For insurers, relevance is the new ROI

For insurers, relevance is the new ROI

Thomas Harrington,

There is a new reality in the insurance industry. As we move into 2019, it is clear the vestiges of the industry’s past are becoming a competitive impediment – not a differentiator. New competitors, channels of engagement, and product offerings aren’t on the horizon, they are knocking on the door. Yet, the industry still runs the same way it has for generations.

Furthermore, the key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive your business today, will not be measures of industry success in 2025. This requires a shift in thinking and in strategy. The common plays that created value for insurance carriers in the past, will not drive competitive differentiation or value for policyholders in the coming decades. 

Core transformation efforts are a prime example of heritage thinking in insurance.

These programs are risky, complex, and costly for any carrier to undertake, never mind execute successfully. More importantly, they focus on the needs of the business, not the experience of the insurance consumer.

In a digital world, consumers crave deeper emotional connections with brands that address their needs, reflect their identity, and provide meaningful experiences. Yet, the insurance industry still pursues siloed programs that measure operational improvements the way it always has. The success criteria are not only outdated, they are irrelevant to digital consumers who expect to engage anytime, anywhere, and on their terms.

The fact is, in the digital era, relevance is the new ROI in insurance.

Furthermore, the insurance consumer – policyholders, members, agents, brokers, partners – must take their rightful spot at the head of the queue.

Recent research by Pega illustrates insurance consumers’ views on industry performance. For example, 71% of respondents said simply receiving a lower price quote ranked as the top reason to change. However, opportunities to improve do exist – and the market is hungry for new experiences. A whopping 91% of respondents feel insurance companies can be innovative and cutting edge when it comes to their use of technology for better, more relevant customer experiences. Data points like these crystallize some key objectives for the insurance industry as it moves into 2019.

To remain relevant in the coming generations, insurers need to be digital, agile, and customer-centric.

The good news is digital technologies with built-in, agile-based methodologies are making it easier to phase in customer-centric capabilities. This, in turn, is making it possible for every insurance carrier to start creating greater relevance.

To get started generating more relevant customer engagements, focus on these four goals.

  1. Focus on the policyholder – not the policy. This is common sense, yet a difficult distinction for most carriers to make. Carriers are complex enterprises constructed to suit siloed channel, operational, product, and regulatory requirements. A unified case management platform connects policyholder engagement platforms with the back-office systems or data stores needed to support your customers. Furthermore, it creates a nimble middle office that mitigates complexity by automating and orchestrating optimal interactions across both front end and legacy systems.
  2. You know a lot about your customers – show it. The insurance sector is falling behind. It lags other industries’ efforts to use customer data to enhance customer engagement. Carriers must leverage technology that can mine data from enterprise systems, interaction history, wearables, sensors, and public sources to understand each consumer at each unique moment and determine the next best action for that policyholder. That might be a personalized offer, renewal options, retention plan, service task, or an alert or reminder – but whatever it is, it must be delivered in real-time, on both inbound and outbound channels. In short, carriers need an intelligent brain for every customer touchpoint – leveraging analytics, machine-learning and decision-making to drive the optimal business outcome.
  3. Prepare for a customer experience without borders. New interaction channels, devices, partners, and Insurtech platforms aren’t on the horizon, they are here. The future insurance enterprise must extend beyond traditional interaction channels, connect to new channels rapidly, and deliver a seamless experience across all of them. Technology that centralizes the intelligence and context needed to deliver a continuous, relevant, personalized experience for members on any channel and across multiple channels must be the norm. Furthermore, it must have built-in decisioning that allows you to manage work, make decisions, connect to legacy systems and new technologies (chatbots, IVR, social sites), and take advantage of native mobile capabilities to maintain context and deliver relevant, personalized customer interactions every time.
  4. Your staff is ready to innovate – empower them. The talent and experience carriers need to change their future is often on the payroll already. The missing ingredient is the right tools to help them change, test, and deploy new ideas quickly and easily. Carriers need to fast-track innovation and enhance productivity with intuitive low-code, role-based authoring experiences that bring together business and IT. Carriers can do this with visual models and Agile methodology to build applications that are always up-to-date, easy to change, and ready to deploy where you need them.

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  • Industry Group: Assurance
  • Thème: Service client
  • Défi: Service client

About the Author

In his role as Senior Director and Industry Principal for Insurance at Pega, Thomas Harrington works with leading organizations to drive performance, customer experience, and revenue growth through digital transformation.