Rajneesh Pathak suggests four steps for insurers to win with excellent customer journeys.
Today, digitally-savvy consumers are one of the most influential slices of pie in the insurance sector, opening new markets and sources of revenue for careers. Expectations of personalisation and service quality among this segment are very different from the traditional customer base, which continues to demand value for money, with basic quality services.
In a commoditised business like insurance, where customer experience is one of the last bastions left with product managers, insurers need to balance this dichotomy to be effective in the marketplace. The fact that consumers are constantly pampered by the retail and hospitality industry has elevated the expectations of this customer-centricity and created a new baseline where insurers must operate.
Traditionally, insurance policies have been sold and managed through intermediaries, separating the insurance firms from its customers. Further, a quantitative view of the risk pool as ascertained only through actuarial principals, has expanded this chasm. Delivering a superior customer experience takes a concerted effort across business functions, which relies on creating a single thread of customer-centricity and seamless experiences.
In the current environment, consumers envision having a central role in their relationship with businesses. For insurers, their arm's-length stance of earlier years is resulting in inadequate customer experiences across both segments.
MEETING CUSTOMERS' NEEDS
In our experience, the leaders in the customer experience space are winning by focusing on a few, but very well defined, customer needs and interventions around them
- Culture: A culture of customer-centricity aligns all processes, interactions and value system to the centrality of customer needs. And it should be put in practice from the CEO's office to front-line executives.
2. Know your customer: A finely created micro segment with customer markers goes a long way in designing a customer experience framework and strategy aligned to it. Most insurance firms would build their strategies aligned to segments, based on the following levers:
a) Product and its customisation
b) Trust and transparency
c) Speed and professionalism
d) Unified communication and experience.
3. Design thinking and operationalisation of journeys: Radically redesigning the customer journeys based on the needs of segments defines the success of any customer experience initiative. Using customer empathy and cross-functional integration typically forms the backbone of successful operationalisation.
4. Digitalisation and customer insight: Use digital insight as captured from processes and interaction, to fine-tune the customer journey and measure it empirically.Each interaction and touchpoint judged by the customer will define whether a carrier is meeting its brand's promise or not. With such a large value at stake, the insurers that deliver on the customer experience journey will win greater market share and space in the minds of consumers.
Rajneesh Pathak is client partner at Fractal Analytics