The four hallmarks of a truly customer-centric organization

October 10, 2023

The concept of customer-centricity has been transformed during the past decade. Consumers were the first to benefit thanks to the efforts of digital disruptors such as Uber and Amazon, who make sure their customers have all the information they need at their fingertips and can act on it in an instant. Customer data also ensures that these companies have a better understanding of their customers’ requirements and expectations and can deliver real-time value at every touchpoint. 

Now it’s the turn of big business to benefit from a similar approach. When done correctly, enterprise-level digital self-service delivers a long list of benefits, not least saving time, effort, and money by stripping out layers of bureaucracy and accelerating service delivery. Here we take a closer look at the four hallmarks of this new breed of customer-centricity, what to look for, and how companies can best leverage the seamless digital experiences it delivers.

1. Self-service can dramatically increase transparency

When done correctly, self-service dramatically enhances customer visibility, enabling them to access the information they need straight away without relying on human support. 

Allianz Trade Online, for example, is an innovative dashboard that consolidates all the information relevant to a customer’s cover. It includes an overview of their portfolio, responsive alerts about clients experiencing financial stress, the customer’s total amount of credit limits, claims, and overdue debts. Users can also manage their policy, easily notify claims, and see the precise date they can expect indemnification. 

Customers can also view a breakdown of their exposure by country, industry, or customer. Market intelligence reports and risk ratings from our trade finance experts are also readily available to help assess the creditworthiness and financial stability of their clients and prospects. 

2. Customer-centric organizations are fully responsive. They gather and act on client feedback

At its heart, customer-centricity is about listening to what customers really want and leveraging those signals to empower success. 

For example, a recent Allianz Trade customer survey revealed that 61% of our customers prefer self-service to personal assistance, even though they would like to receive some assistance from an Allianz Trade expert when they need it.

That has led us to develop a service model that combines the new Allianz Trade Online customer portal with the option of additional personal support from our network of offices and partners in more than 50 countries when necessary. Our portal allows customers to access and manage their credit insurance policy and accounts receivable anytime, anywhere, and on any device. They can also call upon our deep understanding of the markets and industries its customers operate in. As a result, our customers’ working lives are being made simpler and more efficient because they have the information, tools, and human expertise they need to make better business decisions.

Great self-service platforms, such as Allianz Trade Online, constantly evolve and improve, based on the feedback and suggestions of customers. For example, we are always looking for ways to enhance the portal’s features and functionalities, to make sure it delivers the best customer-focused service.

Customers recently passed judgment on our new service model. Respondents to the company’s NPS survey described our digital self-service portal as “fast”, “easy to use”, and “dynamic”. One customer said: “The website is easy to access and easy to understand. We know immediately if customers are guaranteed or if their status is active or not. The portal is very intuitive.” Another respondent underlined the importance of continued support from our expert advisors alongside the portal. They said: “My questions are answered quickly, and if I have any doubts, Allianz Trade’s experts are on hand to support me. Having a portal and experts is great for commercial relations.” Customers can share their feedback at any time via Allianz Trade Online thanks to a permanently available survey. Suggestions enable us to continually improve the platform.

3. Great digital self-service is empowering

This new digital approach to customer-centricity is about enabling people to get things done faster and with minimum fuss, unless they specifically need additional expert support.

In general, portal users can usually find answers to their questions, resolve issues, or complete transactions at their own convenience. They can take advantage of features such as self-registration, profile management, preferences, notifications, and feedback. They can also access relevant content, such as FAQs, tutorials, guides, or forums, that can help them learn more about the products or services they use.

Among other things, Allianz Trade Online enables our customers to request new credit limits and file claims if buyers fail to pay within the agreed terms. Claimants can file all the necessary documents, such as invoices, contracts, and proof of delivery, via Allianz Trade Online. They can also monitor the progress of their credit request or claim and see if they need to do anything or if we need more information from our customers. The portal also enables customers to access market information and insights.

4. Customers get results faster with self-service

The customer experience journey delivered by market-leading self-service portals is generally faster and more efficient than human-reliant alternatives. That’s because:

  • Digital self-service portals such as Allianz Trade Online are operational 24/7, 365 days a year, unlike most customer contact centers.

  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty are also boosted. Customers feel more empowered and in control of their interactions with a business because they can access personalized information, manage their accounts, provide feedback, or request support at any time. This also enhances trust and confidence in a business.

  • Customers enjoy more options and greater flexibility. They can choose the most efficient way to interact with a business, depending on their preferences and needs. They can also use a self-service portal to access information or services that may not be available through other channels, or to customize their experience as they see fit.

With Allianz Trade Online, the efficiency savings are clear. For example, our customers can request a credit limit for a new or existing customer and get a response within minutes. Customers can also track the status of pending requests in a fast and efficient manner. 

Customer-centricity is not just about providing great customer service or having a friendly attitude. It is about creating a seamless and personalized customer experience across all touchpoints. Nowhere is this more important than in the trade credit insurance sector.

Truly customer-centric organizations put the customer at the heart of everything they do. They deliver customer empowerment, fast and efficient processes, crystal-clear transparency, and the willingness to act on client feedback. To see cutting-edge customer centricity in action, look no further than Allianz Trade Online.