State-of-the-art electronic customer communications
For many years, Merkur Versicherung, Austria’s oldest health insurance carrier and currently the number two provider in the Austrian health insurance market, has used various channels to communicate with its customers. For a while now, efforts have focused on the Merkur portal and the app (in addition to emails) as the central means of electronic communication with customers. Despite this, a large amount of materials were still being output via print.
Therefore, a project was started to convert customer communications to environmentally sustainable means (e.g. by reducing paper) and state-of-the-art processes that correspond to the desired user experience (e.g. faster mailing times). Other than a few exceptions required by law, all documents can now be delivered to customers through the Merkur portal and/or the app after the customer opts in.
Thus Merkur has now found a digital best practice solution for almost all customer correspondence, which includes both batch documents (such as policies, benefit information, etc.) and individual and interactive correspondence.
To do so, the insurance provider has used a DocuMatrix module from the docPIPE product line that divides the created documents into two stacks – ECOM and non-ECOM.
After the separation, the classified material is sent to the portal and/or app. The non-classified material is printed or sent by email. For this purpose, Merkur uses an in-house micro service that has stored the customer’s preferences based on information such as their customer number and date of birth.
Workflow of the state-of-the-art customer communications process
Merkur’s information and documents now reach its insurance customers through a variety of channels.
The processes within the chart are as follows:
The advantages of electronic communications are easy to see
The advantages of this method are clear:
- Customers receive their documents more quickly and directly in the Merkur app or Merkur portal.
- Despite this, customers still have the option to print all documents – particularly those who do not want to use ECOM.
- This does not change anything for clerical staff, who can go about their work as usual.
- Environmentally sustainable processes result, because printing and mailing take place only if expressly requested by the customer, or if the transaction requires postal mailing.
→ This system makes it possible to take advantage of many communication channels at the same time – with optimized costs and use of resources.
Without a doubt, a special feature of the project with Merkur was the architecture of the micro-service in implementation, which was integrated into many existing creation processes as a central tool. We also want to emphasize the high level of performance, which is maintained despite the need to merge so many different kinds of data.
Possible applications in the future for dual customer communications
A possible step into the future is expanding this innovative system by adding a dual communication component. This would enable the customer to not only have documents presented in PDF format in the app, but also work collaboratively with members of the clerical team on shared documents. Ideally, this would mean that the customer is confronted with an editable document draft in which they can, for example, actively enter answers to existing questions or upload needed attachments that are missing.
This would evolve communication from being a one-way street. Instead, the customer and insurance carrier would, in fact, communicate entirely electronically.
→ This saves time and money and increases customer satisfaction with transparent communication.
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