2015 Asia-Pacific Gold Winner - MetLife Asia Ltd

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Company: MetLife Asia Ltd., Hong Kong
Category:  Mobile or Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Entry Title: MetLife China: Delivering Easy-To-Use and Tailored Mobile-Based Services for Enhanced Customer Relationship Management in China

Situation Analysis

Since entering the China market in 2004, MetLife’s customer base has increased an average of 20% annually, from 618,000 policyholders in 2013 to 670,000 in 2014 alone.

With an increase in demand on its customer service offerings and awareness of China’s 600 million social networking users, MetLife recognized an opportunity to focus its marketing efforts on enhancing its customer experience through mobile-based customer relationship management (CRM). To do so, MetLife decided to provide WeChat-based mobile services to meet the needs of existing policyholders and potential customers.


The marketing program was designed to deliver easy-to-use and tailored mobile-based services for enhanced MetLife CRM in China. The objectives were to:
+ Provide mobile self-services for policyholders anywhere, anytime
+ Enable greater efficiency in one-on-one engagement with policyholders and potential customers
+ Raise awareness of MetLife insurance offerings in the China market


To develop a credible, high-impact and sustained marketing program based on the following:

+ Establish a WeChat presence that meets policyholder needs in China
+ Reduce or eliminate the need for users to download programs, “how-to” manuals or update any MetLife apps
+ Develop compelling and engaging promotional content on offerings to existing and potential customers

Execution and Tactics

Key program highlights and milestones:

+ Launching WeChat platform: MetLife established a presence on the micro messaging app in September 2013 to reach the 400 million user-base in China and provide customers with a simple and easy-to-use mobile app interface.

+ Building a customer “following”: Starting in January 2014, MetLife invited 200,000 customers to follow MetLife China on WeChat via direct SMS.

+ The MetLife platform adopted the following key features:
o Promoting the use of QR codes: All external communications channels/methods (i.e. billing notices, policy change application forms, MetLife China website) feature the WeChat QR code for easy access to the MetLife platform.
o Delivering immediate support to customers 24/7: The customer service team respond to customers on a one-to- one basis in real time via chat or voice messages. Customers now have immediate access to policy information, including policy products, sum assured, effective date, premium paid-to-date, agent information, and renewal premium in arrears.
o Driving and participating in the dialogue: MetLife provides updates and facilitates discussions on new service features, new and existing products, recruitment activities, as well as national and local events. For example, the digital marketing team began to sell short-term fragmented insurance products via WeChat in August 2014.
o Leveraging WeChat Pay: To quickly and easily settle outstanding arrears (up to USD1,600), policyholders can use the WeChat Pay function.

Evaluation of Success

+ Achieved wide customer adoption: The campaign quickly established MetLife as a leader in mobile-based services in China with 77,300 customers actively using MetLife’s WeChat services, amounting to 11% of the total customer base. = One month after its launch, over 750 policyholders paid their renewal premiums using the WeChat mobile service, totaling more than USD136,000. From January-August 2014, 163,000 transactions were processed for 60,000 policyholders. From late June-December 2014, 3,867 bills were paid via WeChat.

+ Provided easy and efficient customer self-service: An average of 1,450 customers use the personal information update feature each month, leading to a 22% drop in call center update requests.

+ Reduced cost of door-to-door services: Reduced need for door-to-door service by agents and POS machine payments, saving more than USD32,000 in courier service costs in FY2014.

+ Boosted product sales: The mobile-based services have built customer loyalty and increased referrals, contributing to the 26% of all policies sold via digital channels in FY2014.

+ Planned regional expansion: Due to its success in China, the mobile-based services format will be localized and rolled out across key markets regionally from 2015, enabling customers around the world to enjoy the flexibility and convenience that MetLife provides.