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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?

Related articles:
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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Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

The Trust has a long-standing relationship with Incom-CNS and considers them an important partner. The Mitel solution has delivered the increased resilience required for our critical services.

Premier Holidays

The Mitel solution from Incom-CNS has helped us to save money, improve our flexibility to manage seasonal demands, increase our efficiencies and deliver exceptional customer service.

The Range Superstores

Our customers can speak to the right person, first time, and this level of service sets us apart from the competition. In Incom-CNS and Mitel we have the perfect partnership.

Harley Medical Group

Throughout our relationship, I have found Incom-CNS to be very helpful and professional. I would not hesitate to recommend Incom-CNS to other companies.

Stafford and Rural Homes

The Mitel system from Incom-CNS will pay for itself in two years through significantly reduced management costs and savings on our telephone bill in the order of 20%.

Nine St John Street Chambers

We have worked with Incom-CNS for twenty years and trust their advice and technical capabilities. The Mitel platform is a reliable solution that meets our current and future requirements.

Ison Harrison Solicitors

Put simply, the Mitel Unified Communications solution deployed by Incom-CNS delivers less complexity, ease of use and a much lower total cost of ownership to Ison Harrison.

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