Redesigning the pension journey for AXA

How our co-creation program with bank and insurance provider AXA helped improve the pension sales process for brokers and redesign the customer journey.


How can AXA better support
the pension journey?

In a highly competitive market that’s saturated with pension products, it’s sometimes difficult for providers to find a way to differentiate themselves. One of the best approaches is to consider how you can better support your customers in their journey of considering and acquiring pension products.

After asking themselves this question, the team at AXA, one of Europe’s largest insurance organizations, reached out to Board of Innovation for help redesigning the pension journey for their customers, independents, key partners, and brokers. And at the same time, they wanted assistance building capabilities in designing customer journeys within AXA.


Co-creation sessions with
independents and brokers.

In order to better understand the current pension journey that independents and brokers go through, we invited independents and brokers for generative sessions. A generative session allows us to tap into the brains of multiple participants at the same time. There’s also the added benefit that the conversation and discussion amongst the participants produces valuable input. All in all, we ran 4 sessions with starters & 4 sessions with brokers. Through this exercise, we created personas and synthesized different customer journeys for our various personas. By better understanding the emotional experience of the pension journey, we were able to map out where the lows and the highs were, and through that, design a pension journey for a memorable experience.

Various areas for opportunities were mapped out across the customer journey. Our guideline was to start with small things that could have the biggest impact. With this in mind, the team decided to move forward with the following 2 opportunity areas:

(1) Independents: How might we help independents better understand pensions by themselves & remain trustworthy? 

(2) Brokers: How might we simplify and digitalize the process of making the contract?

To involve the customers, we went beyond the empathy phase and saw them as equals during the ideation phase. Based on this motto, we invited independents and brokers to join co-creation sessions, where they generated various concepts to tackle the 2 How Might We challenges.

Those sessions shifted the perception the participants had of AXA: they were surprised by the level of involvement welcomed by AXA. Moreover, the co-creation sessions gave the team fresh outside-in perspectives, while some of our initial assumptions were challenged. The ideas coming from the co-creation sessions were then fed into the ideation sessions with the team.

Throughout this journey, we also involved core AXA team members to co-design and facilitate generative and co-creation sessions together with us. We did this because the second aim of the project was to build internal capabilities within AXA to enable them to run these projects without Board of Innovation’s assistance in the future. 


Exploring and mapping the customer journey from purchase to onboarding.

For the independents, the co-creation session led to the AXA team creating a tool that helps them during the discovery and exploration phase of their purchases decision. This tool focuses on simplicity as the biggest struggle for independents was understanding these products. A rough prototype that was tested with a few clients received very positive feedback.

For brokers, the co-creation session led to a tool that assisted with the onboarding of new clients. The brokers struggled with the overview of the onboarding process as there was little overview and multiple stakeholders. The tool makes the process more transparent and puts important stakeholders in contact with each other directly.

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