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Insurance Customer Experience: Meeting the Expectations of Today’s Consumer

Customer experience and satisfaction are critical in insurance, but many in the industry are still in the early adoption stage of digital transformation. Additionally, customer expectations are at an all-time high. People expect fast, personalized service wherever and whenever they need it, and in order to compete, insurers need to offer the best, most seamless experiences possible across technologies, apps, communications, and customer service.

Improving Insurance Customer Experience

The insurance user experience must start with a customer-centric approach. In this post, we outline both personal and technology-related steps that businesses can take to accomplish this.

9 Technology-Related Steps to Improve the Customer Service Experience

The digitization of insurance can help streamline policy administration and claims processing, as well as enhance efficient communication–indeed, all customer interaction–through the following technology-related steps:

  1. Ensure a cross-channel personalized experience. Make sure your customers have a positive, unique experience when purchasing something as important as P&C insurance. According to Sailthru, Americans own an average of four devices and engage with screens more than 60 hours a week. From mobile apps and social media to iPads and laptops, the goal is a seamless, positive customer experience across all platforms.
  2. Provide a connected customer journey. According to Salesforce, “80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product/services.”
  3. Pledge data accuracy and privacy. Customers want to know that their private information remains that way — private. Making sure that you have proper security measures in place and communicating that fact to your customers will help put them at ease.
  4. Provide consumers choices for how to buy — and when. Consumers like options, and they often seek out recommendations. According to a MyCustomer article, businesses can help customers choose products and services by offering simple, easy-to-understand options; offering targeted solutions; and providing default options for customers.
  5. Utilize chatbots. By employing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, chatbots can walk a customer through a policy application or claims process, which frees up human intervention for more complicated cases. Chatbots can also save an organization time — and money.
  6. Offer mobile apps. Providing an easy-to-use app means that customers have convenient access literally at their fingertips, especially since consumers spend more than 5 hours per day on their smartphones, according to HubSpot. Customers can browse information and insurance options or contact customer service with questions or concerns.
  7. Recommend products. By collecting and more effectively using customer data, insurers can offer product recommendations based on particular interests, location, and browsing history.
  8. Be at the forefront of automation. Machine learning, predictive analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are technological resources you can use to boost the insurance customer experience.
  9. Explore using voice-activated devices. Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, for example, are becoming cheaper and more sophisticated. The convergence of advanced analytics and these voice-controlled devices could present exciting opportunities for insurers. Plus, according to HubSpot, 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.

4 Personal Elements You Can Employ to Improve the Customer Service Experience

  1. Provide interactions and responses in real time. Social media has made communication more efficient and engaging, but companies need to keep pace and respond to questions, concerns, or comments within an appropriate time period. According to HubSpot, 80% of customers expect businesses to respond to their posts within 24 hours. Also, 79% of consumers prefer a live chat option over social media due to the quick response time.
  2. Ensure trust and honesty. According to Forbes, 86% of people believe authenticity matters when deciding which brands to support. It’s important not to offer false advertising or exaggerated information. Honesty will build trust, which can lead to brand loyalty.
  3. Focus on service — not selling. While selling a product or service is certainly important, it shouldn’t be the main focus. How important is it to provide a positive, seamless experience for consumers? According to HubSpot, “90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.” Also, good service often will lead to sales; “93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service,” also according to HubSpot.
  4. Employ knowledgeable salespeople. It’s important for your sales staff to fully know and understand the products and services they are selling. Consumers are looking for a reassuring, trustworthy experience, and an experienced sales staff demonstrates confidence and competence.

4 Examples of High-Quality Customer Experience in Insurance

  1. GEICO. Headless implementation, with GEICO’s user experience on top of Duck Creek solutions, allowed GEICO to focus on creating award-winning user experiences and powerful sales channels.
  2. Eastern Alliance. The company processed applications for multiple locations simultaneously, which reduced the turnaround time for customers. They have also been able to collect higher volumes of information for future risk assessment.
  3. Saxon Insurance. The company redesigned its consumer portal with self-service functionality and credit card processing capabilities created with headless implementation of the Duck Creek Platform. Novarica: This case study on Saxon Motor and General Insurance talks about the implementation of a policyholder portal integrated with social media and other communication channels as the final part of its digital core transformation. This has improved response time by 80% and transaction time by 50%, as well as increased customer and staff satisfaction.

5 Emerging Insurance Customer Experience Trends

Customer service is more important than ever in insurance. Here are five trends that will help create seamless, positive experiences.

  1. Risk management services. According to a Risk & Insurance article, insurers are recognizing that traditional models may not work forever. “Now they want to create more touch points and find ways to add more value to that relationship in the form of risk management services.” This enhances the customer experience and also reduces the likelihood of a claim. Fewer claims should ultimately mean more profits for the insurer and less expensive policies for the consumer.
  2. Insurtech. This is defined as “a broad category of constantly changing technologies used in the insurance industry,” according to The Balance Small Business. A PwC report states that “many believe insurance is on the brink of a major disruption, but few are putting Insurtech at the heart of their strategy.”
  3. Updated insurance models. According to WNS, “flexible coverage options, micro-insurance, and peer-to-peer insurance will become viable options in the long run. Reinsurers will provide risk capital directly to digital brands, and regulatory frameworks will accommodate shorter value chains.”
  4. Lifestyle apps. According to WNS, application programming interfaces will help create insights-driven offerings as they integrate data from numerous sources. A greater understanding of customer behavior will lead to more accurate risk assessments, personalized experiences, and brand loyalty.
  5. Touchless claims. According to Claims Journal, this is defined as “a process or workflow that is similar to virtual handling except no claims adjuster or insurance carrier employee is involved in the claims process at all. Technology is used to report the claim, capture damage or invoices, run a system audit and communicate with the customer electronically. If the claim meets approved criteria, the claim is automatically paid without human intervention.” For more info on unlocking the value of touchless claims, check out Duck Creek’s webinar.

Conclusion:

Customers expect fast, personalized service, and insurers need to offer a variety of comprehensive and seamless experiences in order to compete. From offering a cross-channel personalized experience to pledging data accuracy, there are important steps you can take to meet customer expectations and provide a positive and efficient customer service experience.

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Caleen Alexanderson
Caleen has more than 30 years of experience in insurance automation. While most of her career has focused on agent automation, she is passionate about efficient digital solutions and workflows for all users. Caleen is the UX Research Lead at Duck Creek Technologies. She and her team focus on unique patterns and needs of end users across the company’s suite of products and turn that knowledge into fast, intuitive, delightful experiences.