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Three tips for improving the relationships with your customers

11 October 2019 Editor

Customer relation is evolving to be one of the most important aspects of the insurance industry and can often be the difference between the success and failure of a business. 

I recently read an article on propertycasualty360.com which provides three tips to ensure that customers are kept happy. 

Intense focus

The article points out that, for many years, customer expectations, the impact of digitization on customer relationships, and the development of a successful customer journey have been the focus of customer service in the insurance business. But does this mean that the focus is really on the customer? 

The article adds that, from the point that customers start looking for information to when they have to submit a claim with an organization, what are consumers looking for when it comes to customer service? Throughout the customer journey, insurers must actively meet customers across channels to deliver the highest quality experience. 

Be more proactive during the consultation phase

The article points out that customers don’t focus on the topic of insurance because they feel like it. Rather, changes in someone’s situation will prompt a consumer to start requesting information and consultation. In this sense, customer communication in large part only starts when there is already a demand. Interactions between insurers and customers are, therefore, “accident-driven” instead of actively initiated. So, how can insurers improve customer satisfaction? 

The article adds that, too often, customer interactions occur haphazardly, based on need and without cause. Many insurance companies fail to actively communicate new products or services to customers. Instead of passively waiting for customers to approach, insurers should be actively making their customers aware of comprehensive risks and the need to protect against them. 

Use diverse channels in the purchase decision phase

The article points out that, when it comes to making a purchase decision, the customer experience becomes even more critical. There are several ways a customer can purchase a policy, whether it be through personal sales, an intermediary, a website, comparison portals and other digital channels. 

As customers continue to leverage new sales channels, meet them on these channels with a personalized approach. 

The article adds that customers are looking for insurers to provide comprehensive information that is designed personally for their needs. Customers also place a high value on an easy process and individualized options. Across all avenues, personal contact — or the human factor — plays a leading role during a purchase. While personal consultations are still important, it is now supported by intermediaries, service centers or digital channels. Insurance companies should strongly promote personal consultation services that are bolstered by other channels to communicate the value of products and services. 

Leverage digital tools to personalize interactions

The article points out that when it comes to support from insurers, customers are looking for the experience to be personal, fast and easy. To achieve these three attributes, insurers must combine trusted, familiar contact options with digital ones. Customers want to quickly and easily reach friendly and accommodating insurers over the phone. However, consumers also want to be able to communicate via digital contact options like email, chat and even self-service. From a customer perspective, both analog and digital channels have equal importance when looking for support. 

Similar to support, customers expect a seamless, rapid and individualized experience when submitting a claim. Speed, in particular, becomes a major priority during claim settlement and payment processing. 

The article adds that digital services are often under-utilized in this area. While customers are accustomed to direct exchanges with insurers via the service center, digital and mobile processing can increase efficiency by solving claims quickly and providing tracking for customers. 

Final thoughts

The article points out that in the insurance industry, the insurer-customer relationship is particularly valuable when it comes to support and claims. To truly put the focus on customers from the information phase through claims service, insurers must be proactive, leverage diverse channels and utilize digital tools to personalize interactions. 

The article adds that the focus on the customer does not end once a purchase is made. With the right mindset, strong digital tools and an active approach to addressing customers’ needs, insurers can drive positive customer experiences during every step of the journey.

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