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Sérgio Carvalho, Head of Marketing at Fidelidade, chronicles how experimentation and customer-centricity have been at the heart of serving customers for more than 200 years.
What makes your company truly innovative?
Founded in 1808, Fidelidade is the leading insurance company in Portugal and is also present in Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Spain, France, Macau, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile.
With 2.3 million customers in Portugal and more than 7 million worldwide, Fidelidade conducts its activity based on a “Customer Centric Approach” strategy and, through a distribution network with high dimension and capillarity, guarantees consumers an integrated and personalized experience, regardless of the channel used.
Guided by the values that have always defined its essence - experience, innovation, overcoming, and proximity - Fidelidade has been consistently distinguished over the years by consumers and customers, namely in the area of innovation. This year, Fidelidade was awarded “Best Digital Product & Customer Experience” at the Portugal Digital Awards, with its Smart Drive App winning the Silver Award. During the 5th Edition of the EFMA – Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards, Fidelidade’s Just in Case App was awarded for “Product & Service Innovation.”
Innovation is thus a constant value in Fidelidade's heritage. It is innovation that has driven the insurance company to adapt to the evident evolution of time, remaining present and leading a market that is facing one of its greatest challenges ever: responding to a world dictated by digital transformation.
What are the major goals and results obtained from your ongoing innovation strategy?
The innovative positioning of Fidelidade’s brand reflects the moment of technological transformation that is globally experienced, but with full consciousness that true innovation is, in fact, far beyond an inevitable digitization.
The use of new technologies has allowed Fidelidade to develop specific resources for customers and to be able to, at any time and from anywhere, provide them with the same service, regardless of the channel each one chooses to contact the company through. This can easily be proven by the development of new applications for customers, but also by the improvement of the resources that Fidelidade made available to its agents, freeing them from a series of administrative tasks so that they can allocate more time to their greatest added value: investing their time in the relationships with each client in order to improve knowledge about each person and provide a close, dedicated, and personalized service.
The investment made in adapting Fidelidade to an increasingly digital and technological reality has been significant and in a few years the evolution has been great. This is also due to the constant clarification and monitoring of the commercial networks and the clear finding that the service level has improved once Fidelidade made alternative ways of contacting and servicing its customers available, such as the apps MyFidelidade, MyDrive, Multicare Medicina Online, MySavings, MyPets, and Just in Case.
The current situation, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasized the importance of the technological development achieved in recent years. At a time where physical and social distancing has been imposed, Fidelidade was able to provide its customers the same level of service, even from afar.
How is a culture of innovation achieved across your company?
Despite all the results achieved and the path already taken, Fidelidade is aware that the challenges in terms of customer experience are very high. For years, different brands were built and gained notoriety for their ability to provide customers with high quality products and services but today, more and more, the difference lies in the ability to provide each person with the best global experience and the ability to permanently comply with what is promised or announced.
Continuous research is therefore vitally important in the development of an experience that aims to hear an echo from each client. Only by realizing and understanding the way each customer idealizes how the world functions, is it possible to design products and service experiences that appear totally natural to the consumer. This requires observation, ideation, prototype development, testing, and interaction.
For this reason, Fidelidade is often using digital channels to test pilot solutions before moving on to the commercial launch of products or services, due to the greater ease and speed of obtaining responses. This data collected is highly relevant to build a 360º view of customers and to have the ability to provide them with the best user experience of products and services.
However, Fidelidade is fully aware that innovation is not limited to technological and digital development, not least because, for this to be possible, it is essential to be able to preserve an attitude that has distinguished the company for over 200 years, always based on being the best at protecting people throughout their lives. And this main goal can only be achieved with unique people, employees and business partners, having a culture of competence that manages to complement technology with good service.
How does your company manage the overall innovation process?
In fact, the innovation of large-scale companies is only possible if there is a general alignment between all the members that make up the company's structure. In the case of Fidelidade, the entire structure is aligned in which innovation and digitalization will be the best path, to remain a market leader and a first-rate company. For this, it is important that this ideology is lived by all stakeholders. In this way, Fidelidade has been sharing this innovative vision with existing departments, creating exclusive spaces for this purpose, and using new agile-based work methodologies.
Currently, Fidelidade sees innovation as a task that should not be centered on circumscribed groups of departments and/or collaborators, but rather as something that the entire group must develop collaboratively between the various departments. Thus, allowing everyone to be involved in the spirit of innovation and the development of new processes, tools and products/services that allow the insurer to progress.
Download the full paper "Innovation in insurance: The end of insurance as we know it" and read the other exclusive interviews.