Juggling Act – Half 2: Maintain the Buyer Happy

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In this series of blogs, my colleagues and I will look at the insurance sector in emerging markets with a particular focus on technology, digitization, platforms and ecosystems.

Companies in every industry know that their customers are the key to their success, and so it is important to measure customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). After all, you can’t improve where you’re wrong unless you know where you’re wrong. In other words, ask your customers.

When it comes to insurance, customer satisfaction is tied to the claims process: payouts need to be on time, they need to be properly explained and they need to be fair. For this reason, a few years ago at an insurance conference in Southeast Asia, I asked attendees for a show of hands on a fundamental question: Do you measure customer satisfaction at the end of each claim?

Not a single hand was raised.

While I wasn’t expecting to learn that every insurer in the room measures customer satisfaction, I thought there would be a few. The problem is that paying claims is still viewed as an administratively intensive process. While this used to be the case, technology has opened up many opportunities for creating a superior customer experience.

Success begins with putting the customer journey at the center. Over the years I have found that it is often necessary to say this in advance as some insurers do not take the time to look at this issue from the perspective of their customers or applicants. But if you want satisfied customers, you have to.

Revolutionize the customer experience

At the simplest level, an insurer is selling the ability to pay for a loss in the future. If they fail to provide this service successfully, they have given away their original promise.

In my experience, many problems related to customer satisfaction stem from being informed about what is happening on their customer journey – the points in the claims process that we refer to as moments of truth (see figure).

Illustration of the typical moments of truth when traveling customer claims. Click / tap to view a larger image.

These are the points that insurers should focus on. Take the beginning of a loss event – for example, after an accident to the hospital. Insurers could add a QR code to their mobile app that would make hospital admission easier and save customers waiting while the facility’s insurer confirms insurance details.

As soon as the claim is processed, the insurer can proactively tell its customers where their claims are, even if those claims get stuck waiting for the police to send an accident report or the car repair company to send the invoice – a simple SMS does the trick. Insurers can also take reactive steps – for example, by improving their contact options by having chatbots that handle high-volume, low-complexity requests to ensure 24-hour service.

Insurers can be proactive in other ways. Accenture worked with a customer to develop a system that analyzes the types of claims and then identifies the categories in which customers were often dissatisfied. In this way, the insurer can calculate a predicted satisfaction factor. If the claim is below a certain threshold, the claim will be passed on to a customer service representative who will call pre-emptively to explain the process.

Keeping customers informed requires systems that can clarify the various stages of the claims process, determine what is needed, and calculate what will happen next – and deliver that information in a way that the customer can understand.

That brings me back to my question for insurers at this conference about measuring customer satisfaction. A data-driven platform that puts the customer first and keeps them updated doesn’t just maximize customer satisfaction. It also offers customers a chance to provide feedback on this journey to ensure the insurer can respond and focus on delivering the best experience.

We return once more to the centrality of data in the digital age. Data is critical in other areas of insurance as well, including the topic of my next blog: How Technology Can Help Insurers Keep Operating Costs Down.

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