Pete Smyth, Vice President at Ebix Europe, explains why market-wide best practice will make or break the next phase of adoption

In order to ensure best practice is maintained in the vital London market electronic placement process, it is essential that input mistakes and lack of confidence among users are addressed and ironed out. There is strong demand for alternative solutions that provide tangible value-add. Clearly a dramatic improvement in both the technology and training on offer is required. 

There is a revolution underway in the London market electronic placement environment, with new and improved solutions boasting sophisticated features and innovative applications that are significantly accelerating our industry’s digital transformation. 

However, these electronic placement platforms are only as effective as their user base – and for such a vital market function, it is critical that users know exactly how to harness electronic placement to its full potential. The same revolution that is accelerating the technology side must be applied to effectively train the market as well. 

And there is no room for cutting corners here – quite simply asking users to watch a video, or take part in impersonal remote group training in large groups is not good enough. This is how mistakes will creep in, confidence in systems will be lost, and sentiment towards electronic placement and the wider digitalisation journey is eroded. 

So how can we address this? The answer is elegant: a market-leading electronic placement platform must be coupled with market-leading training. This means allowing as much interaction as possible during sessions to foster true knowledge transfer and expertise. The methods can vary but the focus is the same – for instance online training can be augmented with polls and open Q&As resulting in fully immersive classroom sessions where users can explore the platform for themselves.

Using realistic examples during training sessions is critical – tailored to the specific delegates in the training room. It’s no use showing a property underwriter how to place a bloodstock slip. Just like the global specialty re/insurance market’s approach to risk, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to training. 

Tailoring a session to meet the trainees’ needs and refer it back to what they are doing makes it far more likely that they will understand, retain and build on what they’ve been shown. Having a good idea of a trainee’s knowledge and experience level as well as their job role and therefore what they need from the training seems obvious, but all too often it is missed. 

At the same time, training sessions must not be too long and overwhelming, and include appropriate time and opportunity for questions and interaction. This means training that is just presented through videos rather than tailored e-learning is quite simply a missed opportunity to embed best practice. Nobody really wants to be taught for hours on end by a long-winded and robotic e-learning video. It’s just not enjoyable for trainees. 

Similarly the feedback loop with users is important – we have found valuable feedback from platform users during our training sessions which help steer our next set of platform upgrades, to make user experience as seamless as possible.

Therefore we see inviting feedback from clients after training sessions or e-learning experiences vital to practicing continuous improvement in training. It is also critical to give delegates fully interactive training opportunities – for example, face-to-face sessions with the ability to click around the platform itself, accompanied by comprehensive, easily accessible and regularly updated interactive user guides.

Finally, having a fully experienced training team that is adaptable and keeps up-to-date with training trends again seems like it should be obvious but is far too often lacking in reality. If the platform boasts the most sophisticated electronic placement innovations in the world, then the trainers should be the most experienced in the world. 

Ultimately it is this personal approach and feedback loop that will ensure the right knowledge and experience is gained from training to implement best practice across the market when it comes to electronic placement. And we strongly believe that it is this market-wide best practice that will make or break the next phase of adoption.

This article was first published in Insurance Day and is shared here with kind permission and thanks. The original article can be accessed here (subscription)