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CASE STUDY | 12 minute read

A Personalized Customer Experience for Merkur

Merkur Versicherung AG has utilized Liferay to successfully implement a number of solutions, such as websites, customer, and broker portals.
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+300.000
Users
 20,000
Customer portal users per year
Outline
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Key Takeways

  • Make customer experience improvement systematic. 
    Set up a consistent customer experience in a manageable, step-by-step way with intranet, self-service portals, and websites guided by a clear vision and strategy.
  • Provide customers with a “mobile first” website and self-service portal.
    Merkur's website is easy to navigate with a smartphone and provides access to a customer portal. Anywhere, anytime, on any device, customers can use it to view their policies, submit bills, and sign up for add-on benefits.
  • Deliver relevant information and content for every target group.
    With Liferay, Merkur content is displayed according to individual needs and roles, making it an essential tool for supporting the work of employees, brokers, and cooperation partners.
  • Flexible document management reduces the need for maintenance. 
    Documents are stored in a central location where they can be easily updated and distributed across profiles. This simplifies system maintenance. 

Background

With its corporate headquarters in Graz, Merkur Versicherung AG is Austria's oldest insurance company, and insures its customers' lives, health, and assets. 

Today, Merkur's main area of expertise is healthcare. As a personal insurance provider, Merkur has made customers and their needs its main priority. 

As well as the Merkur campus in Graz and five regional administrative offices, every federal state has several branch offices that altogether employ approximately 1,000 people. Merkur is also represented by subsidiaries in South Tyrol and in Southeast European countries such as Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia.
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Challenges

At the beginning of the project, Merkur was faced with a number of challenges to overcome to achieve an overarching goal: providing customers, employees, external brokers, and partners with a forward-looking digital offering that would enable a seamless customer experience and optimally support business processes: 
  1. Facilitating internal company communication. The goal was quicker access to contacts, presenting social activities within the company more conveniently, and publicizing marketing campaigns.
  2. Setting up a customer portal. Merkur needed a unifed solution that would be able to provide information about their preventive screening programs as well as the option of signing up for these programs. 
  3. Future-proof websites for Merkur and its subsidiary companies in Austria. The company wanted state-of-the-art and appealing websites that could be continuously improved.
  4. Providing personalized and themed rules and regulations as well as updating, expanding and linking them on an ongoing basis.
With Liferay, we can  connect different systems and applications in the best possible way. This means we were able to take the first essential steps toward digitization and, going forward, continue to develop our understanding of quality for both customers and employees.
Jasmin Pluch
Head of Marketing, merkur versicherung aG

Implementation

When Merkur's corporate management decided to implement a new intranet within the company around seven years ago, they also intended this move to be the springboard for a great number of extensive changes to the company's digital landscape. 

One of Merkur's most important goals with the intranet was to merge and standardize the information and communication with customers, partners, and employees, all on one platform. As a capable system and versatile solution that met their requirements, Liferay was able to win over Merkur in a multi-step selection process.

Six years ago, the intranet was at the top of their list of digital projects. It was the first one to be implemented. This was followed four years later by the customer portal, and then the sales portal. 
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They now use a cross-portal single-sign-on system. Access is managed via authorization groups that are dynamically fed from the employee database. The portals follow the rules for material design and the concept of "mobile first" was kept in mind throughout the design process. Thanks to responsive design, they are quick and easy to navigate across all devices, and of course, on an employee's desktop computer as well.

At the start of the implementation, various legacy systems were integrated into Liferay some of which are still in operation (POS system, central partner management system). Even now, more systems are being developed in-house and then seamlessly integrated into Liferay.

When it came to document management, it was a major priority for Merkur that documents could be updated as easily as possible. To achieve this goal, documents were stored on a separate shared space. They can be updated and distributed to the various portals from this central location. This also simplifies system maintenance. 

Dynamic and manually-configurable asset publishers also mean that content can easily and conveniently be compiled and arranged on pages. 
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Results

With Liferay, Merkur was able to implement the company website, its subsidiaries' websites, the intranet, the customer, sales and broker portals, as well as a portal for cooperation partners. This helped the company achieve the following results:
  1. Empower customers with self-service. Now on the customer portal, customers can view their contracts, submit bills, and sign up for prevention programs via the customer portal.
  2. Build a state-of-the-art “mobile first” website that conveys general information on Merkur products and self-services with a new look and feel, but that also refers customers to contacts for a personal consultation.
  3. Display personalized and role-based information and content. With Liferay, it's possible to provide highly detailed content for different target groups via various channels. These large quantities of information are essential for employees, brokers, and cooperation partners to be able to carry out their work correctly.
  4. Manage documents with great flexibility. The implemented system means individual content and files can be moved and renamed at the backend without losing the links already established.
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When it comes to its digital transformation, Merkur Versicherung AG can boast remarkable results. In future digital projects as well, the insurer, together with Liferay, wants to offer partner solutions that are just as reliable and flexible, geared toward the customer's individual requirements, while offering a user-friendly self-service. The next specific milestone on Merkur's roadmap is upgrading the systems to Liferay DXP 7.3.