Customers accustomed to easy shopping on sites like Amazon and Zappos are less than thrilled about their experience trying to compare and/or purchase insurance online. So it’s not a complete surprise to hear Gartner predicting that by the end of 2016, insurers leading in digitization will outperform slower adopters by 100%.
With 2016 right around the corner, the question is what insurers with an outmoded technology structure can do in the next few months to catch up. Let’s first look at the end goal and ask, “What does digital excellence in insurance carriers look like?” Surveys have shown that the top performers have some or all of the following:
- Personalized customer interactions
- Mobile-specific capabilities that allow convenient, on-the-go transactions
- Digital talent capable of incorporating analytics into the company’s overall strategy
Companies that are successfully transforming their business are mainly focused on these three areas:
- 1Mining the digital data customers leave behind on the net, social media, and other apps. This gives insurers a more holistic view of their target customers, allowing them to more accurately underwrite policies, more correctly price their products, and more effectively manage their claims.
- 2Automating and digitizing existing business processes. This enables straight-through processing so carriers can conduct business seamlessly with agent partners and customers.
- 3Increased technology adoption. This gives insurers more opportunities to connect with customers for improved upsell/cross sell and better customer retention.
Essentially, this means carriers who want to be at the forefront of the digitization movement should prioritize the following:
- Integrating various customer touch-points and product offerings through brokers, agents, and banks. For example, they might adopt a digital platform for on-boarding brokers and use a single interface for all interactions with them.
- Launching self-service tools that allow customers to request policy changes, manage their claims, and perform other administrative tasks.
- Using advanced customer analytics to understand the customer even better and be able to predict customer behavior.
- Mining a variety of data sources, including unstructured data such as social media, to better understand customer behavior in order to predict customer churn and identify high-value customers.
In my next post, I’ll discuss how some insurance carriers are leading the pack in terms of digital experience for end customers and how data initiatives are integral to this journey.