Life Insurance: Battling Customer Indifference, Improving Customer Satisfaction

It’s often said that life insurance is sold, not bought. After a sale, customer engagement has been limited, at best—in some cases, customers didn’t have any contact with their life insurance provider until a death in the family.

That’s all changing, quickly. Customers today expect more interaction and more personalized service. Insurers that are able to respond rapidly to higher customer expectations will establish more robust customer relationships and drive growth.

Accenture Global Consumer Survey

A recent Accenture survey of more than 1,000 insurance consumers studied attitudes and behavior toward life insurance. The survey indicates that the majority of customers are content with the service they receive. However, satisfaction levels have declined—and customers are more able and willing than ever to switch providers.

The study also showed that:

  • Consumer knowledge and involvement with life insurance is limited.
  • The most important reasons for switching providers are recommendations, value and tailored service.
  • Generally, consumer satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy and intention to purchase are lower for insurance than for other services.

Steps toward improving customer engagement

Certainly, the study illuminates some challenges. Yet, it also shows that there is a major opportunity for life insurers to get things right. In addition to traditional markets, there are tremendous opportunities in emerging markets such as India and China.

At Accenture, we believe that there are three steps that insurers can take to engage customers:

  • Listen to the customer, making use of analytics and social media.
  • Use customer profiling to create and deliver the right product mix.
  • Get the right systems in place to enable agility.

Last fall, my colleague Kevin Kraft posted about the challenge and opportunities for life insurers. Learn more about affordable life insurance for the middle market.

Learn more about the Life Insurance Challenge

Michael Costonis

About Michael Costonis

Michael Costonis is executive director of Accenture’s Insurance practice for North America. He is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy for the practice, as well as pursuing new client relationships.

Costonis has twenty years experience developing, managing and deploying large scale technology systems, business processes, and strategies for some of the world’s leading insurers, including property & casualty, life, and multi-line insurance companies. In his career with Accenture, he has worked with more than 50 leading insurance clients in 14 countries around the world.

In addition to his role as North America industry executive director, Costonis is the lead for Accenture’s global claims services. In that role, he oversees claims strategies, assets, capabilities, and sales development. He also has led Accenture’s Insurance Solutions practice in North America, where he was responsible for driving growth for Accenture’s asset-based business in Insurance, including claims, underwriting, and policy administration.

Costonis has authored several articles in leading insurance trade publications, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters News, Best’s Review, Insurance & Technology, InformationWeek, National Underwriter, Technology Decisions, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has spoken at several leading industry conferences in the U.S. and internationally.

Costonis received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA). He is based in Philadelphia.

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