Insurance providers should bolster the digital experience they deliver to intermediaries as well as to their direct customers.

Customer expectations and behavior are changing dramatically because of digital disruption and rising consumer clout. Customers want service providers to offer them enticing and rewarding digital experiences. What’s more, this trend is also taking place among business customers.

Insurers don’t just need to revamp their direct channels to meet the growing demands of their customers. They must also change their indirect channels. Brokers and other intermediaries want the same high levels of customer experience as policyholders.

We found that 80 percent of business-to-business companies risk losing revenue because they haven’t developed their customer experience strategies properly. Ninety percent of the 1 350 executives we surveyed across industries in 10 major markets cited the customer experience as very important to their organization’s strategic priorities. Seventy-five percent believe it will be even more important in the next two years. However, only 20 percent said the customer experience was enhancing their financial performance.

Insurers, according to our research, are among the organizations that have been the slowest to use the customer experience to boost business-to-business revenues. To catch up they need to make some big changes. The rewards are likely to be substantial.

Insurance providers should enhance the experience they provide to all their customers and business partners. Simply adding a digital channel to the distribution network is no longer sufficient. All marketing, sales and service avenues need to be integrated with digital platforms that gather customer information and deliver enhanced experiences to intermediaries and policyholders. Customer experience applications that incorporate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice and facial recognition and extended reality need to be rolled-out to intermediaries as well as consumers, to provide a broad offering of truly “human” insurance experiences.

Many insurers are working on improving their customer experiences. Fewer firms are devoting as much attention and investment towards their agent and brokers. Here some examples.

Japanese insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido has launched a smart mobile app that helps its agents improve the service they give to customers. The app comprises a chat service, scheduler, information-sharing facility and sales-lead repository. Its voice recognition capability allows agents to easily input, share and retrieve information.

Barbican Insurance in the UK is using the Enterprise Security Score predictive analytics system, developed by FICO, to help its underwriters better assess cyber risks. The predictive analytics system provides underwriters with an assessment of an organization’s cyber risk exposure that can be used for underwriting, pricing and portfolio management.

Allianz France is introducing smart robotics systems to help its agents and brokers improve their administration. Virtual agents now perform repetitive, manual and fragmented tasks across a variety of accounting and finance applications.

For more information about the growing importance of the customer experience in the insurance industry, take a look at these links. I think you’ll find them useful.

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