Coronavirus impacting life insurance customer experience: Survey

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The coronavirus pandemic is having a major effect on customer experience strategies for life insurers when compared to their P&C peers, according to a survey from Novarica.

The "Insurer CX and UX: Approaches and Current State" report, which polled 79 executives, found that seven out of eight life insurers said that customer experience (CX) had increased importance within their companies since the pandemic started. A quarter reported increased scope for the CX department in this time as well; life insurers were four times as likely as P&C to say that more budget was being put toward CX.

"Life carriers are more likely to cite an increased role for both digital and marketing as a result of COVID-19," says the report, authored by Paul Legutko, VP Of digital marketing and analytics at Novarica. "It may be that the closer synergy between marketing, digital, and CX for life insurers (compared to property/casualty carriers) dovetails more cleanly with the need for direct communication between brands and policyholders during a pandemic."

Overall, 90% of insurers said there was clear ownership of customer experience in their companies, but there's a wide range of resourcing models. Rather than the marketing-centric view of life insurers, P&C insurers see CX as part of the technology and digital organizations. Life insurers tend to have bigger teams for CX than P&C, with most P&C teams between one and four people while half of large life carriers reported a CX team of 15 or more.

In measuring CX and user experience, satisfaction surveys (81%) and Net Promoter Scores (62%) are the most common metrics used. The generally lower usage of revenue or retention to measure CX/UX may be due to challenges involved in attributing both retention rates and revenue to positive experiences," Legutko writes. "Sentiment analysis requires natural language processing techniques to digest and analyze unstructured text or behavioral signals, a capability that many insurers do not possess."

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