Customer retention: How insurers can reduce churn with smarter communications
Out of all sectors, insurance companies rank second for the highest churn rates in the UK, with a recent report from UK CallMiner Index revealing 24% of consumers switched providers in the last 12 months alone. Customer retention, understandably, clearly remains an area of focus for the industry. But what opportunities and risks are there in building customer loyalty in a marketplace being re-shaped by digital transformation? Amanda Beesley offers some advice.
Whilst a number of factors can contribute to such high levels of customer attrition, one area that remains an issue for the sector is customer communications. In fact, new research has revealed that better client communication can lead to improved loyalty and retention – and is even more essential when it comes to approaching millennials.
Insurance companies are under pressure to improve customer relationships and retain loyalty in an increasingly competitive market, whilst also reducing the cost to serve. As a result, many have been presented with an interesting dilemma - how to keep pace with the expectations of consumers who now demand proactive, personalised, relevant and easy to understand communications, via the channel of their choice, in an environment where supporting omni-channel platforms is becoming increasingly complex. Any shortcomings in delivering the right message at the right time, in a digestible format, risks inadvertently increasing propensity to churn – not to mention cost.
Consumers although still primarily motivated by price are increasingly responding well to a more rounded, comprehensive experience from their suppliers. As a result, many organisations are making the transition from ‘customer service’ thinking to ‘customer experience’ thinking.
Insurance companies have been wrestling with this challenge for years now, the highly competitive nature of the market and strict regulations have been fuelling the drive towards improved customer experience for some time. Central to this has been the implementation of systems that enable them to effectively and efficiently engage with their customer base across a range of platforms with omni-channel communications strategies.
As businesses focus on delivering simple and transparent communication channels, the delivery infrastructure to support these risks becoming increasingly complex, fragmented and costly, the opposite of what Insurance companies are striving for.
While the merits of modern CCM eco-systems are apparent, one of the biggest hurdles is deploying these systems in a cohesive and cost effective way, such to leverage all the benefits of a single customer view and conversation, without having to manage a proliferation of suppliers and systems which then make digital transformation slow and painful.
By centralising communication management and deploying enabling technology, businesses can deliver a truly omni-channel customer experience in the digital age, and unlock the value of the communication expertise within their businesses. Such systems enable organisations to design, manage and deliver high-volume, personalised communications on-demand from a single, centralised platform – across the entire customer journey.
The benefits of switching from a model that integrates multiple CCM platforms, to one which utilises a single, unified, end to end solution are enormous. Not only can the latest generation of CCM platforms facilitate easier integration with legacy systems, they can also streamline processes and eliminate operational silos, while at the same time reducing the risk of non-compliance.
The result is vastly improved experience, with greater consistency in brand image and messaging across channels and journeys with the added benefit of increased operational efficiencies and reduced costs.