Insurance customers increasingly are taking concerns into their own hands, but this could lead to a shift in the kinds of problems call centers address, according to the latest annual call center satisfaction index from CFI Group, a provider of customer feedback management solutions.
The fifth annual index found that 24 percent of respondents tried to resolve their property/casualty insurance issues online before calling their insurers directly compared to 21 percent for health insurance. “Insurers are trending toward improving their self-service on the Internet, which will lead to call centers servicing more difficult issues, such as car accidents and dispute claims that are not easily solved on company websites,” said Terry Redding, CFI Group’s director of development and delivery. “We’re seeing more premium payments, status of payments and follow up communications being resolved on the Web. “
Another issue uncovered in the study is the gap in satisfaction between onshore versus offshore centers and the movement toward reduced use of offshore call centers in countries such as Mexico or Malaysia where scripted interactions cut down on the ability to solve problems.
“The trend away from offshore call centers is contributing to higher customer satisfaction scores because there’s more ease of understanding the culture domestically,” said Redding. “It has to do with data security issues and international laws.”
Call centers that provide first-call-resolution and minimize call transfers score much higher, suggesting that technology that empowers call representatives may be a good investment, according to the study.
“Call centers are increasingly expected to deliver the company brand experience and positively affect revenue,” Redding said.
The index also reported that negative mentions in social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, are not nearly as damaging as perceived because there are just as many if not more positive mentions.
Property/casualty insurers reported 68 positive mentions compared to 31 negative mentions while health insurers experienced 49 positive mentions versus 40 negative mentions, according to the study.
“Social media is an effective customer service channel but the volume of negative chatter is not indicative of the client’s overall satisfaction with the brand,” Redding told Insurance Networking News. “Social media commentary is important and interesting but using it as the only measure of customer satisfaction can be misleading.”
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