Insurance Blog | Accenture

Discover how you can identify causes of friction in your customer interactions and which pain points matter most.

In the current market, insurers face challenges at every turn—from digital disruption, to competition from industry newcomers, to new regulations. But central to them all is the issue of customer-centricity and how to meet customers’ rapidly changing expectations.

As consumers, we’ve all experienced moments of frustration, and wondered why products and services aren’t simpler to use and more aligned with our needs. These points of friction, even those that seem insignificant, add to our overall experience and impression of the companies we’re interacting with and affect which companies we choose to give our business.

Accenture research shows that frictionless experiences are key for all consumer-facing businesses, including insurance carriers. In fact, reducing friction is now a core driver of competitive differentiation, with leading insurers looking for friction and trying to eliminate it.

To identify what causes friction and which friction matters most, insurers need answers to the following questions:

  • What are our customers’ needs and expectations at key moments across customer journeys?
  • Where is friction slowing them down, frustrating them, or preventing them from getting what they want?
  • How do we understand the impact of friction and which friction points matter most?
  • Can we identify patterns in the data? Can we correlate friction frequency or intensity to customer satisfaction or propensity to spend?
  • Can we develop a set of data-driven hypotheses for interventions to address friction? Can we design experiments to validate our hypotheses and maximize our response?

But answering these questions requires a level of agility and data sophistication that many insurers don’t currently have. And it’s just the first step. Insurers also need to analyze the data and explore correlation and causality. It’s important to take a structured approach to zero-in on the areas of friction that are doing the most damage. This includes activities such as:

  • Analyzing in-house and third-party data sources to create and test a frictionless hypothesis.
  • Modeling user engagement, propensity to buy, customer satisfaction or other target business outcomes.
  • Conducting comparative learning and determining competitor positioning/capabilities.
  • Analyzing user personas, product capabilities, market sizing and segmentation.
  • Prioritizing corrective actions to focus on the vital few areas of friction that will have the greatest impact, and gaining buy-in and confidence across the organization.

Your customers want and expect a frictionless experience, even if they can’t put their finger on their exact pain point. Remember too, that friction changes from customer to customer, and for each customer in the context of each moment. If you’re serious about gaining a competitive advantage, you need to identify areas of friction, determine which areas to focus on and build a case for change.

To discuss how Accenture can help you eliminate customer friction, reach out to me directly, or read the Accenture report: Effortless Experiences

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