Dipak Sahoo, insurance lead for IT firm Capgemini has argued that Australian insurance firms may be lagging behind their counterparts in other financial services sectors where IT development and customer experience is concerned.
Capgemini’s most recent World Insurance Report has found that customer satisfaction with Australian insurance firms has fallen over the last year, possibly as a result of comparison with other financial services companies that have invested heavily in IT infrastructure.
“Customers’ [view of insurance firms] is possibly being influenced by the customer experience they receive from, say, banks. Insurance as a whole is seriously lagging behind banks and other financial firms in terms of digital maturity,” said Sahoo. “There is a huge gap in the claims space where they haven’t really invested in digital technologies to manage the process. That’s where there is a huge opportunity to create positive customer experiences.
He added that insurance firms in other countries were also ahead of Australian firms in terms of core systems investment, but that Australian insurers were already making significant efforts in this space.
Sahoo also highlighted improvements to the consistency of customer experience across different channels as critical to future development – particularly the interplay between online, direct mobile and intermediary. He even suggested that brokers may eventually be perceived as extensions of insurers, rather than as independent parties.
“From a broker’s perspective, they would become an extension of the insurance company – but only from a customer experience perspective,” said Sahoo.
In addition, Sahoo suggested that brokers should make further efforts to better understand customers from a relationship and risk perspective, particularly through the use of analytics, social media and relationship management tools, and using that information to benefit their clients.