Though people by and large accept the benefits of technology, many still have a lingering concern that it can be dehumanizing. We can keep in touch by IM, e-mail, Lync or cellphone, for example, but sometimes such communication isn’t as satisfying as a face-to-face conversation. We can know that digital communication is often the only way we can “visit” with friends and relatives far from us – and it is certainly a quick, often valuable way to share information – but there is something important about the human touch.
I raise this subject because customer-centricity is growing more important as the insurance industry moves beyond insurance to a more digital way of doing business. And what is customer-centric other than meeting the needs of the human beings who are, or could be, your customers?
The truth is, we are gaining the ability to address an increasing part of the lives and needs of our customers through new ecosystems of services, but we must not simply push out services because we can. Instead, we need to step back and see things through our customers’ eyes to figure out the outcomes they want and need, and our place in helping them achieve them. Apple not only creates and sells innovative technology that people like, it also provides free and low-cost classes to help customers use it.
It’s a different way of looking at things, and the best ideas may come from social scientists rather than insurance veterans, but insurers can go a long way toward improving customers’ lives by harnessing emerging digital technologies.