Washington - On-the-go consumers prefer to handle an increasing number of transactions themselves through self-service devices, and are more likely to do business with companies that make it easier to for them to do so, according to a new study conducted by BuzzBack Market Research for Dayton, Ohio-based NCR Corp. One exception though, according to the study, is insurance customers. 

While more than 77% of the 633 U.S. and Canadian consumers polled said they are more likely to do business with organizations that offer self-service, 73% would prefer to speak with someone for purchasing insurance.

However, insurers named e-signatures and online applications; document management, workflow and imaging; and Web self-service for distributors and/or customers (portals) as the technology strategies they are very likely or likely to implement, according to a survey from Dallas-based Robert E. Nolan Co.

The "Life & Annuity Industry Survey Findings" report says, "While e-signatures and online applications are likely to represent the largest investment, the electronic delivery of customer materials in support of the online purchase ranks somewhat lower. This is probably a direct result of the technology adoption curve, with the first priority of being online applications, transitioning to electronic delivery of materials as more consumers sign on as 'electronic customers,' bringing with them the expectations of electronic service."

One example is Unitrin Direct insurance cos., subsidiaries of Chicago-based Unitrin Inc., which are offering a $50 discount in 17 states for customers who use Esignature, an service that lets customers sign policy documents online.

"One of our main goals at Unitrin Direct is to continually seek new ways to provide a terrific value on outstanding car insurance coverage," says Unitrin Direct President Scott Carter. "With Esignature, consumers not only save money instantly, they do it with the knowledge that they have a trusted company behind them that prioritizes customer service."

Sources: NCR Corp. and INN archives


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