Pivoting in the new world

Richard Hood, founder and director at Apio Group

Richard Hood, Co-Founder & Director at The Apio Group looks at how the company has pivoted and grown in the new world since March 2020 with the arrival of the coronavirus and lockdown.

COVID-19 has turned the insurance world upside down placing an industry that largely engages with its client’s face-to-to face, in the position of having to embrace technology and virtual communication.

As we changed direction, put policies in place and tweaked our procedures to accommodate an online business model, the team became used to meeting with their clients online.

2020 has certainly made us ‘up’ our technology game, challenging our long time business values and model. But, despite all the challenges around us, the team found ways to closely connect with our family of clients, looking to do so in person whenever the lockdown laws allowed.

We strongly believe that even during Coronavirus our clients remain part of the family and engaging with them in person is as important as it ever was. We believe strongly in the power of our brand’s association with the Latin word for “connection”. We connect with our customers to understand their unique risks and financial needs.

As South Africa continues to navigate the various levels of lockdown in the fight against the COVID-10 pandemic, digital meetings have become the norm, and now the team is well practised at crossing from in-person meetings to digital meetings, working from home and in the office depending on requirements of the day. We’ve customised our service delivery to ensure, that although we can’t interact face to face, that through a digital channel a thorough review of our client’s risks and portfolio is still achievable.  

One of the things that have changed since March 2020 is the fact that clients expect us to be available 24/7, so in addition to working long hours to ensure we maintain our customer service levels, we’ve also beefed up our ability to respond to roadside and business/home-based emergencies, via our Apio 24/7 Assist line.  

We are seeing different trends emerging among our clients including the need to provide online quotes for new clients and so we have answered this call with an online quoting system via our website.

Mixing the old and the new we won’t be joining the trend towards chatbots and remain firm about servicing our clients personally, particularly with the rising trend towards clients dealing with call centres directly.  

video conference in the new world

Our payoff line is “connected insurance” and this means that we will continue to remain connected with our clients leveraging off all the digital channels available such as Social Media, E-mail, WhatsApp and Video Conferencing wherever possible! 

Apio’s philosophy is that our clients are part of our family and as such, we go the extra mile, with our client-facing staff regularly delivering claim forms, attending an accident scene and assisting with other personal challenges that may arise. 

Even as the insurance industry evolves, the Apio Group will stay steadfast in their belief in making a difference in the lives of people, by remaining committed and loyal business partners to all our clients and suppliers.

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