How leading insurers communicate

0 May 12, 2014 at 8:01 am by

In four weeks, we will be publishing our next IBM Institute for Business Value study. This time, we extensively interviewed 80 insurers, leaders and non-leaders, in four different market types (high and low growth, high and low maturity) to find out what leaders did differently, strategically. So today, it’s sneak peek time.

On our regular blog, we have been talking a lot about customer centricity, customer interaction, multi- and omni-channel access etc. So to leading insurers surely all of this is very important and will improve their business, right?

Consider this chart:


At first glance, this does not seem right. Leading insurers are saying that low barrier customer interaction does not increase customer satisfaction, while the non-leaders believe it does. Bit of a puzzle, isn’t it?

Actually, the answers make perfect sense. When you look at the data on the customer side, people are coming to expect multiple, easy-to-use-whenever-and-wherever-they-want and easy-to-switch interactions. In short, low barrier interaction. When it is what people expect, it will not increase satisfaction; it becomes a hygiene factor, i.e. it will decrease satisfaction when it’s not there.[1] Leading insurers already seem to understand that – non-leaders still have some learning to do.

How do leading insurers make sure they communicate well? Since it’s just a sneak peek, only two words: customer analytics and social media (ok, that was four words)…


[1] The term was introduced 50 years ago by Frederick Herzberg in his motivation-hygiene theory for the workplace. Salary is a typical example of an hygiene factor – it is not a motivator in itself, but it has to be right, otherwise it will demotivate.

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