Hi, I'm Your Customer. Wanna Play?

Boy, have customer demands changed!  I always get a kick out of listening to my father talk about customer service back in the day.  It sounds like a scene from the Andy Griffith show.  Those yesteryear practices pale in comparison to what's happening today, especially with regard to the demanding expectations of today's younger consumers who are always connected to the Internet, would rather shop online, and use social media to both form brand preferences and delight in trashing bad service and product design. This generation poses huge challenges for all us.  For instance, these privileged young consumers expect everything to be as easy as Facebook and Instagram. They want to be able to log on to a self-service Web portal and perhaps even talk to someone in your call center at the same time.  They expect your company to be loyal to them, not the other way around. In the insurance industry, this is an even bigger challenge because the majority of carriers, in my opinion, are just learning the difference between customer-centric culture (it's all about you) vs. product-centric (it's all about us) culture.

Now, here is the even scarier part for carriers.  This next generation of customers is discovering that when they work collectively across social media they have incredible power. And don’t think they won’t use it to trash your reputation. We’ve gone from cuddly Ron Howard as Opie in dad’s day to, well, the seed of Chucky. For those who don’t remember “Child’s Play”, Chucky was a fictional doll that was possessed with the soul of a serial killer. Would Opie contribute to “The Top 15 Most WTF Items from Urban Outfitters” on MTV’s blog? No, but Chucky would. If you mess up with Chucky and his online sociopathic friends, they will mess with you. This new customer is blowing up the very notion of customer relationship management. 

So how are insurance companies supposed to service customer interactions successfully?  I recently wrote a new whitepaper titled “Every Customer Conversation is a Moment of Truth – Are You Ready?”  In this paper I discuss how all customer interaction represents a moment of truth that will alter the experience with your customer. Your ability to deliver an experience that satisfies the needs of individual customers as the conversation unfolds can mean the difference between a high-value, long-term customer relationship – or a quick defection complimented with a Chucky deathblow.  So clearly, you need game changing tools to combat Chucky or you are going to have recurring nightmares.

One strategic weapon needed is applying real-time Decisoning with predictive and adaptive analytics embedded into your customer service processes.  This will help you to anticipate little Chucky’s moves and intentions.  Predictive analytics predict the best way to improve the customer based on previous interactions. Adaptive analytics segment customers so that each interaction is personalized. Real-time decisioning applies these insights during each conversation based on the specific interaction, channel, customer responses, mood, compliance requirements and other factors that affect the predictive model. The result is actionable analytics, capable of dynamically adapting to recommend the most appropriate information, action, offer and resolution for the particular customer at the most appropriate time; turning today’s new breed of customers into a tamed pussy cats. The net result is with intelligent conversation management, you can successfully navigate through each moment of truth to deliver experiences that enhance the value of your company to your customer so that the next time you interact with them their reply is, “Hi, I'm Chucky, and I'm your friend till the end. Hidey-ho!”

I encourage you to download my whitepaper here.  I am also very interested in hearing your customer horror stories, if you have any.  Just reply below in comments if you have a good one.