As I mentioned in my last post, one out of 10 customers will probably turn to a new life or annuity provider in the next year. Consumers have certainly shown they are not reluctant to change their behavior, using different channels and making purchases online. For example, over two years ago, 38 percent of respondents said they would buy insurance online—now that figure is at 71 percent.

For life and annuity carriers, innovation is becoming increasingly important, not only to keep pace with customer expectations but also to meet the challenge of providing customers with better value for money. Insurers now also need to take decisive action to retain their existing customers.

Mobile devices are increasingly popular

Mobile devices are becoming an increasingly popular way for customers to interact with their carrier—research shows that 46 percent of customers with tablets and 37 percent of those with mobile phones have used their devices to communicate with their insurers.

Q: Have you used your mobile device in the past two years to deal online with your insurer?
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With projected growth in connected devices rising from 11 billion in 2012 to an expected 19 billion by 2017, and with increasing consumer expectations, the ability to provide customers access to real-time data on their mobile devices is going to become a real differentiator for carriers.

Real-time data at a customer’s fingertips

Mobile applications let carriers provide all types of customers—from agents to policy holders to internal staff—with access to their personal and policy data right on their mobile devices. But technologies  providing this level of access vary widely. When existing software assets allow for it, I recommend that rather than developing native mobile applications, carriers extend their existing browser-based assets and consider creating mobile interactions, resulting in lower costs and reducing reliance on a software vendor. There are some software solutions and tools that already support this approach. This flexibility to configure mobile apps in-house means that you can be more responsive to changing consumer needs.

I believe that digital technologies and analytics are now mature enough to permit carriers to deliver relevant, personalized experiences at scale, using the channels preferred by the customer—channels that include mobile platforms.

Interested to learn more? Don’t hesitate to contact me directly: shay.alon@accenture.com

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