If you dislike your insurance company, you are not alone: Worldwide, less than 30 percent of consumers have positive experiences in dealing with their insurers, Capgemini has found.
Globally, satisfaction fell 3.7 percent from 32.6 percent in 2013 to 28.9 percent last year, according to Capgemini’s World Insurance Report 2015.
North America saw the largest decline — 8.3 percentage points.
Capgemini blamed the slide on a combination of demands for better service from Generation Y — people 18-34 years of age — and factors such as inadequate customer engagement and knowledge, big data, regulatory changes and economic uncertainty.
Positive customer experience ratings for Generation Y fell the most in North America — 10.9 percent.
What Insurers Ought to Do
Insurance companies should focus on social media, online and mobile channels, because more than 50 percent of Generation Y customers in most places consider them important, Capgemini recommended.
They must combine both digital and traditional channels and ensure they don’t jeopardize the agent relationship, because agents are critical. Positive experiences were almost 10 percentage points higher when customers worked with agents than when they worked through digital channels.
Insurers risk losing the Gen Y customer segment to more agile competitors, Capgemini cautioned.
Indeed they might. Sixty-seven percent of more than 6,000 insurance customers in 11 countries told Accenture they would consider switching from their current providers to Google or Amazon.
Google, which offers auto insurance in the UK, has teamed up with insurance comparison site CompareNow.com in the United States. Walmart is another player.
Byte Me, Bro!
“It’s not about CRM,” said Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research, who interviewed the chief customer officer at “a very large multi-line insurance company” for his upcoming book, Solve for the Customer.
Companies first must understand customers and their moments of truth — “those times when you have to pull through for a customer based on a product or brand promise that’s either expressed or implied,” Pombriant told CRM Buyer.
Also, they must collect the correct data.
“That means asking open-ended questions about how [consumers] live and what they worry about, how they embrace the future,” Pombriant said. “If you collect that kind of data, you will know more about your customers and be able to service them better.”
What About the Man in the Middle?
Should insurance companies go back to relying on agents, which can be costly?
“It’s less about communicating one on one than it is about making customers’ lives easier when dealing with insurance companies,” Pombriant said. “Insurance companies have their own geekdom … . Simplifying processes and services and using English as a first language can do a lot to humanize them.”
Cloud, social and mobile technologies “have empowered customers with more information and choices than ever before,” and insurance companies “must rethink how they interact with customers by addressing underlying processes and unleashing data from antiquated business systems,” remarked Glen Stoffel, EVP of strategic development at Bluewolf.
Streamlining core internal processes, ranging from sales and marketing to underwriting and claims, will let companies unlock siloed data and boost collaboration across departments, Stoffel told CRM Buyer.
They should then top that with predictive analytics and actionable data tools to effectively predict what customers want and the next best action to take.
Bluewolf created Aircare, a direct insurance product for Berkshire Hathaway — Warren Buffet’s company — that lets customers buy, service and get paid for claims without ever talking to an agent.
Branding Is the Key
“The point of using social media is to get to a place of real-world engagement,” said Eric Quanstrom, CMO of Pipeliner CRM. “It’s not so much a technology investment as it is a human investment in building your brand.”
While technology can alert companies to relevant signals, let them interact with more people, and help organize time and maintain focus, “technology itself doesn’t build brands,” Quanstrom told CRM Buyer.
If he were to design a CRM solution for insurers, Quanstrom said he “would make sure to include visualization as my first principle,” as a model of the actual sales pipeline would help companies remain focused on targets.