December 17, 2020

Digital is ‘aiding & adding’ to the rapidly evolving change cycles: Star Health

Economic Times

The Covid Pandemic has changed the business paradigm forever, across all industries and sectors. Multiple processes underwent a rapid transformation - contactless business, remote working, outcome-driven models, raising capital, etc. have been redefined the insurance sector.

For Star Health Insurance, adopting digital before the pandemic’s arrival helped the organisation in coping up to the new normal.

While achieving growth has become a big challenge for companies today, reinventing customer experience has also become crucial as the pandemic has upended the older ways of interacting with and solving customer problems.

“Digital is ‘aiding & adding’ to the rapidly evolving change cycles, business models are being redefined continuously. Digital is the way for survival, growth and redefining the new biz models,” averred Umesh Padala, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Star Health Insurance.

The company is working on various initiatives including mobile-first experiences in omnichannel journeys, leveraging behavioural analytics, enterprise CRM integrated with Sales, Marketing and Services, and WhatsApp bot-based journeys for driving sales.

As customers responded to the new normal, business continuity was established, maintains Padala. Across all verticals, digital capabilities were enabled for providers, customers, agents and claims teams with an aim to improve the overall experience. End-to-end service delivery was enabled on the digital platform as well.

“Research, design workshops, user study groups, customer feedback loops, feature-based launches were adopted. Initial hick-ups and blocks were overcome quickly. Communicating with customers was critical and was sent across through multiple digital channels, he added.

The health insurance provider has also built advanced chat-based journeys through its chatbot Twinkle which provides personalised responses to customers. The bot leverages AI & ML to study and understand customers’ needs which results in quicker query escalations and resolutions.

According to Padala, Star Health’s decision-making outcomes are driven by data. Relevant data is captured and enhanced which then goes through the process of analysing and integrating. Governance & access controls around data are also closely measured & monitored.

“Data analytics has helped us with digital journeys A/B testing; feedback loops are being done with pilot and full launches. At the core of our data analytics is a commitment to make sure value additions are done to the customer – deriving the data value, customers & the business make informed decisions,” he said.

The company has adopted Conversational AI, AI-based data models, and image recognition for digital transformation. There are significant investments being made in intelligent transformation cutting across sales, services & wellness initiatives. Data is being democratised with omni channels with personas for agents, customers, providers, sales teams, partners and within the enterprise across various business units. Change cycles are significantly shortened and we see new paradigms and solutions emerging.

Talking about cloud computing, Padala said, “Our cloud-native capabilities solutions helped us achieve a faster time to market. Hybrid cloud is augmenting digital transformations. Scaling up is a lot simpler where 3X volumes with 99.9% availability can be achieved. Connectivity and availability of platforms for remote operations have been made available easily. Significant automation was done on the existing operations to create a low-touch digital journey.”