Generali 2021: Leveraging strengths to accelerate growth
In November, Generali unveiled its new three-year strategic plan to investors: outlining its vision “to become a lifetime partner to customers”.
In addition to highlighting the importance of Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) to the Group, the various presentations made clear the innovative and disruptive nature of Generali’s ambitious plan.
From now up until 2021, the Group intends to invest around €1 billion in strategic internal initiatives for technological innovation and digital transformation.
Much of this is already well underway. For example, GEB recently moved its cutting-edge Blockchain prototype – a first for the Employee Benefits industry – into a production environment, supported by B3i: a collaboration of 15 global insurers and reinsurers who came together in late 2016 to explore and test the potential of Blockchain in the industry.
Furthermore, the Group has now designed and launched, across five markets so far, the Mobile and Web Hub: a B2B2C ecosystem that seamlessly connects customers, agents and Generali.
As part of its series of strategic manoeuvres, Generali will also launch a Europe-wide mobility platform and also plans to scale up its investment in and use of data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The ultimate goal? To improve the customer experience, reduce costs and increase technical results.
A lifetime partner to customers
Speaking as part of the Investor Day in Milan on 21st November, Philippe Donnet, Generali Group CEO, said: “Today, Generali unveils an ambitious strategy – Generali 2021 – which will accelerate the Group’s growth and deliver superior returns for our shareholders. Our primary ambition is to become a lifetime partner to our customers, offering innovative and personalised solutions thanks to an unmatched distribution network.
“This clear and distinctive strategic vision leverages on our strengths to consolidate leadership in Europe on retail and SME customers, expand operations in high-potential markets and develop a global asset management platform. At the same time, Generali will continue to focus on generating and managing capital to fund growth opportunities in key markets and drive innovation and digital transformation wherever we operate. Thanks to this set of actions, Generali will achieve between 6 and 8 per cent Earnings per Share annual growth over the plan horizon.”
Investment in global employee benefits
Mr. Donnet also stressed the strategic importance of GEB, adding: “We will of course continue to invest in our global employee benefits business. We are number one in the world for pooling and captives.
“These services [insurance and assistance] all help to increase the quality of life for our customers.”
These sentiments were echoed by Marco Sesana, Country Manager for Italy and responsible for Global Business Lines, of which GEB is a part, who added: “GEB is a market leader. It has 25% of market share …It has 1,500 companies as clients and 10 million employees. Our ambition for the future is to maintain the leadership and sustained growth on this business.”
Together with the other companies that form part of General Business Lines – namely Generali Global Health and Generali Corporate & Commercial – Mr. Sesana said the overall strategic priority was to “serve global clients, leveraging on our expertise in having the synergies between the different business units.”
A seamless partnership between clients, advisers & Generali
Mr. Sesana also spoke about the plans to evolve the Group’s business model to “increase the frequency of human contact and quality of advisory services”.
He explained: “We will make our digital channel available to customers, so they will choose how and when to switch between the app, website and agent. At the same time, we believe it’s really important to give the agent additional business opportunities when it comes to providing alerts on additional services that the client is looking at. So, we will provide our agents with data enhanced supporting tools such as customer insight, predictive modelling and workforce automation.
“These will lead to increased customer satisfaction, higher retention and closer links.
“We aspire to become the insurance partner of choice for the connected ecosystem. Thanks to this, we expect our NPS [Net Promoter Score] to increase by 10 points and our productivity – the productivity of our agents specifically – to improve by 10-15 percentage points thanks to the positioning and new strategy.”
Shift from product seller to integrated solution provider
Isabelle Conner, Group Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at Generali, provided more information on exactly how Generali will support its 150,000 agents to tailor and personalise the offer to clients.
“We have 57 million customers worldwide that have on average 1.7 products with us. However, we know that our customers own between 5 to 7 insurance products so there’s a sizeable untapped opportunity to deepen the relationships between existing customers.
“To do this, we need to appear to head and heart. This is a combination of simplicity and innovation with empathy and care, in a way that’s never been done before in the insurance arena.
“We want to be proactive and relationship based to integrate protection, prevention and assistance services tailored to customer needs.”
Mrs. Conner explained that this will be achieved via 5 means:
- Digitally enabling the adviser distribution network.
- Providing best in class propositions and service innovations, leveraging digital and data analytics.
- Seamlessly connecting Generali, our agents and our customers on web and mobile.
- Continuing to listen and act on customer feedback to deliver service improvements.
- Strengthening the brand to become first choice.
“We’re going to supply our network of 150,000 agents with the right tools, training and mindset to become true lifetime partners. This is known as Agent Hub.
“We will equip agents with a commercial dashboard that features: a 360-degree view of the customer that consolidates all products and past interactions; needs based assessment tools; the ability to directly engage with the customer via social and digital channels; campaign management tools that allow Generali to manage the rollout of all the new solutions.
“We estimate that Agent Hub will help free up 25% of an agent’s time, allowing for more focus on cross-selling. In line with this, we will engage people searching for insurance online and channel these leads to agents.”
At the same time, as mentioned earlier, Generali has launched the client-facing Mobile and Web Hub, which seamlessly connects with the agent’s interface.
“Mobile and Web Hub is now live in five markets and another eight are in the pipeline. It is designed with clients, for clients. Customers can now engage with Generali 24/7, always keeping the agent in the loop.”
Mobile and Web Hub includes 23 features, including: coverage, claims management, notifications, payments and receipts, contact my agent, health reimbursements, find a doctor / hospital, pension, auto assistance / emergency, and even geolocalisation of customers in extreme conditions.