Customer services must transfigure to stay competitive: Ayan Sarkar, Salesforce

Salesforce is the world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It has been prioritising and heavily investing in the insurance industry (among others in Financial Services). According to Salesforce’s State of Service Survey, 86 percent of customer service leaders in the insurance industry still believe their company’s customer service must transform to stay competitive, says Ayan Sarkar, Vice-President & Global Head of Insurance, Salesforce,  in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).

Ayan Sarkar
Ayan Sarkar – Salesforce Vice President & Global Head of Insurance GTM
  1. What are your views on cloud technology and its role in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector? Would you like to share your views on Salesforce’s work in the financial services pertaining to the cloud?

We feel cloud technology is transformational in delivering financial services at scale. We have repeatedly seen the cloud enabling innovation across large networks of partners, driving the agility and scalability needed in the largest markets.

Salesforce serves BFSI institutions with cloud technology holistically across Insurance, Banking and Wealth Management and across all major business models (B2C, B2B, and B2B2C). Our focus is to help BFSI get closer to their customers and partners. Some of the largest and most agile BFSI institutions across the globe use Salesforce as their strategic end-to-end digital engagement platform.

  1. Your firm is a global CRM leader. Do you think CRM should be a top priority for the insurance industry?

It’s exciting to be at Salesforce, the world’s #1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, especially with how we’ve been prioritising and heavily investing in the insurance industry (among others in Financial Services). According to Salesforce’s State of Service Survey, we uncovered that 86 percent of customer service leaders in the insurance industry still believe their company’s customer service must transform to stay competitive.

Even with this in mind, many insurance companies often lack a comprehensive innovation roadmap to execute a digital strategy that makes delivering trust, transparency and convenience difficult. At the same time, siloed and decentralised legacy systems can be difficult to integrate and expensive to maintain, making it hard to deliver a seamless customer experience. And, due to the slower adoption of technology across the industry, insurance companies are finding it difficult to attract and retain top talent that could otherwise help them implement the changes and innovation necessary to keep pace with the changing customer environment and expectations.

Finally, while Salesforce is helping insurers drive unprecedented customer-centricity across marketing, sales, service, claims and renewals – at the same time it is also being widely adopted by BFSI for employee engagement and distribution productivity.

  1. Tell us about Salesforce’s venture in the Insurance Industry.

Our vision for Financial Services Cloud is to unify the experience for our customers by offering one cloud that bridges geographies, channels and lines of business around their end customers.

Insurance is one of the fastest growing chapters of Financial Services Cloud innovation. Salesforce is powering insurance experiences with Financial Services Cloud, the world’s #1 CRM, reimagined for insurance. Now insurers offering Property and Casualty as well as Life and Annuities, can drive seamless customer experiences with instant access [via browser and mobile] to 360-degree views of their policyholders, their household relationships, coverage, claims, life events, service flows that deliver convenience, and AI-powered insights that deepen relationships.

  1. Would you like to shed some light on insurance innovations for financial services cloud?

At the end of September last year during InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas, Salesforce announced new insurance capabilities in Financial Services Cloud to address the shifting demands from customers and policyholders that the insurance industry is currently experiencing.

These new insurance capabilities in Financial Services Cloud arm insurers with expanded out-of-the-box functionality specifically designed for the insurance industry including the agent and customer service rep console, lighting flows and life events.

  1. What is your vision for 2020?

We are laser focused on making Salesforce more relevant and strategic for Insurers. In pursuit of this mission, in 2020, we continue to drive forward insurance focused capabilities on Financial Service Cloud and associated products (Einstein, Community, Mulesoft etc.). At the same time we will work with our customers and partners in helping build trust, transparency and convenience for worldwide customers of Insurance.

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