This post How to Improve the Customer Experience in Insurance was originally published on the Silverline blog.
Growing a base of satisfied and engaged policyholders will pay significant dividends for any carrier, agency, or brokerage. A great customer experience isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore – your customers demand it.
The average customer spends 67% more in the 31st-36th months of their relationship than in their first six months. And 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
When considering cost, retaining existing customers is far less expensive than attracting new ones. In general, insurers spend five times more to attract a new customer than to retain a satisfied one. So why don’t more insurance companies focus on building a great customer experience in the first place?
5 Ways to Build a Better Customer Experience in Insurance
Improving your policyholder’s experience should be a top priority. Here are five ways to build a better customer experience using the power of Salesforce technology, whether you’re a carrier, agency, or brokerage:
Simplify the Experience
What points of friction exist in your policyholder journey? Examine how easy your quoting process is to navigate from your customer’s perspective. These are the points in the customer journey that add too much complexity that causes frustration.
A better customer experience starts with simplicity.
Providing a fully self-service online quoting-to-bind process, such as with the Salesforce Vlocity solution, helps boost conversions especially for straightforward personal lines offerings. Even if you are not able to fully rate and bind a policy with straight-through processing, consider giving customers a way to initiate the quote or get an estimate online.
Don’t ignore the post-issuance experience, either. By leveraging a Salesforce Communities-powered portal integrated with your policy administration or agency management system, you can accelerate many common policy changes and service requests.
Personalize the Experience
Policyholders want to do business with an insurer that just gets them. No one likes filling out repetitive insurance forms, so don’t make your customers do it.
You’d think that if it was that easy, everyone would do it. But the reality is, showing what you know about the customer and building a personalized experience can put you ahead of the competition.
Make sure your systems are integrated with one another, don’t ask for information you already have, and pre-fill forms for your policyholders whenever possible. Salesforce can help you gather customer preferences to personalize engagement across all your channels.
Be Where Your Customers Are
Your customers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to contact you.
Consider expanding your service channels. While traditional phone-based contact centers aren’t going away anytime soon, policyholders want more options to engage with you when they have coverage questions, claims, and other service needs.
Chat and text channels are becoming increasingly popular. In addition to giving your customers more options in getting questions answered, live chat or using chatbot technology can aid with call deflection and respond to simple customer requests such as payment date, claim status, and document requests.
Also, consider using text or push messages to keep your customer up-to-date on claim status and next steps.
Efficiency and Transparency in Claims
More than 40 percent of policyholders who were displeased with their claims experience said they intended to shop for a new carrier within a year, compared with 90 percent of highly-satisfied customers who indicated they would renew.
While most policyholders shy away from digital First Notices of Loss (FNOL), the majority welcome and expect digital engagement at other points in the claims process. One way to improve your claim experience is to provide your customers with an app or portal to check on the status of claims, ask questions, and submit documents and photos.
Invest in your Employee Experience
Your employees are an essential part of your customer experience.
Many insurance service scenarios are emotionally charged and some customers are more comfortable talking with a soothing voice. Even with significant investments in straight-through processing, robotic process automation, and underwriting algorithms, many of your mid- and back-office functions depend on satisfied employees who can do their jobs efficiently.
Making sure they have the data they need and can seamlessly move through their workflow without unnecessary re-keying or ‘swivel-chairing’ between systems enables them to deliver on the customer experience your policyholders expect.
Make Customer Experience Your Differentiator
When deciding where to invest in establishing new technologies and developing new capabilities, investing in customer experience is a sure bet. Salesforce’s capabilities are designed to help you harness the power of the wealth of information you know about your customers to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience. Silverline’s experts are here to help you design your ideal customer experience, prioritize your investments to maximize ROI, and implement the technologies to transform your policyholder engagement.