Is the pandemic signalling the end of analogue conversations amid the chatter of digital transformation?

By Managing Editor Yannick Guerry

If 2020 was the year of Covid, it could arguably be seen as the year that digital transformation became a ubiquitous buzzword too.

It seems every business has either been implementing, accelerating, or lauding the success of their digital transformation strategy of late.

Businesses and their leaders who were not so long ago firmly in the analogue mindset have now miraculously become ‘tech champions’… ‘digital natives’… ‘AI pioneers’… 

In many cases, these are profound strategic changes that are being implemented, which will no doubt lead to fundamental improvements in business efficiencies and customer outcomes, expedited by the challenges that Covid-19 has created.


Yannick Guerry

I think it’s also fair to say that the pandemic has caught other businesses off guard and exposed systemic weaknesses, especially in customer communications.

As the recent service problems faced by some SSP brokers demonstrates, an over-reliance on technology when it all goes wrong can lead to blind panic, with shrieks of: ‘how are we possibly going to communicate with our customers without our technology platform? There’s only one thing for it… the telephone…’

So can - and should - digital transformation ever replace good old fashioned analogue customer service?

In these times of social distancing and remote working, it’s actually nice to talk to a human being and not a chatbot. Are we going to consign in-person business interaction to history for the sake of cost efficiencies?

I’m no luddite. Technology has transformed all our lives in numerous ways, often for the better.

But surely digital transformation should be implemented primarily to improve back-end systems, helping to make the customer journey smoother, as opposed to becoming the customer journey in itself?

The Insurance Times 2021 Digital Transformation Report will be available in January 2021, to download last years report please click here.