How Multichannel Service Helps Insurers Win New Business

How important is the ability to service and support your customers in a multichannel environment? Below are the results from a consumer survey that were reviewed during a recent Web event, Key 2014 Contact Center Trends and Priorities – How you can be ready. The results clearly show the value of a multichannel contact center. As an insurer, have you given consideration to offering multichannel service to your customers?

Please rate the value of each of the following being available for you to use when you are interacting with that company’s customer service or support:

(Results displayed include a response of ‘Extremely valuable’ or ‘Valuable’ on a scale of 1-4.)

2013 Interactive Intelligence Customer Experience Research Study

2013 Interactive Intelligence Customer Experience Research Study

There has been a lot of information distributed about how a multichannel environment impacts customer satisfaction. Typically, this is a measurement gathered after your customer (insured, provider, carrier, claimant etc.) has an interaction with your company; the premium is paid, a service request is made, or a claim is filed. For a new twist, let’s think about how a multichannel environment can make a difference before a sale is made.

What are the factors that a potential buyer uses to rate your products during the purchasing process? Price is of course one of the top decision criteria, but have you thought about your prospects making a purchase decision based on your ability to offer service and support through various channels?

I was recently comparison shopping for headsets online. While reviewing ratings of various vendors, I found that one of the scoring categories was support/service. Under the category was timeliness of response, but also the ability to contact the vendor through voice, email, and chat. I found this very intriguing, and surprisingly very influential in my purchase decision.

To gain an insight into the impact that multichannel support would have on your sales, consider adding some questions to your customer satisfaction survey. You are most likely already asking them questions such as:

  • “Did we solve your problem to your satisfaction?”
  • “Was it handled in a timely manner?”
  • “Were you satisfied with your service?”

You could be bold and ask, “Were you able to contact us through your preferred channel?”, or “Were you able to contact us at a time that was convenient for you?” You may be surprised by the answer. You must be willing to respond to your customer’s desires by adding additional channels if necessary.

According to one of the key findings in Dimension Data’s 2013/14 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report – Multichannel – Are You Ready?, “Channel adoption will vary depending on system functionality, the transaction type, and the customer profile. Customers increasingly expect choice, and they’ll take their business to providers that meet their needs.”

For those of you that have allowed your customers to choose their preferred channel (voice, chat, callbacks, email, social), do you market that capability as a differentiator? I would love to hear the impact that multichannel support/service capabilities has had on your company’s sales.

Thanks for reading!

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

Janet Thalacker

I am currently a strategic business consultant for Interactive Intelligence. My role is to review an organization’s business practices and tools, to promote the awareness of new technologies, and demonstrate how new functionality, processes, and applications could increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity. My career path includes over 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company. My experience includes work with automatic call distribution (ACD), self-service applications, quality monitoring, workforce management, multi-channel communications platforms, knowledge management, and contact management. I am a very passionate person, enjoy what I do, and am motivated to help others and make a difference in my work and in my personal life. I enjoy music, reading, good friends and laughter. I value my family and friends, and cherish time with them.