License to digitalization

Customer portals, mobile invoice scanning, services: These are just three examples of what Sanitas offers digitally. The health insurance company is assuming a pioneering role with the launching of digital transformation services with added value, and is incidentally promoting customer loyalty in the process.

Mr. Diquattro, Sanitas is one of the first insurance companies in Switzerland to actively promote digitalization. Why is it important to you to be a pioneer in this area?

We are convinced that digitalization is not just hype, but a revolution comparable with the industrial revolution of the 18th century. Disruptive business models will also impact health insurance companies sooner or later. That’s why our fundamental philosophy is: better to seek answers today than to have none tomorrow. We want to make sure that we are noticeable in the market with dig-ital use cases.

“We want to make sure that we are noticeable in the market with digital use cases.” 

Emanuele Diquattro, Head of Sales & Marketing

You differentiate between operative and strategic digitalization.
Where does the border lie? 

Strategic digitalization pertains to the digital business model across the entire value creation chain, including all stakeholders. We are developing new digital products, handling processes digitally and systematically analyzing data. Operative digitalization involves the daily business. This includes process optimization, automation and the continuous further development of digital customer interfaces such as customer portals and apps.

What impact does digitalization have on your marketing?

In marketing, we centralized contents in so-called content hubs so that they can be provided to cus- tomers in relevant channels and channel-specifically. Marketing automation will be an important digitalization step. Based on the data at hand, we can offer our customers relevant information at the proper “trust point.”

Emanuele Diquattro has a background in business, moved into IT, where he worked for 11 years – 3.5 of them as CIO. He assumed leadership of the Sales & Marketing business division when Sanitas reshuffled its company management in April 2015. “IT and business are increasingly merging in the digital world. Today’s borders won’t exist in the future,” according to the expert with a license to digitalize.

Where else is digitalization having an impact?

The channels in sales are also being designed digitally. This involves embedding offline components seamlessly in the online experience. The aim is to offer our customers a transparent and conclusive customer experience.

What does digitalization mean for the customer service department?

The data is shifted to customer service. If they have more data at their disposal, then this in turn enables a new dimension of individual customer service; keyword: segment of one. Customers are increasingly more informed and demand appropriate customer service at eye level. The new disci- plines such as live web chat, video chat and co-browsing open exciting possibilities for complementary customer service.

Which digital offers do customers especially appreciate?

The favorite function among our customers is to photograph the medical receipt and to submit it through the app. Since December, 35,000 customers have downloaded this app. The customer portal is also very popular and is actively used by 150,000 of our 800,000 customers.

“CRM is the basis on which we are building our digital components.” 

Emanuele Diquattro, Head of Sales & Marketing

What does the customer of tomorrow wish from an insurance company?

It’s difficult for us to imagine today all that digitalization still has to offer. We have to live with this uncertainty. But we are designing our strategy flexibly and committing to topics that we know will remain relevant tomorrow, such as personal support and intelligent data management. The customer decides when, where and how he or she prefers to interact. We have to make the corresponding possibilities available. And, of course, the younger customers are, the great-er their technological affinity.

How does Sanitas score among the various target groups?

With personalization and added services that pro- vide added value. This includes Priority Access, which enables customers direct access to specialists or the emergency nanny for when the child suddenly falls ill and cannot go to school or kindergarten. Other market innovations include second opinion and health programs. There is still plenty of potential for new offers that meet customer requirements and can be designed digitally.

Wearables are often mentioned in this context.
What’s in it for customers if they share their data? 

Wearables are interesting for healthy people who we can reward for their healthy lifestyles. Wear-ables also offer advantages for chronically ill people: They can monitor themselves, which contributes to convenience: the doctor can then use the data to decide whether an appointment is necessary. This can contribute to optimizing service costs. The challenge is to create trust that the data is to be used in the interest of the customers and not against them.

“Customer feedback is fundamental to us. Customer feedback is fundamental to us.”

Emanuele Diquattro, Head of Sales & Marketing

What role does the CRM play within the scope of digitalization?

CRM is the basis on which we are building our digital components. We can use CRM for the customer interface and analytics, automatically trigger activities and manage customer feedback. Customer feedback is fundamental to us. We not only want to handle complaints well, but to actively obtain cus-tomer feedback to gain insights. Customer feedback is integrated in BSI CRM. A rule engine decides which action must be initiated. In a second step, we can actively involve our customers in the designing of our products; keyword: co-creation.

How will we insure ourselves in 20 years?

More individually and personalized, based on data and more self-regulated through communities.