LocalTapiola and Solita have designed the PetHelp service concept that allows owners to get help for an ill pet right away. The service was developed together with pet owners and it has quickly become highly popular.
Owners are taking out pet insurance more than ever. The pet insurance market has heated up as new service providers have entered the competition.
LocalTapiola General Mutual Insurance Company looks to build services that meet the changing needs and wishes of customers. In early 2019, LocalTapiola began to survey the concerns and needs of pet insurance customers in particular, as well as whether they felt their pet insurance's cover was good enough.
Customers reported their major concerns being pet health, increasing vet costs and the availability of health services. In addition, customers strongly felt that a high excess for vet expenses was problematic.
The LocalTapiola HealthHelp service offered to medical expense insurance customers had previously yielded positive results. HealthHelp is a mobile application that provides help quickly and easily in health-related matters and can direct customers to the correct professional, if necessary.
Together with LocalTapiola, we started to investigate how an equivalent virtual service could work for pet owners. Solia service designers helped determine the customer values for the new solution and create the customer story.
Designing the service together with customers – pet owners – crystallised its essential value propositions and prioritised what was essential for the concept to solve customer problems.
A service pilot was launched based on the joint design with real customers of regional LocalTapiola offices to obtain data of the customer experience in addition to the qualitative vision. Experiences from the pilot enabled the user experience to be streamlined, making ease of use a value proposition for the whole service.
Customer insight and joint planning methods:
The pilot was a success by all metrics. In the first stage, two cases out of three could be handled remotely without a vet visit.
Customers adopted the service immediately: when a pet becomes ill and worries mount, PetHelp is an easy source of assistance. The pilot showed that the service could be implemented with confidence for all of the LocalTapiola group, and this was done in September last year.
The service was called LemmikkiHelppi (PetHelp) and given the slogan "tassun kosketuksella eläinlääkärille" (your vet within paw's reach).
By using PetHelp, pet owners can easily discuss pet health problems with a vet using text chat, images or a video call.
Remote care is excess-free for the customer – they spend none of their own money and can skip filling in insurance claim forms.
Within a short period, PetHelp has become one of the most recommended services of LocalTapiola. Its Net Promoter Score NPS has risen to an incredible 90 and beyond with an average grade of 9.6 out of 10 (scale 4–10).
Customer feedback highlights the service's ease of use, speed, friendliness and the peace of mind it provides about pet health problems.
Customers have also given the PetHelp app five stars in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play service.
The PetHelp app has been downloaded by over 21,000 LocalTapiola pet insurance customers. The service has been used thousands of times between September and January.
Over 70 per cent of diagnoses that would have previously required a vet visit have been handled remotely with PetHelp.
PetHelp can reduce stress for both owners and pets: help is available sooner and the service may help solve the problem, meaning that an ill pet may not need to be taken to a clinic, which may sometimes be a long way away. Less driving also means a smaller carbon footprint.
The artificial intelligence connected to the service has allowed LocalTapiola to enhance its internal processes, and in future, it can provide proactive health advice to support both vets and customers in PetHelp.
The service elements for the service's future story will be designed sometime in 2020 using the proven methods.
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