Two interviews with digital transformation leaders in Chile
In this post, I relate a series of interviews conducted with leading digital transformation leaders working for companies in Chile. The theme of these interviews was about the impact of digital transformation on their industry.
In a nutshell, I discovered that digital transformation was a sizeable opportunity for companies operating locally. All businesses I interviewed have initiatives to invest in digital. Drivers for these initiatives were about accelerating digital projects to improve customer experience, convenience of service, ease of use but less about cost cutting.
Opportunities are beyond digital output management solutions such as PDF, emails or SMS. Instead, people we met with outlined how to leverage IOT, RPAs, mobile applications, web content (processes driven) or other notification type projects. However, there are digital output upsell opportunities for 80%+ of the existing top accounts.
Mobile solutions have been mentioned a few times as the best fit for what enterprises that want engage with all segment of the population including people having lower incomes. In Chile, a significant part of the population use mobile devices as their only device to access the Internet.
Data and cloud services have yet to become prominent, thereby restraining rollout of certain solutions in the country.
Most enterprises explained that time to market, agility and value back to customers were important considerations for investing in digital projects. They often are using external expertise to speed digital transformation. The market is very fluid demonstrating a real appetite for packaged solutions that can provide rapid payback.
A large P&C, life and health insurer
I interviewed a CEO to discuss his company approach to digital transformation. He explained that digital transformation is a broad topic impacting 3 line-of-businesses: P&C, Life and Health and their 1.6m customers paying premiums.
This insurance firm is very committed to customer experience and is taking 13 key initiatives. These initiatives are supported by KPIs that can be monitored and tracked through a web interface. The CEO also explained that his business needed to manage a variety of customer segments ranging from older generations still willing to meet face-to-face with brokers to younger digitally native generations comfortable with digital only interfaces. He said: “We need to [create new solutions] with our right hand while carrying on working with our left hand” as to explain that core business and digital need to work in tandem, but not to the detriment of one another.
This insurer wants to use digital to be closer to clients. For instance, 40% of claims are currently processed online (relatively low to his point of view). They have 5 distribution channels:
- 30% - Banks
- 30% - Brokers (1000)
- 5% - Retailers
- 15% - Car dealers
- 5% - Directly through the web
A large majority of customers (90%) use the website to pay premiums. This finding has been validated during other interviews carried out in different industries.
IT is the largest investment of the company. It has about 80 IT people. It is hard to keep staff who can go to other companies for higher salaries, but they have a strategy to retain their key talents.
A large commercial/corporate bank
I met with the Head of Digital Transformation at a large commercial / corporate bank. This division of the bank serves companies turning over more than $2M USD. The bank has 250 agents and 300 branches, but agents are operating centrally. Their current issue is that the bank website is not user friendly and convenient enough. It lists products without providing a customer centric view of services that can be delivered to corporates. As a result, clients have difficulties to understand what the bank can offer, and it affects upsell, churn and as well as acquisition in the first place.
The digital transformation journey started with a few months ago highlighting risks & benefits of investing in digital versus not investing. Work started after obtaining key executives blessing from the Bank’s board to undertake a digital transformation program. They decided on 13 initiatives of which 6 come under commercial/corporate banking.
3 main objectives for agents:
- 360° view of customer profiles – data is shared across many legacy systems
- Tools to close deals providing online/offline customer experience.
Important points associated to this mandate:
- Demonstrate value to the Board quickly. This is an important condition to keep momentum going.
- Redesign business processes and adapt them to a new digital journey. The Head of Digital Transformation does not want to continue doing things the old way.
- Business knowledge is critical more than technical expertise when it comes to redesigning business processes
- Demonstrate agility in implementing projects
- Challenges are to find good ways to share a common set of goals with all bank stakeholders involved.
Objectives are to increase agent efficiency, this translates into:
- Providing new channels & tools
- Be able to sell new products carrying out an end-to-end process with a minimum number of breaks
- Upsell and cross-sell products and services using digital
- Provide quality leads to agents
The implementation of key projects started with IBM resources, but the bank decided to change the provider as they needed to accelerate. They have now 140 IT outsourced people with the following skills:
- Project Management
- Business knowledge
The outsourcer saw 27% staff attrition (year-on-year) rate and the bank then requested to keep this attrition rate under 15%. Outsourcing is an open discussion. I was explained how complicated it was to deliver end-to-end business processes that needed to remain compliant to local regulations. One aspect of the difficulty is to be able to produce regulatory compliant documents.
Chile like other countries is undertaking a massive transformation from both a society and technology view point. Despite being relatively far from other countries, its stable economy brings people from abroad. These people are new customers to serve and digital solutions are in demand.
Digital transformation brings opportunities to better engage with these customers as well as others, however traditional ways (agents, brokers, branches & post) to engage with them remain as just as important. Local rules and regulations tend to reduce speed of transformation in regulated industries.
More findings about telco, retail and utilities can be shared. Please contact me on twitter @anthemlau to this effect.