When it comes to digital transformation, the insurance industry is one of the last bulwarks of traditional businesses to adopt digital technology. For a long time the risk-averse industry had no compelling reason to change. There was a buffer zone around it, built up by government regulation, the complexity of product offerings and the massive start-up capital required to be an industry player. These are just some elements that prevented upstarts from bursting on the scene with exponential technology and suddenly changing decades of how business was done.
While the traditional insurance business model has proved to be remarkably resilient, the industry is beginning to feel the pressure to digitally “catch up”, from customers who likely expect all of their customer interactions to match their Amazon experience.
The opportunity in digital to serve customers better
Insurance has typically been considered a low-engagement industry where customer relationships were not proactively initiated. This is likely because customers only reached out to their providers when there was a problem to deal with. But customers have changed and so have their demands.
Customers expect to be at the centre of all of their digital interactions – and in many industries, they are. At every touch point they expect a business to know who they are, their personal preferences and to pick up the conversation where they left off. When it comes to insurance, they expect pricing and product offerings that are relevant and personalized for their situation. For insurers to live up to customer expectations and provide better, personalized service, they must deliver a seamless and well-executed omni-channel experience.
Digital technology gives insurers the opportunity to get to know their customers better. It means they can price and underwrite more accurately, and better identify fraudulent claims. They can also offer clients products that suit their lifestyle. For instance, auto insurance coverage can be tailored to charge by the miles driven. When an insurer is plugged into their customer’s life, they can now be alongside them when they sell their home and offer new home and auto insurance at the right time. With the convenience of online tools, they can do this quickly and efficiently.
On their end, customers are also demanding these tools to make things simpler and easier when they find themselves in difficult circumstances. These are customers who don’t think twice about one-click shopping, 24-hour access and quick delivery. They want clear, relevant information about product features, particularly when it comes to pricing and personalized services.
Digital transformation efforts by insurer are beginning to make life’s difficult moments a little easier for customers. Here’s a few cues from those who are taking the lead:
- A Self-Service Dashboard
Whether it’s buying a car or arranging a mortgage, people are now comfortable making big decisions online. They want to use their phone to get research done quickly so they can make decisions. The same mentality applies to their insurance coverage. Make it easier for them to upload and manage their paper trail online with a dashboard that can track everything related to their policy and coverage.
- A Simpler, Faster Process for Making Claims
If you’ve been rear-ended, you would know that the process of dealing with an insurance company can be more trying than the event itself. Rather than keeping a customer on the phone for twenty minutes or more as they explain the incident, the entire process can be handled via mobile, using chat, video and document sharing functions. For the customer who is stranded by the side of the road or in a daze in a hospital corridor, this level of convenience and simplicity can give peace of mind and even lead to loyalty.
- A Seamless Experience
Spare your customers the frustration of having to explain their accident over and over again, as they are transferred from one agent to another. Insurance companies can turn to technology that allows customer history and data to be accessed easily by all agents. Regardless of how they are contacted, agents can have access to the same information. Ultimately, a customer experience that flows easily enables an agent to better resolve issues and care for the customer’s unique needs.
While digital transformation definitely leads to more satisfied customers, it also has a positive impact on the bottom line. By updating and automating processes and incorporating online tools, companies can save time and money. Process automation enabled by insurance digital transformation can result in up to 65% reduction in costs – a compelling reason to push forward with a customer-centric digital transformation.