How do you enable better sales conversations? Co-design your product with users


Zurich’s brand vision is to put customers at the heart of their business. However, they recognised that their service design was less than customer-focused in some key areas. cxpartners stepped in to unravel this knotty service design issue, and to create a simple new process that helped key sales conversations flow more freely.

Redesigning a sales toolkit for a smoother customer journey

The challenge we were trying to solve was to create a better conversation, either between us and the adviser or between the adviser and the end customer. Before cxpartners came on board we were using 732 printed documents!
Richard Pash, Marketing Director

Zurich is an intermediated business, focusing on brokers and advisers. Its problem lay in the tools supplied to their Business Account Managers (BAMs). The BAMs are sales teams that sell Zurich’s products to financial advisers, who in turn sell the products to consumers. They were supplied with ‘kit bags’ containing piles of printed literature that detailed the features and options of a large range of different products, and a laptop which they used depending on the customer’s need.

Like many large, complex businesses, Zurich had a problem with its printed sales literature. It was often out of date, overwhelming and generally unhelpful. It felt cumbersome and disruptive to the discussion between the adviser and the BAM. Conversations quickly became complex and unfocused, making it hard to find the right product for the customer, or close the sale.

Richard Pash recognised that the challenge went much deeper than just digitalising a raft of printed documents. It was about building experiences and journeys that were properly customer focused.

Zurich's paper document mountain was hard to use, and expensive to maintain

We could have just redesigned the documents and given them some ‘polish’. Instead, we took a rapid service design approach and created a solution that addressed the underlying issues.

The art of simplicity

cxpartners set about creating a solution that addressed the underlying issue: customers weren’t at the heart of the way in which information was presented to them.

The team sought to identify the true needs and core problems, so began by speaking with people in every department of Zurich that played a role in producing and using these print documents and PDFs.

We’re selling complicated products, that are essentially trying to protect people’s lives. How do you present something very complicated in a very simple and straightforward way? That was the challenge.
Richard Pash

It was important to Pash that Zurich stood out against the competition.

Why choose Zurich? Why come to us? The importance of simplicity in having that conversation is crucial.

Living up to the brand promise as a truly customer-focused business was key.

So the team began to experiment with different solutions, creating quick mock-ups and testing them in sales scenarios. The solution that emerged was a digital tool that assisted a focused discussion with the customer. Known as ZDocs, this new document creator allowed Zurich staff to mix and match topics and products, co-creating personalised documents with intermediaries.

The system needed to feel personal and approachable - so tablets replaced laptops, allowing salespeople and one or more consumers to discuss and share the system easily around a kitchen table.

And the focus on facilitating the conversation between consumer and salesperson was where the real magic happened - it became the guiding principle that helped the team focus every design decision on keeping things simple. The technology melts into the background.

A good conversation is a very focused one, so ZDocs allows you to draw the most salient information from a very large library of material, and it allows you to do it in a simple, intuitive way. You end up with something that is a professional-looking presentation, focused on the outcome that you’re trying to get to, and equally it’s easy for them to use.

We ran number of small experiments, then focused on developing the best idea.

Getting the tool to market…fast

By the end of the three-week Alpha phase, we had a working proof of concept that we’d validated with users. We’d also created an appetite for this innovation around Zurich.

Two short months later Zurich staff were using a Beta version of ZDocs with intermediaries and really seeing the benefits.

Pash notes, Since it was first rolled out it’s been developed even further which is a testament to the fact that people want to use it. Also, other areas of the business have seen it and said ‘oh, I want one of them for my area’. It’s driving a change of behaviour.

Not only has the tool acted as an effective solution to the problem but there’s a shift in behaviour to a more environmental approach for one, but also to a better way of working, a more professional way of working.

People like and want to use the tool. The second version of ZDocs Beta has just been released. And having stimulated demand, the Zurich team are continuing to migrate their documentation to this new digital channel.

Zurich has reduced reliance on printed documents, thus saving considerable costs.

How did the project move so fast? We prioritised the highest value user needs and shifted gears into production mode. In just 6 weeks our agile team designed, built and released the first Beta version – a lean and impactful slice of software.

And now?

The process had to work in a couple of ways – you had to get to the right answer but also you had to take a big group of people with you and make them want to see the answer as something that they want to use, rather than us standing up and doing a big reveal at the end. The collaboration we had with cxpartners helped solve both those problems, says Pash.

ZDocs has transformed the way BAMs are having conversations, enabling them to create a more focused and personalised solution in a slick and individualised way.

Pash states: In this wonderful new digital world we live in we’ve been turning all that on its head. Working with cxpartners and building ZDocs has been an important part of that journey.

Establishing ZDocs has given us the ability to support a much bigger piece of innovation. It’s helping us to think about what we want to get out of service design.

For me, cxpartners are a business that helps to deliver real change. That’s the important piece for me - making practical and actual changes that customers see and appreciate.

Key points

  • Design things out, don’t design things in. Less is more.
  • Co-creation leads to products that do exactly what’s needed
  • You can’t force change on people, but making something simple and tangible together is a great way of instigating culture change in a company.
Stu Charlton

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