The insurance industry is no stranger to digital transformation, but it is filled with pain points that insurance marketers must address.
According to an EY report, more and more customers are going online to make purchases, including for insurance coverage.
More than half of those surveyed say they are willing to buy homeowner’s insurance online, up from 45% three years ago. And 33% said they would buy car insurance online, up 10% since 2018. Shoppers can also find other types of insurance online – renters, natural disasters, health, identity theft, and more.
This shift to digital from agent-driven sales is just one of the pain points facing the insurance industry in trying to deliver excellent CX in a very competitive industry. Below are three ways to address this paint point (and others) and offer better CX.
1. Collect and use customer data
According to Jeff Piotrowski, market leader, insurance at Verisk Marketing Solutions, the insurance industry has been driven into a race to offer the same products and services at the lowest prices. Why? As more consumers compare shop online, looking for savings.
But instead of succumbing to razor-thin margins, he added, industry leaders are creating better experiences by leveraging what they know about existing and future customers.
“Instead of sending thousands of emails to thousands of contacts and hoping something sticks,” Piotrowski said, “focus your resources on people who are most relevant to your products and most likely to make a purchase in the near future . This requires real-time access to third-party data and the ability to reconcile that data with contacts already in your CRM.”
Such a strategy also opens the door to a truly omnichannel approach. Insurers can meet customers in the marketplace—when and where they’re looking—and also allow them to pick up the phone or respond to direct mail and track those interactions across channels.
“This type of personalized marketing not only leads to a better short-term customer experience,” explained Piotrowski, “it also lays the groundwork for customer loyalty and cross-selling between lines of insurance, making it easier for agents and carriers to meet their goals. “
Related Article: 4 Types of Customer Data and How to Use Them
2. Use AI to facilitate claims, other processes
Filing an insurance claim can be a long and complicated process, said Laurent Marmes, owner of Medicare Solutions Team.
“Customers often have to jump through a lot of hoops to get their claims processed and even then they may not get the full amount they are entitled to. Sometimes their claim is also rejected.
One way to improve this claims process, according to Marmes, is with technology. Several insurance companies are already using artificial intelligence to automate their claims processes, detect patterns and look for red flags, speeding up the process.
“In today’s technology-driven world, customers want personalization and efficiency,” said Abhishek Pahira, COO at Aureus Tech Systems. “AI and IoT are helping insurers reduce the time it takes customers to purchase policies or settle claims while collecting data they can use to personalize insurance products for their customers.”
Pahira added that AI is essential because it can assess risks, identify fraud and assure customers that their data will be protected. It also speeds up the lengthy claims process by reducing the approval time frame to a few hours instead of a few weeks.
3. Provide a 360-degree view of the customer
As with other industries, many insurance companies still struggle with having customer data in disparate, unrelated silos.
“Data sitting in disparate systems isn’t of much value unless it can be consolidated with other data for useful business purposes,” said Jamie Pearce, Synatic’s vice president of development and alliances.
“To do this,” he continued, “insurers need a platform that can collect data from multiple sources and store that data in one place, then feed the consolidated data into their CRM to achieve a 360- degree view of its customers.”
According to Peers, many companies are adopting hybrid integration platforms (HIPs) that make the right data available to the right people at the right time. HIPs allow disparate incoming data streams to be aggregated and synthesized, normalizing the data and loading the output into multiple systems where it can be used for markets, sales, support and other applications.
Related article: How to prepare data for acceptance and integration
Insurance customers make periodic (monthly, quarterly or annual, depending on the plan) decisions whether to continue with the same insurer or switch. Those with life and health policies cannot renew with anyone.
It is incumbent upon insurers to do what they can to address the pain points that typically translate into poor CX for customers.