Becoming Connected: Putting All the Pieces Together
As insurance carriers continue to intensify their focus on customer experience (CX), they are working hard to create an executable strategy that can successfully pull together traditional customer service, multichannel customer touchpoints and social outreach. However, there are three key challenges that need to be addressed when it comes to communicating with customers in a way that improves the customer experience.
Moving at the Speed of Business
The first challenge is the ability to move at the speed that the business—and its customers—require, while working through legacy technology and siloed systems. Most insurance organizations have an impressive amount of information about their clients, but it is often housed in isolated siloes and/or in legacy systems that don’t interact in an integrated way with modern communication channels. Taking full advantage of a 360-degree view of the customer in the context of today’s technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated communications systems, means the data must be accurate, up to date and accessible throughout the organization. To achieve this, insurance companies will first have to determine how their internal data ecosystem is connected (or disconnected) and begin to integrate those parts, cleaning up the data and systems and connecting legacy systems and tools. This is the foundation and first step for successful digital transformation.
Exceeding Customer Expectations
The second challenge is not only meeting, but exceeding the ever-changing digital engagement demands from insureds to provide the best customer experience possible. On the customer service side, insurers need to examine how they deliver on their products and how they can use technology to enable actions like easier and more efficient onboarding and claims resolution, as well as responding to customer queries and other routine communications. One important consideration, imperative today, is to use the communications channel or even a mix of channels that each customer prefers. Important to bear in mind is that most customers connect with your organization and with its different departments over a variety of channels. Collecting and aggregating information gathered from every customer touchpoint can help you build a well-rounded profile of every individual customer, allowing you to truly understand them and how to best serve their needs. While developing this capability requires collaboration across the different functions in your company, every department stands to benefit by having this information readily available.
Implementing the Right Technology
The third challenge is finding the right emerging technology partners that help, not compete, in specific areas of an insurance organization. Innovative technologies disrupt a company’s standard operating procedures, but in the long run they usually help the organization operate more efficiently and with greater insight into what customers need and how to meet those needs. For example, new technologies can enable quicker claims resolution through the use of drones taking pictures of car accidents or using telematics to get information on the accident. Or in terms of risk assessment, an insured might share a video of their personal home/commercial establishment for underwriters. All this can be done while coordinating across a complex ecosystem of stakeholders to make the customer the focus and an active partner in the process.
Simply put, improving the customer experience begins with upgrading and improving all internal connections. Once internal data and communication siloes are broken down within an organization, and the right technology is in place to effectively handle it, consistent, timely and more relevant customer experience can take place. The following research illustrates this with the important factors that customers consider when purchasing insurance from companies.