Dear Business Partner,
Progress is often subconsciously perceived as being exclusively incremental because, for most of our lives, that is precisely how we progress. And the reason is because humans are genetically hard-wired that way – if we experienced substantial and sudden changes in our prehistoric past, this considerably decreased our odds of making it.
Now you also know why we naturally procrastinate and why our parents taught us “look before you leap” – it is part of our hard-wired genetic survival mechanism. But every now and then a significant, rapid and unexpected change affects our world dramatically. These infrequent events have become colloquially known as ‘black swan’ events.
An extreme pre-historic example is the dinosaur extinction about 65 million years ago. Up until this apocalypse, the dinosaurs had incrementally evolved, reigning over the planet for an astonishing 165 million years, which is about 1,000 times longer than our homo sapiens species has achieved the same. But that all changed when a single asteroid, about 15km in diameter and travelling at a speed of more than 100,000 kph, hit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The ensuing gargantuan eruption of dust and molten rock circumnavigated the globe, blocked out sunlight for two years and caused fires to rage across the planet.
Thankfully, the human species has never experienced as devastating an event but never the less, we almost exclusively react pessimistically to sudden large-scale disruptions. And we have unfortunately been in this gloomy mode for the past year, as Covid-19 has forced us to make substantial changes to how we live, work and socially interact.
Such times can induce an inflection towards change, where successful adaptation separates those who progress from those who do not. As Charles Darwin’s seminal ‘On the Origin of the Species’ taught the world in 1859, “The species that survives is not the strongest or the most intelligent but the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Cinagi’s own adaptation over the past year has been quite comprehensive – and fully digital. We realised that in this virtual world, of which many fragments will remain regardless of the future, we had to do things differently to succeed. And do them quickly.
The decision was a simple one – drive every interaction we have with stakeholders into the digital world. Although the execution over the past year has been less than simple, the principle of that adaptive decision last year now holds us in good stead.
We eradicated our first dinosaur, namely paper. All our engagements are paperless and online. Basic functions like processing an application form, which used to take a day or so, is now completed fully in less than 10 minutes. A member’s claims data is extracted from the digital universe in seconds, allowing us to process and adjudicate claims in hours rather than days or weeks.
We also dropped that other dinosaur – the call centre! All our client servicing engagements are digital – the vast majority come in through our WhatsApp channel and the balance are requests for us to contact the member at a scheduled time suitable to them on our VOIP system. Both these channels have average completed query resolution times of less than 8 minutes but, importantly, they are also pre-emptive. We know the name of the customer contacting us and can address them personally by name on our first reply. All of these channels also provide us with a perfectly accurate digital record of the interaction, so adhering to TCF objectives becomes a relative walk in the park.
Our adaptation over the past year has not only substantially improved our client service levels but has also reduced our operational costs. This has turned us into a lean and agile insuretech business, offering superior value to our clients and brokers!
We hope no dinosaur type catastrophes arise anytime soon, but nonetheless we optimistically look forward to constantly adapting positively to the future changes that do arrive!
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
Frank Zappa – musical virtuoso and satirist
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Best wishes and keep safe,