3 Steps to Delivering a Customer-Centric Insurance Experience
Insurtech is revolutionizing the way people access insurance and how insurers reach potential customers. But how does that translate to more sales, increased retention rates and an improved customer experience?
Technology that embraces data is the linchpin for success in a world where consumers demand you know them, and provide relevant information seamlessly via their channel of choice, while considering their specific circumstances or preferences.
Established insurance firms, saddled with complex and inflexible legacy systems across multiple product lines, often find themselves feeling less agile in their ability to respond to rising consumer demands. This creates opportunity for nimble challenger brands with a technology-first philosophy to attract customers with bespoke solutions and niche products.
So, what steps can you take to protect your firm against this threat, or better yet, take advantage of the opportunity?
Delivering a Customer-centric Experience
Craft your vision – A customer-centric vision is essential to attract and retain business. Offering ‘intuitive’ services can deliver greater customer value and enhance loyalty, while lowering costs and increasing profitability. It’s the leap you’ll need to make to get ahead of less agile players. Traditional insurers need to reassess their conventional attitude towards data-driven digital technologies, and modernize their processes and the relevance of their customer offer. It’s conceivable that the next generation data-driven ’lifestyle’ insurance company does not yet exist.
Use data to create a “customer first” experience – Data without the means to accurately interpret it, effectively analyze it and execute and monitor related actions from it has limited value. Data can inform how you design your business, target your markets and engage with your customers. ‘Digital by Design’ should be your core principle and within the business DNA to deliver a complete omni-channel experience. Enabling technologies, like automation and business process management (BPM), are critical to personalizing individual customer experiences.
Adopt a fresh perspective on the traditional view of insurance – Leverage talent that’s willing to consider new ideas, ensure the right people lead your transformation and give them the freedom to execute technology- and data-driven plans aimed at the consumer. Be prepared to occasionally fail. Test and learn is a strategy. Hope is not.
The Customer Journey
Let’s look at what a customer-centric approach to insurance could look like with the right vision, culture and perspective – not to mention the right data and technology – in place.
Imagine you’ve booked a family holiday online, a single decision that invokes a number of potential insurance implications.
It makes sense to take out family travel insurance if you don’t have it already. You may also consider specific family income protection or accident coverage in case you suffer an injury that impacts your ability to work, and ensure you have sufficient coverage on your home insurance policy since your property will be vacant while you’re away.
These are incremental measures designed to provide specific coverage against potential events and would attract additional premiums. By the same token, could you expect a reduction in your car insurance premium (and your breakdown coverage) if your car is safely locked in your garage
In the world of the ‘Connected Home / Internet of Things ’ it should be reasonable to expect some relief if you have an IP camera (to monitor internally and externally), smart lights (to mimic your presence), thermostats and smoke detectors.
Imagine if a brand you trust enables you to adapt your insurance around your needs after detecting and following your journey – what value would you place on a provider who can facilitate real relevance of products to your needs?
Transforming Your Customer Experience
Small changes won’t guarantee success. What is needed is a vision to transform the current operating model to meet the future needs of your customers.
Many organizations have failed at transformation by focusing solely on ‘fixing the problems.’ Transformation must align with delivering your vision in the new world. That may mean a combination of buy, build, partner and adapt, using a two-speed approach where old tech is segregated from the new.
Businesses should focus on developing technology and customer engagement strategies that embrace the effective use of both internal and external data. Newer regulation, particularly around privacy requirements, may be a catalyst for creating a more cohesive data strategy that helps you build trust with your clients.
Ultimately, the winners will be those that meet customer demand. Customer service is a given. Customer experience is the differentiator. That’s not just about timeliness, it’s about ease, trust, relevance, accessibility and perceived value across all channels. It’s about the customer. Start with data and technology and let them help you achieve loyalty.
Data itself is only half story. It has limited value without the means to accurately interpret it, effectively analyze it and then generate, execute and monitor sales-related actions from it.
Article written by: Andrew Egan
Regional Head of Sales – South Africa
Business Process Solutions | SS & C
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