To deepen policyholder connections, understand your insured

Tom King,

The trend garnering the most attention in the insurance industry today is how the industry is becoming digital. Of all of the news out there, the Insuretech segment is getting the most press, along with significant investment from insurers and investment capitalists alike.

Much of the development and investment around digital technology is focused on creating and leveraging new digital channels and tools. This includes using artificial intelligence in marketing, processing, and sales. However, many insurers have not yet realized significant success with emerging digital technology.

While all this digital innovation is exciting – with tremendous opportunity for insurers to improve operations as well as interactions with both agents and insureds – what’s the point of implementing new digital capabilities if they are not being used to provide focused, personalized engagement with the insured?

More important than simply connecting with a customer on a digital channel is the capability to gain insight from engagement with that customer.

The fact is, most insurers still don’t really know who the insured is. Too much of the insured’s information is scattered across multiple systems, preventing insurers fromanalyzing interaction data for sentiment and limiting insurers’ capacity to understand what the insured truly needs or wants.

To succeed in a digital world, it’s not just about having the right bots or being able to provide access across any channel, it’s about knowing who the insured is and having empathy for them. This starts by moving away from relying upon segmentation and rote offers/responses to creating an environment where the insurer can analyze and respond to each insured or client individually.

A central decisioning authority can help analyze engagement and provide next-best-action insight based on client empathy.

To create this level of insight and customer empathy, insurers must be able to pull together the disparate data around the insured, which includes transaction and interaction histories, and leverage sentiment and needs analyses to distill a holistic view of the client. Then insurers can use this understanding to create a customer journey that focuses on the insured’s best interest.

Client needs must also be balanced against the insurer’s own strategic business requirements to find a common ground that works for both the insured and insurer. Until an insurer can create a balance between insured’s needs and their own, and proactively act upon that insight, their digital investments will never deliver the maximum return in the form of higher retention and new business close rates.

Insurers must leverage everything at their disposal. This includes not only internal insured data and information but also:

  • Third-party resources
  • Available models already developed by actuarial and marketing
  • Marketing sales and product strategy

The real value here is to not just create a model that can predict what a client will buy but to take this holistic insight and operationalize it – to leverage this insight in real time with the client in the channel of their choice and in a context that makes sense. Creating and initiating journeys with the client (regardless of whether through an agent, a call center, mobile, or bot) enables insurers to meet the needs of each client and create a stronger, longer lasting, more profitable relationship for the insurer.

Insurers need a solution that can take adaptive machine learning and leverage it to execute the optimal customer journey.

This includes leveraging the disparate (and sometimes extremely old) systems insurers already have in place to create a next-best-action environment that can manage a one-to-one customer experience in real time. This capability needs to be omni-channel, meaning it must be available across all channels without duplicate development, to create a consistent experience regardless of the channel.

By creating a one-to-one customer engagement, insurers can not only glean the context of any interaction, they can create empathy for the insured that can be leveraged to serve the insured better and can create that long term, profitable relationship everyone is looking for.

And let’s not forget the agent.

For any insurer who considers the agent their “customer,” all of the capabilities insurers leverage to create a one-to-one customer engagement can also be used to support a healthy agent relationship. From mentoring, to lead assignment, to supporting sales and service, insurers can leverage adaptive AI and digital process automation to enhance agency relationships.

To stay competitive, insurers need tech that helps translate insight into actions to personalize outcomes and maximize customer lifetime value.

Without actionable customer insight and the capabilities to operationalize that insight, the most bleeding edge digital tools will never reach their optimal potential and will fall short of expectations.

Learn more:

  • Download our eBook to learn how insurance carriers are using next best action to recalibrate policyholder relationships.
  • Download this whitepaper to learn the steps insurers need to take for successful digital transformation.
  • Watch this video to see how communications service providers are engaging customers one-to-one using next best action approaches that personalize experiences, simplify retention, and deliver perfectly-timed offers.
  • Learn how Pega for Insurance™ is helping clients work smarter, win more business, and exceed client expectations


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About the Author

As a Senior Director and Industry Principal with more than 25 years in the insurance industry, Tom King advises clients around the world on digital transformation strategies to drive business and create value.