The findings in a recent study, I believe, should grab the attention of insurers in North America that feel no urgency in going digital and updating their various technologies. The study, the 2016 Youbiquity 3 Finance report, found that insurance customers in Europe want a better self-service experience with their carriers—online as well as through other technologies. This is important, because Europeans do not shop online as much as Americans do, Even so, the quality of carriers’ technology-supported customer-service and claims-handling capabilities significantly influences which insurers customers choose, the study found.

How do those customers want their experience improved? They want faster service.

For example, depending on where the study’s 3,000 participants reside—the United Kingdom, Germany or Spain—between 40 and 53 percent think that taking out a policy or opening an account takes too much time. And between 13 and 23 percent reported that insurers make mistakes that slowed the process even further.

Overall, a significant percentage of the customers want providers to speed up many processes, completing them within three days. Those include paying out:

  • Homeowner’s and auto claims, 32-85 percent.
  • Income-protection policies, 35-74 percent.
  • Requests to cash in pensions, 31-72 percent.

Additionally, a large percentage of the study’s participants want insurers to provide them complete responses within three hours via myriad channels:

  • Email, 63 percent.
  • Online, 62 percent.
  • Twitter or Facebook, 57 percent.

Study participants even want to see phone upgrades. Between 64 and 73 percent said they are open to voice biometrics for identification and verification purposes to make their call-center experience easier and faster.

Next time: Avoid swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction.

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