A Digital-First Mindset Positioned Liberty Mutual as an Industry Leader for Customer Experience

To meet high consumer expectations, businesses know that a great digital experience is essential to their success. Salesforce research shows that 57% of shoppers stopped buying from a business because its competitor had a better digital experience.

To stay competitive in a digital-first world, more businesses are prioritizing digital optimization, but knowing where to start isn’t easy. As a member of Facebook’s customer growth consulting team, I’ve guided countless businesses towards achieving digital success. I’ve seen the best digital transitions come from businesses that holistically embraced digitally centric mindsets.

In 2019, insurer Liberty Mutual was preparing to enhance its digital presence and kicked off this journey with the consumer growth team. And after one year, Liberty Mutual emerged as an industry leader with multiple awards from J.D. Power. I sat down with Jenna Lebel, CMO at Liberty Mutual, to hear firsthand about how businesses can stay competitive by adopting a digital-first mindset.

Brandon Guishard: Liberty Mutual is considered a best-in-class global insurer. What inspired you to bring the company into a digitally centric mindset?

Jenna Lebel: The reality is that consumers’ expectations aren’t just driven by the insurance industry, but also by out-of-category companies, like ecommerce. A few years ago, we weren’t operating like a digital-first company and saw a huge opportunity before us.

As we started designing digital experiences that delivered real value to our customers and received real-time feedback, we’ve been able to continuously optimize. I call this our “multi-year digital transformation journey,” because we’re not done.

What challenges were you hoping a digitally centric approach would solve for?

Let’s rewind a few years. Our mobile traffic increased from 50% to 70%, and our conversion numbers were below where we needed them to be. We needed to pivot to a digital mindset and ensure that the most impactful work was being prioritized. Since insurance shopping can be complex, our partnership with Facebook helped reinforce our transition to digital. 

We made multiple enhancements, such as developing a team that covers customer journeys, identifies customer touchpoints and solves pain points. Having this oversight was incredibly helpful because it makes us laser-focused on solving customer friction.

How did you support your team during Liberty Mutual’s digital transformation?

Any time you’re making a change in a large company, you have to enroll people in the process and bring them along for the journey. You can’t just say you’re going to become digital-first and let it be.

At this point, the question is no longer, ‘Should a company invest in digital?’ but ‘How quickly can we invest, and at what scale?’

Jenna Lebel, Liberty Mutual

When digital is done well, it’s not just great for your customer, it’s also great for your business. By speaking each team’s language, whether it’s about decreasing call deflection or improving operating costs, we were able to bring folks along for the ride.

What KPIs did you look at to make sure everyone was trending in the right direction?

Our teams have shared goals that keep multiple teams accountable and working towards the same objective. This removes subjectivity and empowers our teams to better collaborate. For instance, one KPI we look at is how quickly do we connect the consumer with the information they need. We know there is a benefit to the customer and to us if we can deflect calls coming in and service customers through digital a lot faster instead.

In J.D. Power’s U.S. 2019 Insurance Digital Experience Study, we were ranked eighth among our key competitors in overall satisfaction. But after making major improvements to our digital experience and team goals, we rose to first place in 2020 among national carriers. Jumping that much in a year is a testament to the work that we’ve been doing together.

Given Liberty Mutual’s digital success, what advice do you have for organizations that are hesitant about investing in digital optimization?

At this point, the question is no longer, “Should a company invest in digital?” but “How quickly can we invest, and at what scale?” Today, there’s too much downside to not being digitally focused. Without it, companies are at a serious disadvantage and may become overtaken by competitors.

We’re such a data-driven company. We win with data by making informed decisions based on it. It’s the perfect example of something we can continuously keep a pulse on and use to our competitive advantage.

Partnering with Liberty Mutual and seeing the holistic impact of a digitally centric organization has been inspiring. While adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape is challenging, Liberty Mutual shows us that cultivating a digital-first organization can help businesses rise above the competition. Moving forward, think about the steps you can take to accelerate your business’ digital transformation.