Imagine a large retailer with several locations. In an effort to reduce heating costs, it installs revolving doors at each entrance. When customers complain that the doors don’t accommodate their carts and buggies, the retailer installs loudspeakers instructing customers how to use the doors. Needless to say, customer traffic and revenues decline.

Based on a true story, this all took place before the advent of social media. Had it happened today, the company may have suffered irreparable damage to its reputation and business.

You may shake your head, but when it comes to customer-centricity, are insurers so different? While many industries have shifted toward more customer-centric business and operating models, insurers still tend to have a predominantly internal focus that is out of sync with today’s marketplace.

Consider some of the findings of the 2013 Accenture Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey:

  • 71 percent of consumers are willing to purchase insurance via digital channels.
  • 67 percent would be interested in being offered insurance via their mobile devices.
  • 80 percent would switch carriers for more personalized services.
  • 40 percent say they are likely to change their home / auto insurer in the next 12 months.
Customer-centricity in the digital era - The dilemma facing the insurance C-suite
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Insurers have a choice: become a low-cost utility, or reinvent the model to offer personalized services. Both require strong digital capabilities and dedication to the customer experience—and both require keeping current and prospective customers at the center of business and operating models.

Join me next week as I discuss the five foundations of customer centricity.

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