I hear time and time again from contact center, underwriting, and claims managers that defining a competitive policyholder experience has become a top priority for insurance carriers of all types. For many of these managers, figuring out how to create, manage, and maintain the implementation of technology to help facilitate an exceptional experience is where they are challenged. Many times we take the “golden rule” approach to our customer experience strategies, but just because we want to be treated a certain way as a consumer, does not mean every policyholder and agent desires that same type of interaction.
In the recent World Insurance Report by Capgemini, research shows that even in the most mature insurance markets in the world, customer service ratings for some are still struggling. What this means is that there is more to providing a superior experience for policyholders and agents. It’s not just about the products you offer, and the lines of business written, but how you deal with your customers through acknowledgement of their preferences and personalization in service.
Over the last couple of years, increases in communication channels available for policy inquiry and claims reporting have enhanced the customer experience. Through mobile applications, speech analytics, and more intelligent IVR offerings, policyholders are able to reach their carrier 24-7 in the method they prefer. How do carriers offer all of these options while justifying costs and remaining profitable? Here are four things to take into consideration when trying to build out a multichannel approach to adhere to policyholder expectations:
- Survey your policyholders – Let them tell you how they prefer to communicate. Once you have a better idea, you can work on implementing the best multichannel approach for handing their interactions.
- Don’t over-implement – Just because a channel is available or trendy, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your policyholders. Social media is a great example of this phenomenon. Find out more about the demographic of your policyholders and agents before jumping on the bandwagon. This way time and money are not wasted on channels that will be underutilized.
- Maintain, maintain, maintain – So many times new channels are implemented, but then forgotten. For any channel implemented, it is important that the upkeep continues and that changes to the original implementation occur. Whether providing more advanced IVR options, or adding new mobile application features, don’t start what you can’t finish.
- Recognize ongoing change – Continue to survey your customers at least on an annual basis to determine how effective your customer strategy is. Over time their preferences may change, and your business needs to be aware and ready to adjust.
This is just the beginning of the work you’ll need to do to ready your organization to provide exceptional policyholder experiences. I recommend that you read about more best practices in this whitepaper with Strategy Meets Action, Best Practices in Customer Service for Insurance, before taking a closer look at your approach to customer service. And remember to keep answering the question, “How can I make sure that we offer what best fits the needs of not only our company, but our customers?”
I’d like to hear more from you –how are you creating a more enticing customer experience?