Customer Centricity: The Next Revolution in the Insurance Industry
In order to provide value-added insurance services to customers, brokers, insurance agencies, companies, and InsurTech companies are coming together to transform the industry into a widely-connected digital ecosystem. In the last decade, the insurance industry has adopted technology on a large scale, and technology has been developing rapidly. Today, robots can perform repetitive tasks included in different insurance processes.
InsurTech companies have paved the way for insurers toward greater efficiency by developing powerful software that handle multiple operational issues and provide adequate digital experiences. Insights into social media data in bulk help insurers with risk assessment, fraud detection while allowing them to work on improving the current and creating new customer experiences.
A connected atmosphere in the industry is the future of insurance, a digital landscape for everyone from insurance startups to giant insurance and tech companies. Platform providers are dominating the ecosystems, and now they have started defining what insurers need to compete in today’s highly competitive market.
Focusing on three crucial components of customer satisfaction
- Speed: Customers expect their concerns to be resolved within hours, not days.
- Quality: Insurance services and interactions with customers include 70-80% accuracy, whereas customers expect more than 95%.
- Transparency: Customers are usually desperate to know where their application/claim is reached in the processes and want to be updated about the same.
All three components are complementary to each other; fulfilling these realistic expectations builds the foundation for excellent customer satisfaction.
Check out how emerging technology trends are empowering new consumption models leading to a new race to customer-centricity:
- Digital Evolution
Both niche and emerging technologies have changed the way insurers engage with consumers. Undoubtedly, the biggest reason behind taking a digital approach is to enhance customer service and experience, which drives new business by attracting buyers and boosting sales in the long run. Customer-centric companies are using digital channels for improving and managing customer-business interactions and relationships; for example, making the painful renewal process easier, helping them in making premium payments, and sharing important news and updates.
Digital platforms enable companies to get feedback from customers; further, they identify multiple patterns and segments using analytical tools. This helps them take appropriate actions to walk the extra mile in improving CX.
If the industry is planning to attract millennials and people belonging to Gen X, it is the right time to move to mobile applications. Yes, they are likely to use their smartphone to search for a policy instead of a computer. Not only will they choose a channel according to their convenience but also be open to tell which channels they prefer to use at different times.
Insurers will miss out on many opportunities if they ignore the value of social media platforms. Many insurers are using these platforms as a marketing tool and invest a substantial amount of money in advertising through these powerful channels that can influence today’s digitally-savvy consumers.
- Cloud Computing
Insurers need to address the biggest obstacle on their way toward this decade – legacy systems. According to McKinsey, 9 out of 10 insurers found legacy software and infrastructure as barriers to digitization.
But many insurers have realized the need for flexible systems; today, they consider cloud technology as an excellent tool to transform their agency or company into a digital one.
Shifting from traditionally used systems to cloud-based technologies to enhance computing capabilities is reducing insurers’ stress and workload and allowing them more time and energy to focus on utilizing increased flexibility in improving customer service.
The cloud empowers insurance companies and agencies to be flexible, fast, and pretty much dynamic, helping them to meet customer demands quickly, giving them the ability to practice new methods at lower costs and risks. One of the most significant advantages of moving to the cloud is that insurance agency management becomes easier.
By integrating cloud-based applications with, customer databases, mobile apps, and analytical tools, insurers can have a 360° view of their customers. Utilizing tools like big data analytics, insurance companies can get valuable insights into customer expectation, demand, and behavioral patterns. All of these can help them refine the way they deliver their products and services, leading to higher customer satisfaction and experience.
- Multi-channel Customer Experience
With technology being developed rapidly and available easily and widely, today’s consumer demands have grown to a great extent. Consumers these days believe that their needs (regardless of what it is) should be satisfied quickly. Around 60% of consumers around the world expect a response from customer support within an hour, not only on weekdays but during the weekends also. This compelled insurers to remain available on-demand, if not 24×7. As a result, many insurance companies are using chatbots as they can respond to customers’ basic queries.
Some chatbots also offer notification features too; for example, if the customer on the other side raises a query that really needs to be addressed on a priority basis, then the bot may send a notification to a human customer support executive to join the conversation and respond according to the query.
Presently, everything needs to be done in real-time; consequently, the insurers that can successfully provide personalization, availability, and quick response to customers are likely to lead the game in the longer run.
Adding to that, consumers today are not using only one channel. They might give a physical visit to an insurer while looking for insurance policies or browse through websites, mobile apps; they can even ask questions using email or social media websites, whichever they find convenient. Using a single communication system and connecting all these channels can help insurers better business-customer interactions.
Personalized customer experiences
When customers contact their insurance provider, they expect to be valued; they want the insurer to know their interaction & purchase history and preferences.
According to Accenture, 75% of customers said they are more likely to purchase from a company that:
Knows their name and recognizes them without asking for information
Knows what they have purchased in past
Recommends products and services as per the purchase history
The best thing about today’s customers is that they are happy if insurers are using their data to enhance their experience. But, to bring the best out of this opportunity, insurers need to invest in a CRM system because without it, it would be tough to make the customer feel valued. Moreover, not storing customer interaction data makes it impossible to deliver an excellent experience.
On the other hand, using a CRM system allows insurers to analyze customer data and make appropriate use of it. For instance, they can study which customers are asking for which products over a specific period, and if their queries are resolved or not, what the response time was, customer feedback, etc. Insurers can use this data to improve products, to give special attention to customers that need it, frame targeted messages and create highly-personalized policies, to meet customers’ individual requirements, providing a personalized overall experience.
In 2020, we anticipate that insurers will focus on three things to better the customer experience:
1. Sustainability will be a super priority
Insurers are likely to focus more on sustainability by putting great efforts on;
Recruitment & training
Employee well-being & retention
Diversity in policies
Ethical business practices
2. Connected products
Insurers are already investing in new home and health insurance products that increase the safety of customers and prevent chronic conditions.
3. Claims processing
People usually don’t feel confident about their insurers, and they don’t expect to get fair compensation timely. Due to this mindset, many people don’t even purchase a policy. Keeping this in consideration, insurers will invest in technologies to deliver accurate and adequate compensation to the claimant on time.
Today’s insurers really need to transform their companies into digitally-driven businesses if they haven’t yet. By doing this, they can engage modern consumers, sell insurance products to them through multiple channels, and deliver the experience they expect. However, it might turn out to be a big deal for you, mainly if you have always been relying upon legacy systems and processes. Therefore, instead of investing in outdated technology, consider cloud solutions.
Cloud technology gives you the power to meet customers’ demands efficiently in less time. Besides, cloud computing applications are provided on a software distribution model called SaaS – software as a service. It costs you less, and you don’t need to purchase new versions of the software as cloud-based software get automatically updated whenever required.
Customers come to you to get a personalized experience. You might already be using CRM software; use the data stored in it and evaluate your customers have been expecting from you, what have they purchased, and figure out what products can attract them, and give them just what they want.
For customers, social media sites are no different than your customer support channels when it comes to interaction. They might complain about claims using Facebook or chat with you over email. But, as you need to get all of this organized, you need to adopt a system where you can keep an eye on all touch points your company offers to customers, and manage them all to provide uninterrupted customer service and unmatched customer experience.
Author Bio: Mika Edword work as insurance industry expert at Cogneesol Inc. She writes about the insurance industry, trends, and technology. She has helped numerous insurance agencies with efficient policy management and in devising strategies for business growth and profitability through her blogs and other writing materials.