I’ve tried to show, in the past four posts in this blog series, that digital is reshaping insurance customer service. The customer experience is becoming a more critical contributor to loyalty, retention and growth because it not only addresses customer satisfaction but can also help improve the effectiveness of carriers’ marketing, product development and sales.

As a potential differentiator, insurers should look to excel in two areas: building a solid digital foundation with today’s tools and shaping their future services. To succeed, there are five things they need to get right:

  1. Have a clear plan to drive adoption. Insurers must communicate the benefits of their digital channels and services, and use a push / pull approach to introduce them and get them used. This might include personalized offers of discounts and other incentives (the push) and making customers aware of digital options when they call a contact center (the pull).
  2. Operate cross-channel metrics and improvements. Understanding how customers use digital channels, switching from one to another at different stages of their journey, helps insurers improve the experience, increase first-time resolution and drive usage of new channels.
  3. Be focused. Rather than launching new channels and services across the spectrum of products and customers, digital high performers tend to focus first on the most suitable products and the likely early adopters. This allows them to learn from the launch and make improvements before exposing themselves too widely.
  4. Obsess about the experience. The high performers do. They use their deep insight on what their customers value, and ensure their experiences are crafted for the channels their customers use the most. Today that means taking a mobile-first approach, but in future will also require adapting to new types of interaction.
  5. Experiment and learn. With new ideas, neither you nor your customers will be able to fully foresee the impact. In the early stages, it’s more important to learn which parts of a new service are creating the most benefit rather than build for scale. Test the idea, measure the demand, make changes quickly and measure again. Focus less on ROI than on adoption rates and customer behavior.

Customers are making greater use of digital technologies to get better service. The next wave of innovation is likely to amplify this trend. Insurers need to build a solid digital foundation to meet current needs, and to prepare themselves to experiment with and rapidly adopt new innovations. And as always, the key to success will be striking the right balance between digital and human channels.

This concludes my series on the reshaping of insurance customer service. To read the earlier posts click here – or download the full report on digital customer service

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