The past five years have marked the beginning of the age of the customer, in which technology and economic forces have put customers in control of their interactions with businesses. These businesses, hoping to understand and serve customers in an increasingly disrupted global and digital economy, are almost universally undergoing a digital transformation. They’re realigning and investing in new technology and business models with a specific focus on the customer experience.
In May 2015, Accenture Interactive commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate digital transformation among enterprises. We found that for insurers, attracting, winning and retaining customers in this new environment requires a concerted effort across the business
. The organizational structure, company culture, business technology and partner ecosystem must all be integrated across the value chain and aligned in the service of customers, in the spirit of delivering to them exactly what they want.
When we asked insurers what actions they would be taking to improve the customer experience in the coming year, 63 percent reported that they would be focusing on improving cross-channel customer experiences. Customers interact with their insurers through a wide range of channels—often more than one channel in the same customer journey—so it makes sense that cross-channel experiences are a priority.
Other responses included:
- Improving the online customer experience.
- Improving the experience of interacting with a call center agent.
- Adding or improving mobile customer experiences.
- Using communities and other types of social computing.
And yet, although insurers recognize that the key drivers of digital transformation are customer satisfaction and profitable growth, only 24 percent said that improving the customer experience is their top strategic priority for the year ahead.
Also surprising was the fact that just 53 percent said they plan to assess the impact of digital as it relates to the customer experience. This might be because many insurers (75 percent) believe their digital customer experiences already meet customer expectations or are at least good enough.
Although most firms are confident that the experiences they provide surpass those of their competitors and at least meet the expectations of their customers, this is not supported by the findings of other recent business and consumer surveys.
In the age of the customer, consumers expect ready access to content and services that are that is personally relevant to them in the context of what they are doing, anytime, anywhere, and in the format and on the device they choose. Despite their optimistic view, insurers still have a way to go if they are to not only meet customer expectations but exceed them.
To learn more, register to download the Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer: A Spotlight on Insurance report.