For insurance firms to retain clients, they should continue to foster engagement through employing a seamless, on-demand customer experience. As technology changes the way consumers seek services, insurance firms are challenged to adapt and innovate to ensure client retention.
For Pypestream chief customer officer Donna Peeples, technology shapes customer experience in the insurance industry. Citing a study from Gartner, Peeples stressed that by 2020, customers are expected to do 85% of their business without interacting with a human.
“When your property is hit with a natural disaster or a crazy driver runs a stop sign and smashes your car door, the very last thing you want to do is sit on hold waiting for an insurance agent, or worse, get bumped around through the ranks being forced to completely re-tell your story to each new person,” she said.
Noting a separate study from Accenture, Peeples said nine in 10 customers feel badgered in such situations as they are asked to repeat their issues and incidents to several representatives.
Insurance Business had a brief chat with Peeples to get her insights on improving customer experience. In this exclusive interview, Peeples shares tips on how insurance firms can utilize mobile messaging in improving their communications lines with their clients. She also discusses the pressing challenges the industry is facing today.
There is elegance in simplicity, fast seamless experiences are essential to increase satisfaction. Allowing customers to easily engage with insurance companies or agents and brokers through secure digital messaging across all of their devices is important because it allows people to get support and information, transact or to give feedback on their terms rather than the company’s terms.
Becoming an “on-demand” business allows customers to interact with insurers in a number of ways – such as collecting underwriting information, paying a premium or processing a claim -- straight from their mobile devices or online. They can communicate and transact by text, pictures and even emojis while being guided through the process by intelligent automation. But the important piece is that they can do it how and when works best for them.
We’ve reached the point where we must innovate or die; and to do so must shift from a strictly rules-based approach of gradually evolving legacy systems to one where insurers and others across the service delivery chain should continuously apply real-time learning through artificial intelligence and data science. Routine tasks that required long phone calls or manually scouring policy FAQs should now be resolved more efficiently through intelligent automation. These once lumbering, legacy companies have the opportunity to leapfrog others and forego the often painful incremental change in favor of meaningful change. Think about 10x improvements versus the traditional 2x improvements - all driven by customer demand and enabled by technology.
Until now, incumbent brands have taken far too long to grasp the basics of the shift in business-to-consumer interactions. If you would have told me three years ago that insurance would be our fastest growing vertical, I would have probably laughed at you. But from where I sit now, more and more insurance companies are retooling how they think about their business processes and how best to leverage today’s technology in a way that better serves their customer, while also creating efficiencies for the company. The future is now.
A word of caution: Insurance shouldn’t approach this work as a project, program or initiative – instead they should think of it as fundamental shift in the way they think about how they do business day to day and more strategically over the long term. For those companies who embrace this new way of working, it’s not only about surviving - it’s about thriving in the on-demand economy.