3 ways carriers can make insurance easier on customers
With digital businesses rewriting customer expectations, the insurance industry is ripe for disruption. Today, customers have come to expect products to be delivered in two days, a ride to be ordered at the tap of their smartphone, and instant feedback and assistance thanks to companies like Amazon, Facebook and Uber.
In a world that is constantly evolving, the bigger risk for companies is sitting back and doing nothing. Instead, insurers must listen to their customers and deliver on their expectations before someone else does. This means not only identifying what customers expect today, but also anticipating what customers will need seven to ten years down the road and creating a customer experience roadmap that evolves accordingly.
The first step is to understand your customers, and that means saying hello to the next-generation consumer: Gen-C. This new generation of consumers is empowered by the convenience and access of digital tools. They are more digitally savvy. They want to be in control to drive their future, and they expect ease and accessibility.
In order for next-generation C consumers to shop with confidence and interact with ease when it comes to doing business with insurers, carriers must embrace the following strategies:
- Harness digital to enhance customer experiences and exceed expectations. First, insurers must consistently re-evaluate their digital strategies, ensuring they have a basic digital foundation in place that meets the customers’ expectations and can be scaled in the future. For example, are various channels (online, chat, call centers, etc.) integrated? Are your tools and customer platforms device agnostic? How can you simplify the user interface?
Don’t stop striving to enhance the experience and exceed customer expectations. Look at what your business can learn from innovators outside the industry. For example, companies like FedEx or UPS have allowed consumers the ability to know where their packages are anytime, anywhere. It’s reasonable to expect a demand for a similar type of transparency and accessibility within our industry.
- Seamlessly integrate channels across sales and service. From a back-end perspective, many insurers are dealing with disparate technology systems. As businesses look to improve the customer experience, they must make sure new technology initiatives are properly integrated across the existing business. Prioritize technology systems and create enterprise architecture that allows your company to be flexible and improve efficiencies from an operational perspective.
- Reduce effort for customers through digital solutions. Interacting with your company should never be a challenge. To that end, businesses must make sure their digital transformation efforts ease the customer experience instead of making it more complicated. Work together as an organization to identify the highest impact areas for driving value and reducing effort among customers. For example, if data shows online visitors are dropping off your site while going through the policy application process, that could mean the process is too cumbersome or confusing. Businesses must also ensure digital integration drives an effortless experience. This includes making sure your online platforms and tools are device agnostic, working across different phones, tablets and computers.
While the insurance industry has traditionally been thought of as slow-moving when it comes to adopting technology, the threat of outside disruption has never been greater. As an industry, we stand to lose if we do not embrace innovation, move faster and fear failure less.