How to Create Industry-Leading Digital Customer Engagement

1 May 23, 2016 at 1:49 pm by

Businessman with mobile phone and smart watchAt Amplify 2016, I attended several insurance-focused sessions, including hosting an industry dinner. I came away from the conference with three key observations:

  1. Insurers are eager to use mobile to initiate and sustain industry-leading digital customer engagement.
  2. The trick for insurers is seamlessly merging a customer’s various digital and physical interactions into one unified and compelling brand experience.
  3. Insurance industry leaders are embracing predictive analytics and cognitive computing to apply deep understanding, reasoning and learning to enrich customer interactions.

Insurers realize that consumers are connected and empowered, with rising expectations around access, ubiquity, and transparency. In fact, today’s policyholders typically begin their relationship with an insurer digitally, often using a mobile device. As a result, insurers are crafting digital marketing strategies that use mobile to take the lead in attracting and retaining customers. For example, Security First Insurance has transformed its digital engagement strategy to unify customer experiences across all platforms and devices, with mobile in the forefront. Their successful approach has delivered a 140% increase in digital payments and a 35% increase in conversion rates.

With web-based interactions on the rise, the trick for insurers is seamlessly merging a customer’s digital and physical interactions into one unified and compelling brand experience. Forrester reports that 70% of consumers are online before interacting with a contact center.  Imagine how much more effective a call center representative can be if she has knowledge of a customer’s online interactions before he calls? To that end, Nationwide has upgraded its online customer service engagement tools to drastically reduce CSR average handle time, decrease web-related escalations and improve incremental revenue from additional converted orders.

Insurance leaders are listening to what their policyholders are saying. Hidden in data, policyholders reveal what they are doing, why they buy, and even how they feel. Armed with an array of analytics from behavioral and digital to predictive and cognitive, insurance providers can understand and deliver what their policyholders want – sometimes before they know it themselves. Based in Australia, IAG Insurance has enhanced its customer behavior analytics to improve web conversion rates and customer experience scores.

These days, insurance industry customer engagement executives know they need to reach prospective and current policyholders in context at every point of the purchase process by innovating personally relevant and rewarding experiences that draw customers in and keep them engaged. The good news is that there are now tools tailored for insurance that can speed mobile engagement, seamlessly merge digital and physical interactions, and deliver compelling brand experiences to drive higher conversion rates, improve customer experience and increase loyalty.

For more information on how cognitive computing is impacting the insurance industry, check out The Power of Cognitive Commerce for Insurance.

[posted for Lynn Kesterson-Townes]

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1 Comment » for How to Create Industry-Leading Digital Customer Engagement
  1. Jeff Roy says:

    Great information Christian.
    How do brokers offer industry leading customer engagements when our company partners have not built the infrastructure to complete basic transaction easily in 2016. A user or consumer would not tolerate the learning curve to use a company portal if they where mapped out directly. 17 companies are putting Guidewire into their insurance company in Canada, so I hope that user experience of the broker and the client is considered in this version of company computers systems as both the broker and consumer were all after thoughts in the systems we are using now.
    Brokers would love to offer a great experience through our mobile application but there are few missing roads our industry needs to build and build quickly.
    1. Most insurers do not have self service figure out easily for brokers so how can they map this Physical and digital interactions in to a mobile application experience. They can not offer viewing of claims, round trip new business, policy changes, binding new policy through their website or portal so how can they offer and build this into a mobile application? Companies need to improve the broker experience and build the client experience at the same time.
    2. Once the companies build this next generation of user experience they need to offer an API integration to brokers so they can brand this experience the colour of their brokerage. An API would allow the consumer, insured with that company, to do all the cool groovy functions with the company but start in the brokers mobile application. Companies would compete on features they could offer their clients through the mobile application. If a company does not offer straight through processing, real-time policy change, payment, claims viewing, decpages and liability slip they would be at a disadvantage with other markets. For those brokers that are not technologically advanced they can use the company portal and mobile application that is co-branded to their brokerage. However they will not be able to control your industry leading customer engagement as well. Also when they remarket a customer to another company what do you do if you are using the company mobile application instead of your own ?
    3. Security will be an issue that needs to be solved. Consumers do not want a password to log into the brokers mobile application and then a password to log into the company site. The Canadian industry needs federated password management solution so one password will work for both. In a world of cyber security and companies that make brokers change passwords every 60 days this will be a challenge but their will be a solution. CSIO needs to take the charge in Canada and work with the Mobile application vendors and the companies on this. Passwording people to death on an application that may not get used a lot during the year is no a smart move.
    4. Gamification – what will the hooks be so that people will keep their insurance mobile application on their phone and not delete it ? Payments ? Claims ? The industry needs to some innovation in this area. Try and make your insurance engagement cool and fun.
    Brokers want to offer a mobile application experience that is seamless. Brokers want to reduce consumer friction, Brokers want to offer self serve. The big issue, Insurance companies are slow tearing up their legacy systems roads and build the new roads of tomorrow. In an agile world this is putting our industry at a disadvantage vs new disruptors (Trov, Insurify, lemonade,Policy genius etc.) that are entering the industry with no legacy system issues.
    In this article i am hearing what the companies are doing. We need to focus on what is being done for the brokers, agents and have a strategy.
    We have some challenges because the focus seems to be on the companies not on the brokers. In Canada brokers have a bigger share than the USA so we need a shift in perspective. Lets talk how brokers and companies can create an industry leading customer experience. We are all in the experience business not just the insurance business.

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