What does it take to be a connected insurer?
Most consumers think of their insurance carriers only when it’s time to pay their premiums and make a claim. In the first instance, it’s with mild resentment at buying a service they may never need; in the latter, it’s with a sense of great relief. Between those two points, the customer experience is near non-existent.
This might have been adequate in the past, but as unconventional rivals compete for insurers’ customers and set new standards of interaction and service, retention is becoming more difficult than ever. In this series of blogs, I’ll look at why the customer experience is so important for insurers that want to ensure their relevance into the future and how they can centre their businesses around the needs of their customers.
As customers churn to chase the cheapest premiums and as competition from non-traditional rivals grows, insurers need to start thinking about what they can do to put themselves at the heart of the customer’s everyday life. They must reinvent themselves to connect and engage with the consumer on a day-to-day, emotional level.
Rather than merely providing insurance cover, they should be helping customers to manage the risks of their day-to-day lives. But to take on the role of protecting the customer’s wellbeing and property as an everyday angel, insurers will need to make a bold transformation using appropriate digital tools and technologies. The connected insurer of tomorrow will have the following characteristics:
- It will be able to mine data from its own systems and third-party sources to get deep insights into the customer’s needs, likes, dislikes, communities and friends.
- It will leverage a wider partner ecosystem that provides a range of ‘sticky’ services that constantly surprise and delight the customer.
- It will have an agile business model that will allow for rapid response to customer needs – for example, using real-time data to assess risk and design products.
- It will have agile platforms front-to-back that allow it to provide innovative customer experiences.
- Data, analytics, insights and action will be embedded into the customer experience to ensure that customer engagement is based on an accurate, up-to-date understanding of the consumer’s needs.
In blog posts to follow, I’ll look more closely at how digital technologies can enable this transformation from today’s insurer into the connected and customer-centred insurer of tomorrow. Alternatively, read the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2014 to learn more about these concepts.