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BizCover is a market-leading online insurance service, with 170,000 SME customers across Australia and New Zealand. In this exclusive interview, CEO Michael Gottlieb talks about Bizcover’s winning approach to customer experience, and where the future opportunity lies.

How does the customer experience at BizCover, differ from traditional insurance brokers?

Most SMEs are time poor and just want to get their insurance cover sorted without fuss and, most importantly, at a competitive rate.  Our proprietary platform offers the only full lifecycle platform where they can go online, fill out 1 form, and compare insurance across 7 policy types from 7 of Australia’s leading insurers.  They can also buy online, which means a savvy small business owner who knows what they want, can get quotes and have their policy delivered to their inbox in less than 15 minutes.   

Bizcover has a Net Promoter Score of 75 – virtually unheard of in financial services.

Going to a traditional insurance broker generally means filling out forms and then waiting for the broker to get back to you.  This takes days or more often weeks to get your quotes, let alone buy your policy. 

What role does your contact centre play in delivering a market-leading offering?

We have always been firmly of the view that our customers should interact with us in the way that suits them best, and whilst a large number of our customers self-serve online, there are a number of customers who want to talk with someone.   We see our contact centre as an engagement room for our customers that provides a high service touchpoint.   To do this, we are continuing to build a world-class contact centre, that uses technology to deliver an exceptional agent experience.   Our agents have a 360-degree view of the customer which means they understand the customer and each engagement has a warm introduction.   Also, we focus on building the best possible solutions for our contact centre and partners with market leading technology platforms to ensure we have best-in-breed solutions.

How has the pandemic changed business owners?

Small business owners have become a lot more resilient over the course of the pandemic.   During the initial lockdown everyone was facing the unknown, and there was a lot of panic.   We saw our cancellations escalate to 83% above baseline levels and our new business enquiries drop 41% as everyone tried to navigate the new world.   However, as restrictions eased, we saw everyone getting back to business fairly quickly.   As subsequent lockdowns hit Victoria, and then the latest lockdowns across both NSW and Victoria, we’ve noticed that while growth slowed, business owners held their stead and there was a much lower level of businesses closing their doors.

What is the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity in your business right now?

The biggest opportunity is to utilise AI and Machine Learning more broadly within the business for continuous improvement in our customer experience.  Currently we are using these tools to help us provide post sales service to 170,000 SMEs across Australia and New Zealand, with just 15 support staff.  Automation takes care of the low touch simple requests so our support team can deal with queries that need a human touch.

We are also able to execute an automated review of 100% of our new customer calls, which is streamlining our compliance function and also helping our sales team gain insights into building a more customer focussed approach. 

We’ll shortly be delivering an AI chatbot to our website to further improve our customers’ interactions with us.  The intention is for the chatbot to collect consumer data from their interactions with us so that we can personalise the customer experience, solve customer queries and also provide an additional channel for customers to self-service without having to pick up a phone or log into their account.

While technology is driving opportunity, our biggest challenge is many insurers are still way behind when it comes to their technology solutions.   So, when it comes to working with our partners on new product development and other innovations, things can take a lot longer than we would like.  

To what extent is automation important in your customer operations?

We are committed to delivering a world-leading service to our customers.  This means that every interaction with us is not only smooth, transparent and fast but also that the customer drives their engagement with us through their chosen channel, at their chosen time.   Key to us delivering on this commitment is the use of Intelligent Process Automation to drive our operational processes and to keep improving them.  While we see ourselves very much at the beginning of this journey, we are already having huge success within this area, including the management of our failed payments. We get over 1,000 failed payments per month and rather than a call to follow up, our customers get an email and SMS which they can reply to and ask to have their payment rescheduled or request to try processing it again right away.   While this delivers benefit to the business, our customers love it and we’re constantly getting feedback on how it is simplifying their life.