Last Thursday, Montoux partnered with Deloitte to host the final Shifting Gears seminar of 2018 with a half-day event in Sydney, Australia. Throughout our Shifting Gears events this year we have spent a lot of time considering how to better design for, and serve, 'the customer'. For this seminar we were able to include real examples of individuals who have been affected by trauma, injury and loss.
The morning was opened with an incredibly engaging presentation from Rachel Kerrigan, a former electrical engineer who spent seven years serving in the Royal Australian Air Force, and saw active duty during that time. Rachel began her story with a reminder that while it's good she has been able to share her experience, her story is not unique - and there are many other people in our communities who are experiencing similar situations and have often been even less fortunate in receiving effective treatment and care.
Rachel said that while she was prepared for the risk of physical injury while serving in the military, the psychological impact took a far greater toll on her than she had ever imagined, and after leaving the RAAF in 2010 Rachel was diagnosed with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Depressive Disorder. Rachel outlined the opportunities she was able to take advantage of, in helping to manage her mental health conditions with different strategies and sport. Though there have been ups and downs in managing her symptoms, today Rachel is still entirely medication-free, a world away from the 30 pills per day she used to be prescribed.
Rachel took time to explain some of the circumstances that lead to her struggling financially - and leaving her a long way distanced from her previous life working for a six-figure salary. She identified that one of the things that could have really benefitted her would have been the offer of independent financial advice when faced with options for how to receive her payment after her diagnoses.
Rachel has managed some truly momentous achievements, in representing Australia as an athlete at the Invictus Games in Florida, and becoming a CrossFit instructor.
Rachel's moving story was referenced by every other speaker throughout the morning, and the majority of our feedback forms mentioned her presentation as an outstanding session from the seminar.
Deloitte Partner Al Merten was joined by EMLife Chief Customer Officer Lucy Hartley in a 'fireside chat' where Lucy explained how EMLife manages claims on behalf of life insurer and reinsurer clients. Lucy said EMLife doesn’t work in underwriting claims and doesn’t hold a life insurance license, so their focus is solely on claims, and ensuring a high level of customer care throughout this process.
Lucy believes customer expectations are high, as reflected in outcomes from the Royal Commission, and explained how EMLife works with researchers and organisations such as Black Dog to help determine how to best address claims involving mental illnesses. Lucy said EMLife invests in training case managers to have human-to-human conversations with claimants to really understand their circumstances. Lucy explained tha in recruiting new case managers they tend to prioritise personality over technical skills, and can later upskill workers in areas like motivational interviewing techniques, to partner with the client during their recovery. Lucy says EMLife is already finding this method to be win-win, as supporting customers in this way is resulting in faster return to work times.
Lucy has worked in rehabilitation and case management for 17 years and as a Registered Psychologist, she takes a special interest in mental health claims and programs that target improved mental health outcomes.
Dr. Deen Sanders is a Deloitte partner in the Governance, Risk and Conduct group, and is recognised as a global leader in the fields of Ethics, Trust and Regulation. Deen was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2017 for his
leading academic and regulatory work in the field of professional standards.
In his jam-packed presentation, Deen gave us a brilliant overview of the interim report from the recent Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in Australia. Deen's presentation was extremely well received by our audience, and we hope he might be available to give us some further insights during a future event, once the final report has been released.
Chris Powell is the Managing Director and CEO of Integrity Life, a new Australian life insurance company which blends tech expertise with the creation of products that are easy to understand and simple to use. Chris spoke brilliantly about Integrity Life's value of customers, innovation, and culture. Chris said as CEO he conducts the final interview for every new hire in the company, to ensure their values align with Integrity.
We rounded out the morning by breaking into groups and diving into a 60 minute hands on workshop of imagined designs for new app products that could help customers. Deloitte's Robin Scarborough opened the activity by showing recently-recorded video interviews with two customers, who had been let down by aspects of the claims process - with one woman explaining how she did not receive the right support and information from her employer, and struggled for a long time before learning she was entitled to income protections payouts.
Designing new products can take weeks or even months in reality, so the participants enjoyed a quickfire Post-It note design process, determining their imagined customer persona and designing an app based product to suit their needs - in imagined partnership with tech industry heavyweights such as Uber and Linkedin.
We received fantastic feedback on all our speakers and presenters from this seminar, and some attendees wrote they wished it could have continued longer! The feedback and suggestions we received will shape our planning of further Shifting Gears events in 2019, as we continue to explore how the industry is being advanced through technology and innovative new ideas.
In the meanwhile, if you are interested in keeping up to date with the latest news and insights from the industry please sign up for our free fortnightly Shifting Gears newsletter here.