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Improving the customer experience in the commercial insurance industry

In many ways, the idea of improving the customer experience is something of a holy grail in the commercial insurance industry. From commercial business insurance to worker's comp and disaster insurance companies, the insurance industry is so tightly regulated and competitive that customer service is often the only place for a company to really stand out and build a truly separate brand from the competition.
All too often, companies think of customer experience only in terms of onboarding and sales. In the insurance industry in particular, the customer retention and experience continues every time the client needs to examine their policy, review their coverage, or make a claim. While the company may see these as three completely different steps, distanced from onboarding and sales, to the customer, they’re all part of company interactions. A terrible claims process will negate the ease of signing up for the insurance in the first place.

These are just a few ways that commercial insurance industry companies, such as business insurance companies, can improve their customer experience.

Engage customers through online channels

Too many companies still have websites that are full of high quality information, but make it impossible to purchase a policy or begin an insurance quote online. In the fast-paced modern business world, many young professionals don’t want to stop what they’re doing and wait for a call back, or worse, get quotes from a dozen different companies they’ve never heard of. They want a quote now, on the website, so they can make a decision about how to move forward.

Modern interfaces should be fast, mobile responsive, and work efficiently. Data must be carefully protected, especially in the business sphere.

Customer analytics leading to personalised messages

With the amount of data now being collected about customers, corporate and otherwise, companies have at their fingertips the potential to learn a great deal about their customers. The patterns of insurance inquiries, for example, could help a company determine if a startup is looking to move to a new office, increasing its employee count, or building a company automobile fleet.

Based on this information, companies can personalise the communications they’re sending, and can also anticipate add-on products that are more likely to be meaningful.

But they can only do this if they have robust methods to analyse the data they collect. Too many companies have endless Excel spreadsheets and no way to really combine, clean, and analyse the data.

Understand customers don’t see a difference between sales person and adjuster

In many commercial insurance companies, there are clear silos between each division; sales operates separately from marketing which operates separately from claims. While this might seem a reasonable way to run a business, it is important to know that customers don’t see this separation. They expect to receive the same quality of customer support whether they’re talking to sales, claims, or customer service. Each section of the company is viewed as part of the whole.

There are even situations where having different experiences in different areas can feel deceptive. If a customer purchasing business insurance has a great experience with sales, for example, but a terrible experience when they need to file a claim, their perception won’t be that the company needs to focus more on customer service in the adjusting area and stop treating that silo as different or lesser.

They’ll see that the company was more interested in getting their business than keeping it. That can cause them to find another carrier, or stop recommending the insurance company to their business partners.

When insurance companies look at their customer experience, it’s important to look end to end, making sure that each step on the chain is high quality.

Customers care less about final settlement amount

Companies tend to think that the primary concern of customers is their final settlement amount. Of course this is a concern, but customers generally have other priorities they place much higher. These include:
  • Transparency of coverage
  • Ease of claims filing
  • Sympathy displayed by company staff
  • Quality of follow-up
  • Courtesy of adjustor
Business customers want to know that the sales process will be easy and make sense, that they won’t end up over insuring themselves because of confusing language, and that when they need to file a claim, the process won’t eat up any more time in their day than it absolutely has to. Companies that can provide these benefits to their business insurance customers are more likely to have high customer satisfaction ratings, and get excellent recommendations from one business to another.

In an industry where the primary differentiation is branding and service, insurance companies need to spend more money on their actual customer experience than on impressive television commercials. Take the first step towards a better end-to-end experience by looking at what your customer experiences today, and then finding obvious points of improvement.

7 Sep 2017 13:51

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About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.




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