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Redefining Customer Experience in Shared Mobility

3 minutes read

BlaBla car-a community-based travel network claims to have enabled over 90 million members to share a ride across 22 markets. Shared mobility which began in the 1940s in Switzerland has now become an essential part of our everyday lives. Numerous micro-mobility solutions, like Yulu, Bounce, and Rapido, are everywhere now.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the Indian shared mobility industry is expected to witness nearly four-fold growth. Revenues will touch $42.85 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 25.3%.

Why do businesses need to redefine user experience in shared mobility?

As we move into the experience economy, customer experience (CX) will play a vital role in retaining customers and acquiring the new segment-Gen Z. Zoomers or Gen Z are the most advanced, tech-savvy audience who rely on technology. They want a great digital experience to stay loyal to their favorite brands. They are quick to express on social media what they experience and feel about- be it good or bad. Right after the offices re-opened a few months ago, Uber and Ola users complained on social media about rides getting canceled. To minimize the possibility of cancellation, Uber started enabling drivers to view drop-off locations prior to accepting the rides.

Keeping in mind the evolving customer preferences and expectations, companies are constantly working on redefining customer experience in shared mobility. Chalo– a mobility startup offers live bus tracking and a live passenger indicator showing how crowded the bus is in real-time. Quick Ride offers people carpooling along with a Taxi/Cab app for local, airport, and outstation travels. This points out that enhancing customer experience has become a significant factor for shared mobility organizations to retain their customers. And it seems that the businesses operating in this ecosystem have a myriad of possibilities to grow. Here’s why:

  1. Higher demand for shared mobility in Remote Areas: Pandemic has brought in work-from-home culture worldwide. People who migrated to their home towns in tier 2 and 3 cities want shared mobility options to commute. Digital literacy in rural areas in the last two years has gone up. Number of internet users in India may reach 800 million by 2023, reveals McKinsey report. This will create more demand for shared vehicle services in remote areas. 
  1. Increase in Traffic Congestion: As the offices have reopened, so has the traffic congestion on roads. India’s shared mobility sector is expected to touch nearly 15 crore users by 2025, according to the Redseer report. Higher disposable income, inadequate public transport, and the demand-supply gap will drive this growth.
What do customers want in shared mobility space?

EV (Electric Vehicle) ecosystem in India

EV ecosystem which is now in its nascent stage will evolve within the next few years. The government has been promoting EVs across the nation with the goal of achieving 50% vehicle electrification by 2030. Key players like Uber, Ola, and Vogo are planning to switch to electric vehicles. There’s already a long queue for Ola bikes amongst customers. The company recently announced to bring Ola electric car on the road by 2023.

Yulu is a mobility app to book & track trips, monitor bike health, report bike issues, check personal stats, and win rewards. Mantra Labs built a scalable platform for Yulu, enabling a scalable and easy-to-use app for users to access bike-sharing services. Consumers can check personal health stats (calories burnt), distance covered and amount of carbon emissions saved for each trip.

The Future:

Redefining customer experience in shared mobility space is the need of the hour. We are heading towards an intelligent and connected world. Future automobiles will be more smarter than ever before. Recently, California regulators gave a nod to robotic taxi services to charge passengers for driverless rides in San Francisco. Tesla has been working on building autonomous vehicles for future customers. Given India’s massive population and infrastructural gap, it is difficult to say if autonomous vehicles would be feasible on Indian roads for now. But this may be possible in the future. As of now, the biggest challenge for companies is figuring out how to make the rider experience seamless, safe, convenient, and economical. 

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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