Allianz: Testing Mobile Applications

Published by: Robbie Clarke


Devising and implementing a mobile strategy and interactive smartphone app can be a tricky business for the majority of firms, regardless of the industry or sector you’re operating within. When you’re part of the Allianz Group, which has a global footprint that spans 70 countries and covers 75 million members, the importance of executing the strategy auspiciously is further heightened. In addition to this, striking the right chord with c members is of paramount importance when dealing with an emotive issue such as health insurance. Allianz Worldwide Care embarked on a research project with RED C that assured the development of a smartphone app which would give each individual member the opportunity to take ownership of their relationship with their healthcare provider.

Allianz Worldwide Care has steadily built a client base that includes many of the Fortune Global 500 companies. Their focus is earning and maintaining member loyalty through a superior service offering and an advanced product range. This focus is under-pinned by a commitment to member service; highlighted through their “Clear to Zero” claims handling initiative, whereby 95% of fully completed Claim Forms received are processed within 48 hours. This high level of client servicing, which is such an important part of the Allianz Worldwide Care offering, had to be unequivocally implemented within the smartphone app offering and, as such, played a fundamental part in the development process.

With a prototype app already developed and in place, RED C were charged with the following key objectives:

  1. To gain an understanding of current member trends and habits in relation to smartphone usage and specifically how they interact with the wide variety of apps available in the market. Of particular interest was their interaction with more “Functional Apps”.
  2. To understand member key needs and principally their reasons for and channels of current interaction with Allianz Worldwide Care.
  3. To verify smartphone usage and participation rates, as well as clarifying essential functional-app features.
  4. To assess the performance of the prototype app developed by Allianz Worldwide Care while simultaneously categorising aspects of the app in terms of need.

Ultimately the research needed to show, that through app implementation and delivery, Allianz Worldwide Care would be rewarded with a real and tangible business benefit.

RED C implemented a two stage research approach to deliver on these objectives. The first stage of the research involved a multi-country member survey. This was delivered through RED C’s online platform, RED C Live. Central to this initial stage was grasping an understanding of why members currently interact with Allianz Worldwide Care. Respondents were also presented with a visual representation and explanation of the prototype app so as to deduce member needs in this regard.

In order to give the most statistically reliable and robust direction, we used a statistical approach know as Max Diff. Max Diff works on a trade-off principle, with respondents asked to nominate factors of most and least importance from a series of 16 individual “choice tasks”. This approach forces a clear prioritisation of needs, allowing decisions to be made in confidence.

The results of the online member survey provided the app development team in Allianz Worldwide Care direction in relation to the app’s evolution. The research indicated that members would be extremely likely to interact with Allianz Worldwide Care through the app, providing it contained their most desired features. In fact, if the application solely focussed on areas such as health management there would be limited uptake and interaction. Features were indentified at this stage of the research which as being paramount to the success of the app and would drive repeat usage by members. Further to this, we were able to segment customers based on their needs identified through the max-diff approach, allowing Allianz Worldwide Care to more effectively appeal to the needs of its members in the future.

In order to further refine and develop the app, the second phase of the research project took the form of in-depth interviews with members from a variety of international geographies including Switzerland, Malawi and Malaysia. Central to this phase was gaining a detailed understanding of how the key needs defined by the online survey should manifest themselves in the app; how each of the key features should work and what aspects were fundamental to the app’s success in terms of interaction and usage. Key findings from the in-depth interviews further validated the online survey results and also unearthed some points to consider which would be a pivotal factor in the app’s uptake and success.

This research allowed Allianz Worldwide Care to direct budgets to the most effective and important features while ensuring not to over complicate or over clutter the overall look and feel of the app. It delivered the knowledge and security of knowing that such investment will translate into a more straightforward Allianz Worldwide Care -Allianz Worldwide Care member relationship, thus engendering loyalty and appreciation from members in the future.
Susan Landers – Head of Marketing and Client Management, Allianz Worldwide Care on the research project undertaken by Allianz Worldwide Care and RED C Research.

“The research project designed and executed by RED C allowed Allianz Worldwide Care to clearly understand how we needed to proceed with our app. The research team delivered clarity to ensure the final version of the app has all the components to drive loyalty and satisfaction amongst our members”