Blogging is catching on in a big way in India and how. From being a forum for like-minded people to being personal diaries on the Net, blogs have now graduated to being a vehicle for corporates to reach out to their customers in a more interactive and personal way. ING Vysya Life is one such company utilising the power of blogs in an innovative way.
The private life insurance company has started providing online insurance advice through its newly launched blogging portal, www.pickuradvisor.com. And what’s more, ING is relying on the success of the concept in India before it takes it to other markets across 50 countries.
Through this service, customers can interact with top life insurance advisors online, get answers to their insurance queries, and engage in a conversation with their chosen advisor through a private blog that the customer and the advisor start together on the site.
Launching the service, Frank Koster, MD and CEO, ING Vysya, said, “This is portent of the future; we have brought together advisors and customers in a fresh new way using cutting edge technology. The service empowers potential customers to view various featured advisor profiles on the site and then choose the advisor they would like to interact with and later meet. Our top advisors get a chance to leverage their knowledge and advisory capabilities to a larger group of potential customers.”
Harvinder Kaur, one of the 27 ING Vysya Life advisors featured on the website, said, “This is a great new initiative from the company that will help me to engage with and tap a much larger number of customers than I could do physically on my own. I am very excited to be featured on the site and look forward to getting my first blog with a customer going very soon, maybe even today.”
“It is also an example of the global synergies that a company like ING can harness. The portal is a pilot project for ING globally and has been funded by a grant from the Amsterdam-based company’s global e-business project. Once tested successfully in India, ING wants to take the service to other markets across its 50 countries,” added Koster.
Pallavi Chopra, Manager, E-business at ING Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, who has been the key architect of the project in India and in Hong Kong was also present at the launch, and said, “The key consumer insight behind the idea is that in the normal course a customer never gets to choose their advisor, but gets one that the company sends. This is using technology to empower new age insurance customers, just in the same way that Internet banking or online shopping is doing. We have also built the technology locally in India, using the considerable IT skills available in Bangalore and Mumbai. We are very confident that with the explosion in blogging, people will flock to the site in large numbers and experience a new way of engaging with our insurance advisors.”
The 27 advisors featured on the site are based in six cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune), and were selected through a stringent process where top advisors had to qualify based on sales performance and Internet savviness. They were tested on online skills as well as insurance know-how.
“We have tried to make the process completely objective to ensure that the best people are featured and the customer experience is richly satisfying. We have also trained all the 27 advisors post selection to provide good answers to customer queries. We are looking forward to expanding the service beyond the six cities to all our 45 cities nationally in the next few months,” said Gautam Sharma, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, ING Vysya Life.