Conquering a document mountain


We used a service design approach to solve Zurich’s printed document issues and created an innovative solution that is delighting its users.

The challenge: managing a document library

Zurich was suffering from the cost of creating and maintaining a mountain of printed marketing and pre-sales documents.

What's more, this ongoing investment wasn't very effective. People struggled to find the right documents and those they could find were often out of date, usually overwhelming and generally unhelpful.

Zurich's paper document mountain was hard to use, and expensive to maintain

We could have just redesigned the documents and given them some ‘polish’. Instead, we took a rapid service design approach and created a solution that addressed the underlying issues.

How did we do?

Net Promoter Score - 23.8 (Good)

The journey

To design a workable solution we needed to unpack the issue fully. We spent three weeks speaking with people in every department of Zurich that played a role in producing and using print documents and PDFs.

By the end of this intense period we knew the core problems, but still needed to find the best way to solve them. We planned an ‘Alpha’ phase, to quickly develop and test a range of prototypes.

Our goal was to identify a candidate that could be developed into a working Beta service.

We ran number of small experiments, then focused on developing the best idea.

A promising solution emerged from our early experiments – a tool allowing Zurich staff to mix and match topics and co-create personalised documents with intermediaries.

By the end of the three-week Alpha phase we had a working proof of concept that we'd validated with users. We’d also created an appetite for this innovation around Zurich.

Two short months later Zurich staff were using a ‘Beta’ version of the new tool with intermediaries and enjoying the benefits.

How? We prioritised the highest value user needs and shifted gears into production mode. In just 6 weeks our agile team designed, built and released the first Beta version – a lean and impactful slice of software.

The solution

The Zurich Document Creator (known as ZDocs) allows Zurich staff to:

  • Pick topics and combine them into a custom document for an intermediary.
  • Personalise it with the recipient’s name and remove pages that aren’t relevant.
  • Present the document on an iPad, print it out or email it.

This is changing the behaviour of Zurich staff. Instead of carrying around piles of documents they just need a tablet. And they can put together more effective documents on the fly with their clients.

  • A refreshing way to present the Zurich proposition and look slick with our IFA partners…. It is a leap forward for the sales team.
  • It makes life a lot easier with documents in one place - makes you look more professional - you can organise a presentation so quickly which makes a big difference.

Those clients recieve a concise, personalised document that is easier to engage with and refer back to when needed.

For Zurich this represents a transition from expensive, slow-moving printed documents and PDFs to digital dynamic ones.

Documents are now easier to create, quicker to approve, more efficient to maintain. New operational efficiencies are being delivered as the tool and its related processes roll out across the organisation.

What next?

The second version of ZDocs Beta has just been released. And having stimulated demand, the Zurich team are continuing to migrate their documentation to this new digital channel.

Meanwhile we're listening closely to user feedback and analysing the data that's coming back, to inform future releases.

Working with cxpartners has helped us share the importance of putting the customer’s needs first, across our business. Their passion and skill in this area is evident in the tool we’ve built together.
Rob Brewer, Zurich Service Design team
Mark Hicks

Find out more

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Or read more about how we help our clients innovate successfully in the financial services sector.