot of partners. Even some of the third parties come and pursue us to potentially consider their opportunities. We learn from doing research into technology opportunities as well as pilots of different technologies as they come in. A true partnership that has formed is our Rev1 partnership. We bounce a lot of ideas off of them, and they bring ideas to us as they get to know us better. Our GForce and Rev1 partnership has taken off recently as we have started to partner with them on some proof of concepts and venture opportunities.”
What are some of the guiding principles that you focus on in order to make the right technology decision?
“We focus on strategy and being impactful for our business and agent partners, ensuring the process of data collection is robust. Engagement needs to be optimal, and leveraging data from interactions with technology, whether it's AI or another type, helps build that overall experience for our agents and customers. We look to continually train and upskill our employees as we do that. Organizational change management is critical, and we've adopted that as a common practice along with continuous monitoring and adaptation. Knowing that nothing's ever perfect right out of the gate. We ask, ‘How do we continue to revise and continue to advance ourselves around the capabilities that we're building out?’ Those are our guiding principles, and they work for us by helping us filter to get the best answer along the way.”