Summer's here. Sunny weather, long days, high temperatures. ERGO's pure digital insurer, nexible, is entering the next phase of its still very short history. The beta phase is starting. Selected members of ERGO's staff can put the platform through its paces. If the tariff offered during the test is attractive they can even conclude a real insurance policy for their car.
The staff involved in the nexible development gave their all in the days leading up to the beta test. nexible clients themselves will be able to create and manage their own customised insurance cover completely online; nexible's staff therefore worked really hard to ensure that the vehicle tariffs were properly calculated and displayed and that the insurance policies could be concluded. A beta test means: not everything has to work perfectly already.
Mark Klein: Chief Digital Officer @ ERGO
In the insurance industry, such a beta test is not self-evident. Misgivings abound: for instance, how will colleagues or test users react if everything is not yet running smoothly? In other industries, for example the technology sector, beta tests are run of the mill. The objective is to test a solution thoroughly in actual practice. No hypothetical "How can the take out of an insurance policy be configured to be very easy?" or "How can I perfectly structure information?" This is a real life test. Using feedback from a "basic solution", the so-called "minimum viable product" (MVP), the key issue is to improve the product on and on.
And this also makes a lot of sense for the insurance world! In this case, the demands placed on the MVP are greater than in many other industries; the regulatory and legal constraints must be met, of course. No cutting corners here; teamwork with our colleagues in the division is therefore very close.
The feedback from our beta test users covers a large number of topics: How well do they understand the texts? What was their experience while looking for information? How appealing is the page from the user's point of view and how intuitive is the offer presentation? The important point is: with the aid of this feedback, to rectify malfunctions swiftly, to learn quickly - and to test the revised version once again. From our clients' viewpoint, to improve with every step.
This principle is relevant not only to nexible but to the entire ERGO Group: we are working in a number of places on accelerating the speed with which innovations are implemented - by utilising MVPs we are listening attentively to users, learning quickly and always optimising the solution. This means a lot of work, and also often to change familiar ways of working. But it's worth it.
I very much look forward to your comments, questions or suggestions.
Regards, Mark Klein
The picture shows John-Paul Pieper, head of nexible, in the so-called Innovation Train which recently drove through Düsseldorf.