In Accenture’s recent Digital Innovation survey of 141 C-level executives, 64 percent of respondents said their digital strategy currently focuses on digitally enabling traditional channels and processes. Other findings revealed that most insurers felt digitalization is changing customer expectations (84 percent), that new technologies will radically change traditional practices (80 percent), and that digital technologies will transform the way they interact with their customers (83 percent) and use their channels (72 percent).

These results indicate that while many insurers see the importance of digital initiatives, they continue to concentrate on incremental rather than transformative change, seeing digital technologies as a catalyst for transforming the insurance value chain over the long term.

Given the ongoing prominence of the agent channel in most geographic areas, it makes sense that agents and brokers are likely to be major beneficiaries of new digital initiatives. But along with that good news comes weighty expectations from insurers that these intermediaries will improve their abilities to find and convert new leads (93 percent) and improve their rate of cross- and up-selling (90 percent).

Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation
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To achieve these results, carriers expect successful agents, brokers and advisors to take advantage of digital technologies in a variety of ways, including:

  • Making better use of customer data (41 percent).
  • Leveraging the contact-center and self-service capabilities provided by the carrier (40 percent).

One offering on the market, which can help agents and brokers meet these expectations, is Accenture Software for Life and Annuity’s Web Recording and Replay, a solution for online interactions that enables service and support representatives to see exactly what customers are seeing on their Web pages. With this capability, representatives can improve customer experiences, decrease handling times and learn from past interactions by retrieving and analyzing them to identify common issues and challenges.

It’s clear that insurers view traditional distribution channels as one of their key strengths. In fact, many insurers see them playing a vital role in their multi-channel and digital strategies. That innovative insurers are expected to take more market share than new entrants provides a further indication of the continuing importance of agents as insurers transform their distribution channels in an increasingly digital world.

To learn more, visit Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation and register to download the full report.

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