A worrying result of the Accenture Mobility Insights Report 2014 is that insurers are lagging when it comes to investment—and thus in the drive to become customer-first insurers.

As I noted last week, it could be a bit worrying that insurers seem less likely to see mobile technologies as aids in generating additional income from existing customers, boosting overall enterprise profitability and strengthening their brands. I would argue that these findings point to a missed opportunity for providing the kind of targeted, relevant services that are a corollary of a customer-first business model, particularly when it comes to servicing existing customers better.

Marketing 101 tells us that it’s much cheaper to sell to existing customers than to find new ones. Thus a company’s first port of call should be those people who are already buying its products and services. At the very least, the company should make sure it retains these customers (who after all represent a certain investment and a potential revenue stream)—and they are the most likely prospects for buying enhanced services or new products.

Unless, of course, the customer is very unhappy!

Mobility: Fueling the Digital Surge
Read the report.

I’ve argued in previous blogs that companies wishing to become customer-first insurers will have to broaden the notion of what they do in order to service customer needs, rather than just sell them insurance, if they want to remain competitive. Mobile technologies will be vital in achieving this as the mobile channel offers one of the best ways to increase customer touch points—and thus to cross- and up-sell.

For that reason, it’s worrying that the research found that most insurers are planning to spend only between $10 million and $29 million on mobile technologies, and are correspondingly less likely than peers in other industries to spend above $30 million. I would tend to argue that given the high priority they have assigned to mobile technology, this may not be enough—and that the gaps I have noted above could perhaps be the reason for this underinvestment.

Next time, let’s look at some challenges identified in the survey data.

Download the cross-industry Accenture Mobility Insights Report 2014 or register to receive the insurance-specific report.

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