Reinventing the customer experience in the insurance sector
It’s not an easy time to be an insurance company. Cultural, operational and general market challenges are converging to shift the market landscape, plus widespread modernisation and major regulatory changes are on the horizon. As a result, insurance companies must take a long, hard look at the traditional ways of conducting business. Against this backdrop of change, the focus must sharpen on innovation and creating operational efficiencies that create a competitive differentiator to aid customer retention, brand loyalty and company growth.
Customers want superior customer service
Research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that “strong customer advocacy” and “superior customer service” are rated as the top two things customers want from an insurance provider. In fact, the report states that, “Generation X and Y – who have increasing economic clout – demand simple products, transparent pricing and relationships, quick delivery and the convenience of dealing with insurers when and where they want.”
So how important is the customer experience with insurers? Here are a few compelling facts for consideration:
- Nationwide Insurance found a 1% increase in retention increased annual premiums by $1million.
- 74% of customers will call a contact centre as the first way of contacting an insurer.
- 26% of customers will switch providers, based solely on a bad experience with the contact centre.
- Satisfied customers are 50% more likely to listen to a sales offer.
Clearly, how customers feel about interacting with an insurer is a big deal, with the statistics underlining the importance of understanding what a customer wants from their journey, in order to acquire new business, retain customers and build brand preference.
PwC’s report also states that productivity-enhancing tools are key to help insurers enhance the customer experience, recommending that insurers actively look to improve customer and agent interaction, through the use of consistent interfaces and workflow across systems including policy, billing and claims. As insurers rely on multiple channels to communicate with customers, a consistent brand experience is critical, from initial quote to sign-up through to claim handling.
UK insurers responding to the market challenges include Sterling Insurance Group and Premium Choice, with both organisations deploying ShoreTel’s advanced Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Centre solutions. In an intensely competitive market with escalating premiums, Premium Choice uses ShoreTel to provide a tailored service via dedicated telephone numbers and other channels for different customer groups and prospects. This has resulted in a 15% reduction in call waiting time for the 400,000+ calls and enquiries received by Premium Choice annually, and a 10% increase in call centre agent productivity.
The benefits are clear to see; insurers that tackle their challenges head-on will have an advantage over the competition, whereas those that do not are likely to struggle. With so much at stake, can you really afford not to take action?
Building the business case for UC – download our Five Benefits of ShoreTel’s UC Platform.
To see how an insurer has benefited from a UC and Enterprise Contact Centre solution please read thePremium Choice Success Story.
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