€ 3.5 BN
Founded in 1987, Allianz Private Krankenversicherungs-Aktiengesellschaft is one of the leading private health insurers in Germany. Allianz employs over 500 staff, and with over 2.5 million insured customers is the number one private health insurance for doctors and businesses in Germany.
Improving Allianz customer satisfaction net promoter score (NPS) by offering self-diagnosis and self-training videos for back pain sufferers, ultimately leading to a reduction in productivity loss and employee sick costs.
The incapacity rate for work by employees due to back problems increases year by year.
Back pain is the number one disease in Germany, with studies showing that 20% of the population are suffering from back pain several times a year where even 10% of respondents say they suffer daily. In the working context, the explosive nature of the subject is similar. 30% of all workplace absenteeism is due to back pain related issues. In 90% of cases, the cause of this widespread issue stems from tense muscles and is capable of causing much pain. Doctors refer to these cases as "nonspecific back pain", and often prescribe self-therapy as treatment with emphasis to keep moving at all times.
Allianz short term challenge was to improve it’s customer satisfaction NPS, by creating an online self-diagnosis and self-therapy platform for back pain sufferers in a general context. It envisioned the delivery of such materials through tailor-made video training plans, accessible to individuals from anywhere at anytime. Longer term, Allianz wants to help tackle the issue of absenteeism caused by back pain; with widespread use of the new tool in a work related environment as a solution for companies, its mission is to reduce productivity loss and rising costs of employee sick leave.
Prior to engaging with Hackerbay, Allianz had worked with a well established global software services firm for over a year on the project. However, the partnership has not led to the desired results, and Allianz was left unable to progress with the solution, in need of a new partner, and under massive time pressure for completion.
The data-based development approach was the decisive factor for the cooperation to take place.
Hackerbay takes a data-driven approach to product development. Demonstrating this with our unconventional mechanisms that result in extraordinary and impactful digital outcomes, we were able to showcase our capabilities and unrivalled suitability to the Allianz project.
By taking a look behind the scenes of some best practice services across industries, we were able to explain exactly how we would rise to the challenge. In addition, Hackerbay focuses on projects with short-term timelines and a fixed budget. This made the time-sensitive aspect of the Allianz project a familiar scene - solving challenges under limited conditions is what we do best. Therefore everyone in the team felt comfortable with expectations, and ready to tackle the project.
As with any new customer collaboration, we always start with a blueprint workshop. The aim is to establish what potential strategic impact the project can create, and how the rest of the business will benefit. Following our first meeting with Allianz we were able to clearly define the business case, forecasting high digital revenue streams as a result of product success.
Within a few days we’d assembled a Hackerbay team of 11, who would work together with an interdisciplinary team from Allianz over a 16-week project duration. The first goal was to put the Blueprint concept into practice.
Hackerbay roles included:
To make the right adjustments in advance and ensure a smooth start to the project, we initially devoted ourselves to extensive technological research. By doing so we were able to look behind the scenes of the competition from a technological perspective and discover key learnings. The strict timeline surrounding the project demanded a presentation of a finished Visual Product Architecture, just four weeks after project kick-off, in order to initiate development on time.
As with every project, we repeatedly encountered unexpected hurdles. One of the biggest challenges we faced was having to react quickly to spontaneous direction changes, as a result of stakeholder feedback; twice in the course of the project we were forced to take a whole new direction in terms of further development.
However, together with Allianz, we pragmatically searched for and found workarounds for every barrier we came across as quickly as possible. For example, we needed to develop a user experience that could smoothly handle personal customer data - some of which consisted of highly sensitive health information. Such data had the potential to result in criminal prosecution in the event of misuse and so to be able to use it, it needed to be stored on an Allianz server. In the short time available however, server access could not be obtained. To grant users anytime access from any device we would have to create user accounts - which again due to the strict timeline of the project, was not possible.
The workaround that we ultimately implemented was unique and individual codes for each user, generated upon answering the tool's initial questions. With this code users could then log in at any time and from any device to use the tool.
This is where our greatest strength lies; upon committing ourselves to delivering a certain product at a fixed time within a fixed budget, we work feverently to achieve our set goals. In addition, our strategic document, the 'Blueprint', helped keep doors opened within Allianz. From the Legal department to IT to board level, we have had full buy-ins from stakeholders at all times with maximum productivity, motivation and input from all involved.
Web-based video platform built on React and GraphQL diagnoses back pain and provides tailored self-therapy training
The end solution was a web-based video platform dedicated to self-therapy for back pain. After answering five initial questions, the user is categorised as either a 'red flag' - someone who has chronic back pain and needs help right away - and sent directly to the medical hotline; or as 'unspecific backpain' - after which they can access video-based self therapy training. Videos are selected for each individual user based on their answers from the initial questions, that determine where back pain is located; ie Upper, Lower, Whole back. The user can also then download a customised pdf training plan, tailored to their needs. After ten days, an invite is sent asking for user feedback via the tool, and if necessary, another tailored video batch is offered.
In the early Visual Product Architecture (VPA) phase, we used Sketch and Invision to create and iterate on the design together with input from Allianz. The solution needed to be deployed on Allianz servers, so we worked closely with the internal Allianz IT team to implement different API’s.
As one of the top 1% global experts for GraphQL software solutions we decided to take advantage of React in the frontend with a GraphQL backend, since what we were developing was a web-based solution. A native application that the user would have to download would make no sense, given we would not be permitted to store any user data. In addition, smartphone space is limited when it comes to apps, presenting another potential barrier for users attempting to download an app for such a service.
New tool product launch yields 2% postal and 25% social media conversion rates
The product was launched by sending out a postal mailing via Infopost to 500,000 Allianz customers - a mix of people who did and did not suffer from back pain. From this, over 10,000 unique visitors registered who took advantage of the self-therapy offer. We viewed the 2% conversion rate as a great first success, considering not everyone in the target group were back pain sufferers. In addition, more than 200 people were identified by the tool as red flags, and were forwarded to the medical hotline where they received medical recommendations.
As a result of a post on the Allianz Germany Facebook page, more than 350,000 fans were informed of the tool. From 180,000 impressions, 45,000 unique visitors were recorded, resulting in a conversion rate of 25%; far exceeding expectations.
Short term, one of the most important data points will be the result of the NPS survey which Allianz will complete at the end of the year. Eventually, high end user acceptance of the tool will signal that Allianz customers may be open to a digital offer from their insurance company. This will partly be attributed to changing user behaviour, and the habit of dealing with technical services. It will also be down to the fact that a well-known user pain point, ie back pain, can be addressed and answered with a suitable product. With the launch of the online platform, we have mastered the first step; now it's on to the next phase.
After the proven success of the short term goal we will continue our development partnership with Allianz. Longer term, Allianz aims offer this tool to businesses. As whitelabel solution that can be integrated into the intranet of any company, it has the potential to reduce the inability to work through the provisioning of correct cause diagnosis. Strongly customer-oriented user procedures and design will play a huge part, with optimal usability as an end goal.
The absolute focus that we created through our methodologies not only made the project a success, but also contributed to overall digital transformation for Allianz. Agile ways of working and thinking were until then little practiced, viewed as incomprehensible methods with minimal appeal. By implementing software projects in an unconventional way, Hackerbay was able to make a major contribution to breaking up outdated structures and breathing new life into Allianz as an organisation.Next Case Study: Hugo Boss >