The excitement of implementing new technology can cause insurers to forget the main reason for adoption — improving the customer experience.
As the insurance industry undergoes a period of reinvention through digital transformation, it’s vital to remain focused on what really matters. The excitement and hype over new technology can lead us to forget the underlying drive to adopt it — improving the customer experience. Treating customers right encourages them to spread the word, consider new services and remain loyal. All three are essential in a competitive industry with such a bounty of choice.
Best-in-class customer experience means faster growth and higher profitability, according to McKinsey, and can be achieved through the pursuit of certain qualities that customers crave. Courtesy and professionalism should be a given at any carrier, but many insurers could make strides by focusing on greater transparency, facilitating easier communication, and increasing the average speed of claim settlement.
Making things crystal clear
The fastest way to annoy a customer is to obfuscate and then make them jump through hoops to find out what’s going on. An insurance claim is often a stressful time for insureds, so it’s vital to make things clear to ease the burden. Every claim you process will have a workflow or lifecycle with several stages that require different actions before further progress can be made. Ensure that the current status is easily accessible for every customer, and for every employee or third-party administrator that interacts with your customer.
If the ball is in their court, and you require further information before the claim can go ahead, then make that crystal clear. An automated query system, combined with self-service portals, can make for a smooth process where there’s never any doubt about what must happen next to advance the claim. Real transparency is vital internally, so your adjusters can do the best job possible. Why not expand it to include your customers?
Boost settlement speed
If insureds can easily check on the claim status and upload supporting materials to move things along, then resolution will come faster, but there are also many other things insurers can do to increase the average settlement speed. Consider how appraisal, repair and replacement is handled. Could you fold service providers into the mix? Enabling, for example, a customer to book a windshield replacement directly with the repair service through your portal.
The length of time it takes to settle a claim is one of the biggest contributors to customer satisfaction. The faster insureds can put the accident or claim event behind them and get on with their lives, the better. For many claims it’s also advantageous for the insurer to process the settlement as swiftly as possible as it can lead to lower costs.
Claim automation enables carriers to process the bulk of straightforward claims with minimal involvement. Insureds drive the process and insurers act as facilitators. In rare cases where a problem develops, agents can be alerted and step in quickly.
Focus on what’s really important
There’s such a huge pressure nowadays to embrace the digital revolution, and such an abundance of different services, tools and products to help you do it, that you can fall into the trap of adopting technology for its own sake. Making the right choices can be tricky, but if you turn things around and focus on improving customer experience, all becomes clear. Nothing is more important for your business than customer satisfaction and the pursuit of transparency, easy access and communication, and speedy settlements will secure it.