Responding to new uses by combining the best of digital technology and people

Our policyholders want to be able to act as they choose: visit a branch, call the customer service number, carry out operations online or even change channel in the process, while maintaining the same service standards and fluidity throughout. This omnichannel approach reflects the very high expectations of our customers. They need to be able to contact us by any means and at any time about a commercial matter, service, compensation or for assistance, and know that their request has been taken into account and/or is being handled. 

Keeping pace with this change in society, which began several years ago, means being able to circulate information and share it between the various parties involved in the Group’s customer relations. In order to adapt to these structural changes, Covéa has launched a major overhaul of its customer relations across its established business lines, with the aim of creating a truly close omnichannel relationship.

Reinventing the customer relationship

The Group aims to succeed in achieving this by drawing on both the physical networks of its brands and the rollout of innovative technical solutions. Despite the reduction in branch footfall, Covéa believes that it is essential for each of its brands to continue to offer face-to-face contact with customers and members. While up to now their operations were focused primarily in receiving members of the public, branches are now involved in handling telephone calls, which are divided up between branches and platforms according to the nature or volume of requests. There are two main challenges at hand: optimising how requests are handled and redirecting telephone calls as best possible depending on staff availability and the level of urgency. Reachability, efficiency and remote expertise have become key in ensuring a successful customer relationship, at a time when most canvassing is done digitally and claims for compensation are made mainly by telephone.

Rollout of structural programmes

Between 2022 and 2024, the Group plans to invest €200 million in digital technology and artificial intelligence. Advances include virtual agents or voicebots and chatbots designed to optimise handling of customer flows, a new generation of call centres using natural language recognition and a new claims handling tool to assess vehicle damage and give an instant quotation on the basis of photos taken by repairers in order to speed up claims processing. 

These highlight the Group’s desire to update its services for the benefit of its customers and members. Reinventing the customer relationship therefore means rolling out cross-cutting programmes and transforming tools that aim above all to improve the service offered to customers and members. With this in mind, Covéa has launched the ECLA Absolute Customer Experience programme, dedicated to transforming customer relations. It will allow for a more fluid omnichannel approach, change the distribution model, enable the same customer vision to be shared and enhance customer relations management, with a view to offering policyholders the best possible experience. All these technologies, which require a solid infrastructure – something the Group is continuing to work on – are transforming both internal processes and customer relations. They are helping to improve response times, enhance operat- ing efficiency and increase sales targeting capacity, for example within the framework of development campaigns.

Keeping up with change while staying true to ourselves

In addition to the effect of these transformations on customers and members, they also have consequences in terms of how we are organised and how we act. In order to get all staff on board with this major change, we have launched a major change support drive, in addition to the programmes already in place. While it is essential to adapt to new uses and offer new, more fluid experiences, this means continuing to do better without forgetting what makes us unique and our values, which are central to our identity as a mutual insurance group and continue to make us stand out in an increasingly challenging market.