COVID 19 changed the world in more ways than one. A boom in big tech reliance has made customers even more accustomed to having access to everything at their fingertips, solving everything from the comfort of their homes. We’re at a tipping point where insurers unable to adapt to changing customer demands could fail, and, technology players are waiting with bated breath. Generic products and offerings are out in favour of genuinely personalised policies – reactive to customer lifestyle choices, tailored to add value, convenient to access and priced fairly. A tricky balance to strike from the insurance journeys of today.
What does this mean for insurers?
Insurers can no longer afford to wait to adopt and implement technology as their customer base will opt for alternatives if their demands and needs aren’t met.
Customers accustomed to simple, touch-free digital experiences from retail, content consumption, and travel demand the same ease from their insurers. They know when something is masquerading as a digital solution vs a true digital solution that improves their experience. When 24/7 access, quick responses and multi-channel experiences are expected, they are willing to trade more personal data, in lieu of personalised products tailored to them.
Consumers want insurers to offer them new products accounting for cover they already have and protecting them where they haven’t. Insurers are expected to pro-actively reach out when it comes to risk prevention and offer capabilities during times of need. In the UK, research found that more than half of the customers surveyed trust digital channels for personalised advice, and that millennials in particular tend to require more advice, when it comes to choosing the right policy for themselves. They are also happy to share more data with their insurers but do not want to repeat their information at multiple points in their policy and claim journey.
Ease of access to policy information is a given, but great customer experience means being able to interact with the insurer quickly, rapidly and via any medium in just the same way as other online experiences. This means ensuring people can find what they need, quickly, make changes and ask questions at any point, before, during or after purchase: turning the interaction into a collaborative experience where insurer and customer work together to establish the best possible outcomes.
How can touchless claims improve the customer experience?
60% of insurers acknowledge that their CX strategy is either lacking or non-existent and a recent survey found a failure in customer experience can result in up to 50% erosion in the customer base over a five-year period. Policyholders are often dissatisfied with the advice, convenience and reach offered by their providers, but now, according to a recent survey, 50% said they were willing to seek coverage from BigTechs and new-age digital players.
Faced with these challenges, insurers need to ask if their existing technology landscape can transform and scale to meet the demands of a changing market — and how, the combined ecosystem of technology, call centres, chatbots, AI and smart devices can be applied and integrated to deliver a coherent, efficient, and agile service.
Differentiation for insurers of the future will be built around customer relationships, distribution, orchestration, product development, data/analytics, and engagement. If implemented correctly, touchless claims addresses these issues, and with the right balance between technological tools and service quality, not only enhances customer satisfaction and engagement, but can also reduce overall costs for the insurer.
Claims is the one time in the insurance life cycle where the customer genuinely interacts with the insurer and has a deep vested interest in the process; ensuring it is seamless, jargon free, quick, and efficient is vital. A minimal touch experience allows for limitless information availability, 24/7 access, shorter response times, personalised advice/products AND cost efficiencies.
Differentiating the claims experience through data
The data to offer this personalised, tailored, customer-centric experience already exists, the main challenge is how to unlock its potential without inconveniencing the customer – to know all we need to, and to be able to offer them tailored and personalised solutions by asking just one question. This is what customers expect now as the bare minimum during the entire CX journey.
Competition for customers is at its highest through the advent of Big Data. It is not only InsurTechs who incumbent insurers are competing with but big tech firms are circling, with Amazon already taking the plunge to offer business contents, professional indemnity and cyber risk products. Where big tech leads others will surely follow, so what are the key areas that insurers need to address to counter the emerging threat?
Incumbents have an advantage; established customer bases and significant data, which, if sorted, filtered, and properly integrated with touchless claims can allow them to have an edge over their competition. Integrated properly, this would not only improve customer retention and satisfaction, but could also lead to streams of new customers as social media and review platforms play a vital role in new business acquisition in an increasingly interconnected ecosystem.
To summarise, customers of today want insurance claims to be as simple as online shopping. The benefits of touchless claims enable insurers to boost both customer retention and acquisition:
- Simplicity and convenience – accessible, mobile and omni-channel
- Speed – Quicker than traditional methods.
- Clarity – Knowing which stage of the claim process they’re in.
- Ease of interaction
- A better overall claims settlement experience
Over the following weeks we will be exploring each of these subjects in more detail, from both the perspective of the customer and with a view to determining how insurers can use technology to gain competitive advantage. Those ready to act can lead the market, but the risk of inaction is too great to ignore.
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Portfolio Manager, Financial Services
A passionate Financial Services consulting professional with strong cross-vertical business transformation, strategy, outsourcing/offshoring, and program management experience. Swagat has managed cross-functional teams and led complex projects across Banking and Insurance globally in the UK, US, Japan and India.
|Kristofer le Sage de Fontenay
Vice President, Insurance
With over 20 years of business consulting experience, Kris offers a wealth of knowledge within Financial Services. Initially specialising in business improvement and cost reduction, and later, focusing on business transformation underpinned by technology.