On March 10th, 2016 I had the privilege of attending an e-signature summit hosted by eSignLive. One of the overriding themes of the day was that insurance companies are taking customer experience (CX) very seriously when exploring new initiatives. I’m excited to see how insurance companies continue to adapt their CX to meet the changing demands of their customers.
Representatives from Erie Insurance, Donegal Insurance Group, Liberty Mutual, and The Co-Operators all related their experiences with designing and implementing an e-sign program and in every case the experience, of both agents and insureds, was a key factor in qualifying success. But it doesn’t stop at e-sign programs, many stages in the insured lifecycle need to be addressed.
Most insurers, in the past, built their customer service around a reactive model. Research at the time suggested customers did not want to interact with their insurers unless they had a problem, so “we’re here when you need us!” became an industry mantra. However, as you know, consumer demands have drastically changed, and it’s clear that insurers must adopt a more proactive service model.
The focus on improved CX for insurers appears to be paying dividends. According to their annual World Insurance Report, Capgemini found that CX (measured on a 100 point Customer Experience Index (CEI) scale) has improved across all regions over the past year - with a global increase of 6.1 percent.
While this overall improvement is certainly something insurers can take pride in, one key finding of the study suggests that there is still much work to be done in order to maintain this upward trend. The Capgemini study found a sharp decline in the CEI for Gen-Y consumers when compared to those of older generations (for the purpose of this study, “Gen Y” is defined as consumers aged 18-34).
Among those surveyed globally, only 33.9% of Gen Y consumers reported having a positive experience with their insurer compared to 55.4% of those from all other generational groups. Since the Gen Y demographic represents the insurance customer of the future, it’s important for insurers to take notice that their service infrastructure will need to be adapted to meet future demand.
When asked how often they expect to engage with their insurer over traditional channels (Agent, Broker, Bank, or Phone) or digital channels (Internet-PC, Internet-Mobile, or Social Media), Gen Y consumers indicated - across the board - that they are significantly more likely to interact with their insurer compared to older generations. These findings suggest that in order to keep up with consumer demand, insurers must be able to interact with insureds seamlessly across multiple channels.
A great way to better understand your customer’s channel preferences is by mapping out their journey across the entire lifecycle, and to ask for customer feedback; then look for areas where it makes sense to make new communication channels available. Capturing channel preference early in the relationship and then periodically updating from there, is also important.
For more on how a well-articulated program of customer journey mapping and surveying can positively impact your CX, contact SPLICE!