LumenLab | MetLife Innovation Centre Pte Ltd
Contact person: Aditya Rajashekaran
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact number: 90270831
The Digital Insurer Asian Insurance Innovation Award
Committed to driving disruptive innovation, LumenLab, MetLife Asia’s Innovation Centre, has launched conVRse in collaboration with PNB MetLife in India, a global first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality (VR) customer service platform designed to revolutionize the interaction between insurers and customers. conVRse serves as a showcase for our innovation strategy consisting of solving real world problems through deep customer insight, our test and learn process of rapid development and iteration, and our ability to deliver market ready releases within accelerated timelines. The below goes in through our process and impact.
The Indian insurance sector has experienced a steady period of growth. The country’s large geographic footprint along with years of rapid expansion has resulted in the sector being marred with challenges in distribution, customer support, and servicing. One core challenge arises when customers find that they have to come to a branch for transactions. Due to the local infrastructure and traffic conditions, customers often have to take some time off work, battle through traffic, and finally reach a branch where to conduct business. Moreover, there is a large opportunity to significantly improve customer’s experiences once at the branches by reducing their interaction time by modernizing older, manual processes and requirements, and allowing the customer to speak directly with executives who have the expertise and authority to address non-standardized queries immediately.
LumenLab’s insight-based development framework included on-the-ground interviews in physical branches from late 2015 where we spoke with real customers to gain insights and learn about their problems. In the process of building a persona, we obtained a critical insight that informed our decision on how to move ahead– that customers still value face to face interaction while dealing with complex financial transactions. We then decided on the solution we wanted to try, and built several “pretotypes” and ran pilots at different stages with real PNB MetLife customers. Using test and Learn, our rapid development and iteration of the solution laid the foundation for an official launch in December 2016 - just over one year from initiation.
We harnesses India’s rapid adoption of smartphones and developed a mobile VR - based customer communication platform to reinvent face-to-face customer engagements and create a stronger emotional connection with customers, while addressing servicing challenges. conVRse creates an immersive and personalized experience for customers. By using a simple VR headset such as Google Cardboard or Samsung GearVR with any mid-range smartphone, customers find themselves, at their convenience, within a 3D simulated virtual room face-to-face with PNB MetLife’s insurance expert “Khushi”, a virtual avatar with a human voice, powered by one of the many live PNB MetLife insurance experts in the backend. These insurance experts are able to personalize the content shown to customers, including policy details, images, and videos. The use of virtual reality is immensely powerful in this scenario because customers perceive that they inhabit the same physical space as Khushi and can have an emotionally engaging face to face conversation with her. This sets it apart from a video chat, where you are simply speaking to a face on a screen in your current surroundings.
conVRse currently allows customers to view and update their policy details real time, to have service requests taken right there, to inquire about the status of their claims, and to submit any required documentation related to a transaction or documents related to the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements using the rear facing camera in the phone through an immersive and interactive experience. As the first VR on-demand experiential customer servicing platform in the world, conVRse is a crucial milestone not only for the insurance sector, but for all customer service-centric industries to improve their sales and servicing
conVRse was launched in December 2016 and has since been rolled out in 15 branches across 10 cities in India. Customers are extremely satisfied with conVRse, and the initiative has also garnered extensive media interest. As of May 2017, conVRse had accomplished the following:
• Swift roll-out and customer adoption: As of end of May 2017, more than 3,000 customers have been serviced through conVRse at 15 branches across India and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
• User satisfaction: Of the customers serviced through conVRse, 92% said they would prefer to use VR over a face-to-face interaction. 97% of them said they were happy with the experience, while 95% of them said they had a more positive impression of the brand after the experience. Additionally, it appears that customers who interact with us over conVRse hold more effective, rational and reasoned conversations than when interacting directly with branch associates.
• Recognition by the media community: As of the end of May 2017, conVRse has been featured more than 110 times in national newspapers including The Times of India, regional newspapers including Vishwavani, and also in online sources, including Business Standard, finextra, and pymnts.com. A televised segment on conVRse was also aired on leading business news channel NDTV Profit. [conVRse in the News - NDTV Prime:https://youtu.be/1cb54LLQsmU. This news segment is also our video submission. Please note – we do not own this content]
Given the positive response to the conVRse rollout, MetLife is optimistic about the wider possibilities of commercializing conVRse to enhance cost optimization and service value in other markets. For example:
• conVRse allows customers to interact with their insurers without leaving their homes, providing a quantum leap in customer convenience and bringing customer experience to a whole new level. The longer-term vision is to launch conVRse to reduce or remove the need for customers to pay a physical visit to MetLife branches, and realize true self-servicing by a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) based assistant.
• The breadth of services offered through conVRse can be expanded to include financial planning or policies purchasing (contingent on regulatory approval).
• We aim to commercialize the conVRse model region-wide to enhance our service from onboarding to settlement. While conVRse was developed to address specific customer needs in India, the technology can be expanded to other markets to drive fast and convenient customer services.
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