Liz Marshall is Director of Product Marketing for the Insurance vertical at Vlocity. Prior to Vlocity she worked in various marketing roles for several large financial services and insurance companies, including MetLife, Prudential Financial, and American Express.
How Insurers Can Meet the Expectations of Today’s Consumers
“Omnichannel” has become a buzzword and focus of so many companies today, but consumers take it for granted that they can engage with companies they do business with when and how they want and always have consistent, high-quality, experiences. The standard has been set in industries such as retail, credit cards, and airlines. I can buy my airline ticket on Expedia, call the airline later to make a change, download my boarding pass from a mobile app, get a text message about any flight delays, deliver my baggage to a live agent at the terminal and get the latest flight updates, and check the airline website when I return from my trip to review how many points I’ve earned. Real-time data is always available across these different channels and each interaction is generally quick and painless.
Consumers take it for granted that they can engage with companies they do business with when and how they want.
Many large insurance carriers do not yet have this kind of 360-degree, Omnichannel presence. A consumer may be able to get an insurance quote and purchase a policy on a company’s website, but then may not be able to update their payment preferences online after they’ve made the initial purchase. Or an agent may not be aware that his client recently called the contact center to add a beneficiary to his policy after the birth of a child. Large insurers often have different legacy systems supporting each channel and collaboration among channel managers may be limited. In addition, complex products and compliance variations by channel make Omnichannel application deployment more challenging.
The Business Benefits of Good Customer Experiences
Making insurance transactions both readily available and easy can create a competitive advantage for insurers. According to a McKinsey insurance customer experience study, customer experience is a key driver of growth and profitability: “Companies that offer best-in-class customer experiences grow faster and more profitably. To reach this level, insurers must relentlessly improve customer journeys across channels and business functions.” Insurance companies generally have very few engagements with their customers after the initial purchase, so even a single service transaction can be a critical touchpoint with a policyholder.
Companies that offer best-in-class customer experiences grow faster and more profitably.
And even as more insurance companies roll out direct-to-consumer capabilities, data indicates that many consumers still want to engage with a financial professional at some point, so insurance agents and brokers should be equipped with all the right data and tools to serve these customers. A J.D. Power insurance shopping study found that while 50% of insurance shoppers obtain a quote on an insurer websites, only 25% actually purchase their policy online, with 50% buying from an agent and 22% from a call center.
A 360-Degree Approach
Insurance carriers need to think more holistically as they start to modernize and integrate systems across all channels. A key part of this process will involve replacing legacy systems with modern digital applications that can be easily rolled out to agents, brokers, service reps, and customers.
Vlocity is focused on creating Omnichannel processes and transactions that insurers can deploy seamlessly across channels and devices. A guided step-by-step process to update a beneficiary or file a claim can be done by a rep in the contact center or can be available to a policyholder in an online portal. A customer can start an online quote and application on their mobile device and then call the contact center or agent to finish it and buy the policy. Service reps, agents, and brokers can always have the most up-to-date customer history at their fingertips, even when on the road.
Simple, digital transactions and real-time data that is widely available can have a significant positive impact on the insurance customer experience, which can ultimately benefit the insurer’s bottom line.
To learn more about Vlocity’s Omnichannel solution areas visit vlocity.com/insurance