They are the hot topics for every industry this year…social media, mobile apps, and cloud-based offerings. So, what’s driving this interest and feeding the buzz in the insurance industry? Sure, social media and mobile users are steadily increasing, and cloud-based solutions are both attractive and affordable, but it is the opportunity to improve overall customer service that is really enticing.
Insurance carriers must expand their traditional contact center and customer service operations to offer information through multiple communication channels and manage it effectively, streamlining both policy and claim processes. Given the breadth of these three trending technologies, carriers of all sizes have the perfect opportunity to implement solutions to satisfy this need, while factoring in budget, business requirements, policyholder needs, and resources available.
Here are a few things to consider:
Social Media: Implementing a social strategy helps open up an additional communications channel for policyholders. Although the core business operations will most likely still be processed through more confidential channels, social media can be a great tool for brand awareness, proactive warnings and tips to help decrease losses (weather and traffic alerts), as well as a possible fraud investigation tool. (FYI…insurance fraud is an estimated $80 billion loss each year according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud). In addition, a variety of social monitoring tools, from free to paid, offer great ways to be aware of posts, engage with policyholders, and attract new business.
Mobile: With the U.S. smartphone usage taking up 40% of the mobile market (Source: Nielsen) and growing, people want the ability to expand the use of their mobile devices. Easy access to premium payments and coverage information, as well as mobile friendly websites can be a great way to satisfy existing policyholders while attracting new business. Further expanding mobile options to include claim reporting applications that allow for loss reports, photo uploads, and GPS integration to pinpoint the location of an accident, are great selling points for the policyholder, agent, and field adjuster.
Cloud: Hosted core admin systems have traditionally been great options for small carriers with limited internal IT resources. However, with more data centers, newer technology, and non-traditional solutions, like communications platforms, being offered as hosted solutions, carriers of all sizes should explore their options. Cloud-based is typically more cost-effective, easier to maintain, and flexible in allowing hybrid deployments to fit the needs of any size and type of insurer. Implementing hosted solutions also allows for greater system stability, decreasing down-time and helping avoid customer frustration.
For once, it’s not about the big budgets or the unlimited staff. It’s about being creative with the latest trends and doing the research to determine the best approach for your organization, while improving the policyholder experience.
Are you doing anything creative to tackle the social, mobile, cloud trend? If so, is it impacting your overall customer service strategy?