Many insurers are seeking to transform their insurance contact center customer experience. Erik Sandquist highlights the importance of technology and talent to the process.

One of the greatest challenges facing the insurance industry is the dramatic shift in customer expectations. Customers now expect personalized, contextualized omni-channel experiences that aren’t just satisfactory, but enjoyable. For many insurers, that means re-defining the insurance contact center and the customer experience that it provides.

Accenture proposes five steps for insurers to transform their insurance contact center. Today, I’ll talk about steps four and five.

Step 4: Leverage technology to improve performance

While it may sound self-evident, when insurers are selecting technology, they should select the right technology. The right technology is the one that enables an insurer to achieve its defined performance goals for the contact center. The right technology should also enable insurers to achieve and measure new metrics for success—for example, incentivizing a higher percentage of first-call resolutions, better workflow management or monitoring sales conversion rates.

With the right technology in place, it becomes easier to get the right decisions to the right people, automate processes and align operational metrics to evaluate contact center improvements.

Step 5: Increase workforce engagement

As with any transformation, the human element is a key challenge. In redefining the call center, the workforce is the single largest influence on an insurer’s success, especially when it comes to complex or emotional phone calls. Accenture expects that the proportion of so-called “tough calls” will likely increase as insurers enable more automation or self-service options. This impending shift highlights the need for well-trained, empathetic and experienced call center representatives.

For many insurers, this will mean modernizing the way they recruit, train and motivate their workers. Rather than annual performance reviews, iterative reviews with feedback and continual improvement may be more appropriate.

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These steps apply equally well to the claims contact center, which is a test of the customer-insurer relationship. In particular, the claims contact center may require different metrics than other parts of the business. For details on metrics and the claims contact center, see the multi-part series from my colleague Darcy Dague (part 1, part 2 and part 3).

In summary, transforming the contact center is not a short-term improvement, but a strategic and integrated approach that can drive more positive customer experiences, improve customer retention and enhance a company’s brand.

For more details on how to transform the insurance contact center, register to download Transforming the Insurance Contact Center Customer Experience (PDF). Thanks to John McNally for allowing me to share his expertise on the matter.

Learn more:

  • Email me to discuss how Accenture can help you leverage the insurance contact center to drive better customer experiences.

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