In our Insurance Customer Journey Blog Series, we discuss why reimagining the customer journey is critical, where the current improvement gaps among insurers lie, and further delve into ways these gaps can be addressed. Here in part 2, we take a deeper look at the value of digital engagement, its impacts on customer retention, and how it can engender transparency and trust.
The average person spends a large chunk of their day staring at a mobile device. In fact, according to People1, a poll of U.S. adults found that people spend an average of four hours and 33 minutes using a smartphone every day. While some may view this as an unhealthy habit, it’s also a fact of modern life. Mobile devices have become a key part of the way we communicate, shop, learn, work, and play. They are also a convenient way to engage with our insurance carriers.
When someone has a problem or question, their first instinct may be to grab a phone—and it’s usually not to make a call. It’s to use an app. Given this, it’s clear that insurers should be investing in digital engagement strategies. That way, when an insurance customer needs something, they can get help in the way they’ve become accustomed – via their smartphone.
Boosting digital engagement could boost insurance engagement, and that’s an improvement that’s sorely needed: According to research from EY2, 44% of global insurance customers reported zero interaction with their insurers in the last 18 months.
How is a customer supposed to trust an insurer they never interact with? The reality is that many don’t. According to a report from IBM, 42% of customers don’t fully trust their insurer.
The insurance process shouldn’t be a mystery. Insurance customers should feel like their insurer is there for them. This isn’t possible without engagement.
Digital Engagement and the Insurance Customer Experience
The insurance customer journey can be looked at in one of two ways: from the insurer’s perspective and from the customer’s perspective. Unfortunately, these two vantage points don’t always align.
A McKinsey & Company paper on customer experience, “From touchpoints to journey: Seeing the world as customers do3,” discusses this problem. In one example of how a touchpoint-based approach to customer service can go wrong, we see how a media company was losing customers over poor service even though individual customer interactions seemed to go well. According to the McKinsey report, “Most customers didn’t much care about those singular touchpoint events. What was driving them out the door was something the company wasn’t examining or managing—the customers’ cumulative experience across multiple touchpoints, multiple channels, and over time.”
This scenario occurs every day in the insurance industry. So, what’s the solution?
Insurers need to develop an outside-in approach that focuses on the customer perspective. Customers don’t just want problems to be solved quickly – they want problems and confusion to be avoided in the first place. Digital engagement can help accomplish this.
Insurers have been increasingly turning to digital engagement to quickly connect with existing insureds to improve retention and strengthen relationships. Digital customer engagement is an extremely valuable communication tool that can lead to an increase in customer retention up to 10% and ultimately decrease loss ratio. Insurers can reach their policyholders in less time by messaging them through digital channels, which is especially helpful during policy lifecycle and weather events.
This level of digital engagement can foster transparency, and this in turn can generate trust.
Digital Customer Engagement Capabilities Through Payments
Often, the most memorable customer experiences involve payments – the premium payments customers make and the claim payments they receive. This means that many communications will also be about payments.
With One Inc, you can set up outbound messages that are integrated into your core policy, billing and claims systems. For example, when a premium payment is due soon, you can automatically send a message to remind the customer, or when a claim payment is ready to be disbursed, the policyholder can be alerted by a text message.
But it’s not a one-way street. The policyholder is also given the opportunity to digitally engage and voice their choices about which messages are wanted, and which channels should be used – text, email, social, or interactive voice response.
We’re here to help. One Inc’s comprehensive payment solution enables insurers to deliver on their promise to provide a secure and superior customer experience. We provide carriers with the ability to give their customers what they want and expect: control, convenience, consistency, and continuity. That’s the strength derived from the Power of One™ - a cohesive and seamless experience for both inbound and outbound digital payments.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Insurance Customer Journey Blog Series where we will delve more into why journey mapping is critical for insurers today, the importance of personas, and how an end-to-end journey perspective ensures better outcomes.