The Consumer-Driven Innovation research tells us that a customer-first insurance company has five distinct characteristics.

  • It knows me. Insurance customers want their provider to recognize them, understand them, and then provide personalized services. At least 78 percent of them would give carriers access to usage/ behavior information to optimize cover and premiums, and get personalized service. Forty-one percent would pay more to get personalized advice when purchasing auto, home or life insurance.
  • It shows me that it knows me. Technology is giving insurers the capability to reproduce a one-to-one customer relationship at scale, the “mass market of one” we have been reading about all these years. To achieve this, insurers will need a sophisticated operating model that has a great deal of automation built into it—automation that’s backed by top-notch analytics, of course.
  • It delights me. One of the ways in which insurers can delight us is by being consistent across all channels. Consumers are no longer using one channel; they are switching between channels according to preference, convenience and circumstance.
  • It enables me. The Internet opened up new avenues of customer convenience, but consumers’ enthusiastic take-up of the current generation of smart mobile devices has put new pressure on insurers. Sixty-seven percent of customers would be interested in being offered mobile-enabled insurance services.
  • It values me—and provides value to me. Social media platforms are emerging as excellent “listening posts” to learn what consumers are thinking. What is learned must then be put to good use. Social media also offer a channel through which to offer products and services: 55 percent would be interested in at least one service offered via social media. It also seems as though social media are offering an increasingly trusted way in which consumers obtain advice about insurance and the companies that provide it.

Bearing all this in mind, it’s clear that insurers must do more than just move online with their customers. They also need to take advantage of the potential offered by new digital platforms to develop flexible operating models that permit them to craft customer experiences that build loyalty.

I’ll conclude this series next week with a look at the barriers standing in the way of customer-centricity.

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