Last week we hosted a webinar, The Insurance Contact Center and the Affordable Care Act- Preparing for the Unknown, featuring insurance analyst, Ellen Carney of Forrester Research. Ellen had recently conducted research around the transition of the health insurance industry as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the key takeaways from the event was to stress to contact center directors and managers, the importance of the contact center being prepared for major change come the October 1st go live date for enrollment. Ellen pointed out that as a result of a lack of resources such as informational websites, [...]
I hear time and time again from contact center, underwriting, and claims managers that defining a competitive policyholder experience has become a top priority for insurance carriers of all types. For many of these managers, figuring out how to create, manage, and maintain the implementation of technology to help facilitate an exceptional experience is where they are challenged. Many times we take the “golden rule” approach to our customer experience strategies, but just because we want to be treated a certain way as a consumer, does not mean every policyholder and agent desires that same type of interaction.
In the [...]
The latest buzz regarding customer contact channels is mobile applications. How do you ensure success within this channel? I recently attended a webinar by Information Week Financial Services called Getting Answers from Mobile Initiatives where they discussed different applications for the insurance industry, metrics that indicate mobile success, and where companies are focusing their money for mobile applications. According to Forrester Research, the top 3 priorities/objectives for mobile applications are:
Increasing customer engagement Improving customer satisfaction Appear as innovative
I would like to examine the first two objectives, customer engagement and satisfaction. As a consultant, I have received the consistent [...]
Last week I spent some time at an event on ‘big data’ in the insurance industry. The one-day seminar featured speakers from Gartner, IBM, and panelists from insurance technology providers and carriers. Throughout the sessions, interesting and innovative ideas were presented around the concept of making the most of the data and the business intelligence we have. With that said, I saw three main themes:
How to use this data for predictive insight How to assess risk and fraudulent activity How to remain competitive and profitable
What I found interesting was that of all these concepts, very few presenters spoke [...]
Should I have to work to be your customer?
What level of effort do you consider as acceptable for your customers to expend before they reach their limit and become frustrated, disloyal, and decide to stop being your customer? Results from a recent survey by the Customer Contact Council indicate that 96% of customers attribute their disloyalty to a high-effort experience with a service organization. Investment in contact center technology that reduces customer effort by enabling multi-channel service and proactive outreach is imperative.
My last blog talked about [...]
I recently ran across an article in Insurance Networking News highlighting a report by J.D. Power and Associates entitled the ‘2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.’ The report reflected the lowest customer satisfaction scores related to auto claims in 3 quarters. The reason behind this drop…a delay in policyholder reports of claims as a result of the holiday season, causing a longer processing time. So, who is actually at fault for this decline?
My guess is there are various opinions and reasons as to why reports of claims were delayed…busy schedules for policyholders, lack of resources from the carrier side, [...]
Best Practice Alert! Reduced Effort can Lead to Increased Customer Retention in Insurance.
I recently read an article from the Tower Group, Winning in Contact Center Technology, which centered on the main idea that contact centers can improve the customer experience by reducing customer effort. Certainly an intriguing idea, especially since traditional contact centers are all about finding ways to reduce something–reduce average handle time, reduce abandonment rate, reduce idle time, etc. So why not look beyond reductions in the call center?
There are a couple of ways to reduce customer effort:
1. Proactive Outreach
Reach out to [...]
They are the hot topics for every industry this year…social media, mobile apps, and cloud-based offerings. So, what’s driving this interest and feeding the buzz in the insurance industry? Sure, social media and mobile users are steadily increasing, and cloud-based solutions are both attractive and affordable, but it is the opportunity to improve overall customer service that is really enticing.
Insurance carriers must expand their traditional contact center and customer service operations to offer information through multiple communication channels and manage it effectively, streamlining both policy and claim processes. Given the breadth of these three trending [...]
Don’t Let Your Online Insurance Sales Process Turn Consumers Away!
It’s no secret that insurance companies are struggling with growth and customer retention in today’s economy. And while it’s important to provide excellent customer service once a claim occurs, it’s equally important to provide stellar sales service to attract new customers.
Beyond competitive pricing, consumers want to know that they will receive timely service via the communications channel of their choice, 24/7. This starts the minute a consumer begins looking for a policy. Interestingly, despite the [...]
In the insurance industry, customer service is one of the key areas that can be used as a source of growth. Due to industry regulation and product standardization, superior service is vital to customer retention and company growth. But how, specifically, can insurance companies use customer service to grow?
Among the multiple customer service strategies for growth are differentiation, cross-selling, retention/customer loyalty, and relationship-building via external channels such as banks.
My more than 20 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 insurance company has revealed that most firms [...]