Other parts of this series:
- How reimagining the end-to-end customer experience can drive growth
- Driving growth with innovative new insurance products
- Driving growth with an insurance marketing transformation
- Driving growth by selling insurance products via digital channels
- Driving growth with better service for insurance customers
- Two key enablers for insurers seeking long-term growth
Customer service is the final important piece of reimagining the entire customer experience that insurers can use to drive growth. The pandemic reduced in-person human-to-human connections, making the personal touch in customer service even more important than ever. Several studies have shown how much people need and value social connection. But further to that, customer service has a big role to play in maintaining the connection insurance carriers have with their customers.
Salesforce research shows that 69% of executives across industries are allocating budgets to modernize customer service, and 63% expect a budget increase. This is a good thing because our study of what consumers expect indicates that 50% of Reimagined consumers (those that have reimagined their values and purpose over the last 18 months) say that many companies disappointed them by not providing enough support and understanding of their needs during challenging times.
For insurers, it means rethinking customer service models. Transactional, episodic, and reactive models are failing to meet customer expectations. Instead, you need to address explicit and implicit customer needs and add value for customers throughout the journey—from purchase and onboarding to care, claims and renewal. That means having a better understanding of customer needs, intents and preferences, and being able to proactively engage as their needs evolve.
I recommend insurers:
- Re-envision customer service pathways. Find ways to help customers in more meaningful ways, such as through automated self-service and conversational experiences.
- Provide personalized omnichannel engagement. Keep conversations flowing continuously and seamlessly across channels—human, digital and physical—with quick access and escalation to live agents for high-touch needs.
- Transform service organizations. Enable service organizations to operate with purpose, speed, scale and agility, through new ways of working, data-centricity and technology solutions. Take advantage of behavioral pairing and AI-powered agent assistance to deliver better experiences for agents and customers.
One company that has done this well is AXA Assicurazioni. The insurer created a centralized content delivery system and Salesforce workflows, fully integrated with its website. This provides an essential basis for a digital and intelligent customer experience that can proactively manage customer needs with dynamic FAQs, chatbots and a feedback process for both internal and external users.
While services like this will never completely replace in-person customer service, they can free up customer service agents to help with more complex requests. A human+machine approach, and a 360-degree view of the customer, will mean agents and contact center representatives are better prepared to answer questions and able to provide the next-best actions and suggestions that are on target. Remember to ensure that you’ve connected the agent, call centers and digital distribution seamlessly.
In my next post, I’ll explain how you can use technology to enable all four of these growth drivers. In the meantime, learn how to make every customer feel like the only customer.