Digital acceleration of the customer experience in the insurance industry

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Superior products and services aren’t enough to scale insurance businesses in the current market. Providing a comprehensive, end-to-end digital experience is imperative to serve today’s digital-first consumers and being present at all touch points customers are present at. Pioneers in the insurance industry are now challenged to enhance customer interaction with tech-first newbies. Embracing an omnichannel digital transformation strategy is now imperative to eliminate friction in the purchase journey.

We’ve curated some strategies that help the insurance business embrace digital advances and cut friction from the customer journey:

  • Omni-channel customer journey

While most insurers have embraced policy purchase on a digital medium, complex and vital information that enables a consumer to make an informed decision, such as real-time insurance calculators, product comparison, breakdown of policy information, instant policy issuance etc., are still friction points for customers. These instances often result in customers abandoning their purchase journey, contacting support for more information, and customer dissatisfaction.

To remain competitive and provide the seamless & intuitive digital experience customers expect, insurance companies and distributors need to cater to customer needs from all verticals – such as consumers switching between multiple devices during the purchase process, native mobile app users, websites with product information to aid customer’s research, and social media as an essential part of communication towards the younger consumers.

  • Focus on non-sales verticals

Many insurers focus solely on sales and revenue. This approach often leads to a lack of effort towards enhancing user experience. COVID-19 led the general public to view insurance in a new light. While this shift led to a natural increase in policy sales, it also brought about increased foot traffic to insurers’ apps and websites, leading to an instant spike in customer dissatisfaction since a majority of the insurance providers weren’t prepared for the sudden influx of traffic.

Many traditional insurers still find it difficult to update their legacy systems without disrupting the day-to-day operations. Considering the fact that there is a relatively low cost involved in switching insurance carriers, customers have little to no reason not to move on to a provider with a better digital experience.

Considering that policyholders primarily contact their insurers during distress in their lives, it is in the best interest of insurance companies to provide a hassle-free workflow and seamless customer experience to ensure maximum customer retention. 

  • Personalized experience

Online shopping apps offer product recommendations based on purchase history; streaming platforms recommend shows and movies based on watch history – today’s customers have become accustomed to this level of personalization from their service providers.

Insurers, too, can achieve personalization through pre-populating customer data during purchase and claims, insurance product recommendations based on customers’ lifestyles, etc. Insurance companies need to learn how to best collect and analyze customer information with assistance from technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 

  • Smoother client-advisor interactions

While the insurance industry has tremendously moved along on the technology front, many policyholders still heavily rely on their trust in the insurance agents/advisors for purchase decisions. Hence, providing a seamless, omnichannel communication platform is vital to retain customer trust and business.

Digital tools such as CRM, lead generation & management solutions, real-time premium calculators, customer profiling tools, etc., will help the agent and the business acquire more information and utilize the gained knowledge for focused customer service at scale. 

As digital transformation continues to spread in every industry, even a rooted sector such as insurance is expected to embrace digital advances to maintain an elated customer experience. When used wisely, embracing a digital transformation will lead to increased revenues, reduced costs, and improved customer experience.