Customer expectations regarding service are high regardless of the industry. The insurance industry is making strides towards improving customer satisfaction and becoming more consumer-centric, however their technology strategies are falling short. Implementation time-lines are far too long and carriers are not realizing ROI. Carriers will need to shift focus internally to ensure that digital strategies “align with customer expectations” and that the organization itself  becomes more consumer-centric. Every representative within the organization should be able to assist a customer or at the very least have insight into member activity.  As the article below states:

“The measure of success for insurers on this path to consumer to customer-centricity can be found in the answer to this simple question: ‘Does your organization have a single view of customer, and does your customer have a single view of you?”

The balance of power has shifted, and the customer is clearly in control in this new landscape or buying environment. And, right or wrong, customers are in the habit of placing even more importance on service when it comes to insurance products or coverages. Let’s face it, competition in an increasingly commoditized market is intensifying. In response, insurers are pursuing digital transformation strategies to revitalize critical processes and products to become more customer-centric and, therefore, better able to meet anytime, anywhere service needs in an all-out effort to not only win, but keep, customers.

Unfortunately, many current digital strategies are faltering, taking longer than expected to implement and to deliver real business benefit and return on investment (ROI). This is often the result of insurers’ continued struggle to break free of conventional, siloed approaches to technology-driven improvement of business operations. New thinking is required that aligns with customer expectations. From the customer’s perspective, technology should only exist as a means to enable product delivery and service in an omni-channel environment. This cannot be provided without a holistic view of the customer and a unified approach to the technology that dissolves the boundaries between sales and marketing, and policy, billing, and claims servicing.

Within any given company, individual departments often forge ahead with marketing automation and modernizations of agency and direct support systems, such as customer and agent portals, CRM and mobile capabilities, to help advance the notion the company is becoming more customer-centric. Unfortunately, if the organization is not transforming itself as a collective whole, individual or departmental efforts are not optimal because the new digital customer expects to have a relationship with the whole organization. It is not helpful to deliver excellent pre-sale customer experiences, for example, and then follow up with fragmented post-sale servicing experiences, or vice versa.

For most insurers, this conundrum is a result of the disconnect between acquisition activities, the transactional processes supporting the issuance and servicing of the policy, and limited customer data sharing between the policy, billing and claims systems themselves. In particular, acquisition systems are often only loosely connected to core administration systems, and typically lack insight into the customer’s profile or current situation.

In order to overcome this roadblock, insurers must begin embracing the “integrated office” on an enterprise level, and in turn, breaking down the wall between front office and back office to help move from a transaction-focused environment to a customer-focused environment. This shift in perspective focuses on delivering consistent and informed customer engagement across all interactions.

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