By Dorotea Vatavuk
With customers rapidly adopting digital communication channels that offer quick, simple and convenient processes, digitalisation of the entire insurance process is unavoidable. In fact, digital transformation for the insurance industry is no longer an option, but a necessity.
Traditional processes are increasingly becoming frustrating for the modern customer, who is realising that there are better and easier ways to do things. These are trends that those customers are seeing across other industries and expect their insurers to deliver similar digitalised processes that enhance the customer experience.
For the most part, we are seeing a serious underutilisation of digital channels in the insurance sector. While some insurance companies are trying to keep up with the needs of the modern customer by using digital channels, such as SMS and email, most are still relying on traditional platforms for their business-critical processes.
So, in reality, many insurers are adding digital channels to their traditional ones, but are not using them in a way that leads to the optimisation of their business processes. This results in complex onboarding and policy renewal procedures that are tiring for both clients and staff. This, alongside an overall process that still relies on traditional engagement methods such as telephone or face-to-face communication and even the physical printing and posting of documents.
The modern customer looking for cover and insurance companies must realise that adopting an omnichannel communication strategy is the key ingredient to delivering a superior insuree experience. There is a need to offer support over multiple communication channels, and insurance companies need to ensure that they have the right channels for different customer segments.
Starting with onboarding – where insurance companies make their first impression – the modern customer expects a simple and hassle-free process. Once the client is onboarded, the insurer should focus on client retention, keeping in mind their own profitability.
However, we are still observing a lack of pro-active support and a lot of missed opportunities, mainly due to insurers’ inability to personalise engagement. Another challenge is that without rich data, insurance companies are unable to provide the most suitable products for their customers along the different steps of their lifecycle. This means a direct loss of business that was actually within the insurer’s reach.
An omnichannel communication strategy will give insurers the ‘Unified Insuree Experience’ advantage, so it is key for businesses to automate their processes to serve their customers better and faster. In return, companies will save on resources, time and money. While this might sound contradictory, it is actually quite achievable.
Insurance businesses can streamline their processes and provide their clients with a superior level of service, while reducing costs at the same time. Similarly, it is possible to scale customer engagement and experience by, for example, making e-policy delivery faster and more secure, while lowering costs.
Optimising the contact centre
In addition, it is possible for insurers to optimise their contact centre, or even fully replace the legacy, on-premises contact centre with a digital one. With a cloud-based digital contact centre, multichannel interactions with clients can be made through voice, email, SMS, and even chat apps, allowing insurers to be in touch with their clients from virtually anywhere and on the channels their customers prefer. Achieving the Unified Insuree Experience advantage is not only possible but is expected of any insurance service provider that aims to stay profitable and scale into new markets.
To meet this increased demand for innovative product and service offerings, insurers must partner with a service provider that can lead them through the digitalisation of each and every step of their customer’s lifecycle.
Ideally, companies should avoid introducing partial solutions or single channels, and rather look for a provider that can support full digitalisation, with an all-in-one, feature-packed solution that allows for a 360-degree view of the customer, cross-channel orchestration and powerful analytics. Everything a company needs for a successful journey into the digital realm should be on one platform.
In essence, insurance companies should partner with a provider that can bring it all together and ensure that their digital channels are not underutilised and that the organisation does not miss opportunities to grow its business throughout the insuree lifecycle. The right partner will provide a solution that can support an insurer’s expansion into new markets and follow them as they grow.
Dorotea Vatavuk is the Enterprise Sales Lead at Infobip