Bain & Company: Have it both ways- Happy customers and lower costs
Article Synopsis :
Senior executives at insurers need to forget the orthodoxy that giving the customer what they want is going to be expensive.
That was once true, in the old fashioned vertical, siloed organisation or where operations and IT can’t deliver the experience they want because of complex legacy processes, policies and systems.
Instead of dealing with this, businesses get caught up with dozens of IT initiatives that will not achieve digital transformation. Nor is it clear how they will improve the customer experience or reduce underlying complexity.
If it’s broke, then fix it
The claims process is a classic example. Customers feel out of the loop, as nothing has happened for days or weeks and call the contact centre, hitting call volumes. Policy application processes with long paper forms that must then be scanned added to and then checked often put customers off. This is true even when there are digital tools available, such as sales apps for agents or digital claims submission for customers.
By refocusing their efforts and finding funds to tackle these matters, insurers will find they are able to deliver higher product or service volumes, more efficiently. This will reduce operational costs and release resources for reinvestment in growth areas.
Assess the costs and implement in these areas
So, says this Bain report, insurers can improve customer experience and reduce volumes in areas that cost money to deal with.
Improved customer experience will accelerate revenue generation because customers will be more willing to spend and come back for more.
One efficient way to order these tasks is to apply a lens to interactions that focus on events, or ‘episodes’. These can be broken down into dozens of processes, but they can be placed under the customer’s experience and how they will assess the company – I apply, I wait and I am covered (see figure 2).
Preparation is essential
Planning is essential and insurers need to know how best to contain costs while improving the customer experience. To do that, there are things they must understand:
- Is there a clear sense of the competitive position in terms of customer experience and unit cost per episode? Where do you want that to be? (see figure 3)
- What are the biggest drivers of the experience and cost—which episodes, products, services and channels?
- What will improve things? If digitalisation and process redesign, what will deliver the greatest progress towards both objectives?
- What needs to change in the operating model and technology stack to reach these objectives?
- Is the investment going into the right places? Focus on Agile methods to unlock the full-potential cost benefits.
Building better businesses
Better customer experience can be had and at a lower cost. Reducing IT and process complexity and automating manual processes where ever possible, will make customers and employees happier.
Happy staff serve customers better. Happy customers are loyal and more open to conducting further business with an organisation.
This all comes back to a healthy kick in the bottom line for those organisations that get the transition right.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThere is increased focus on the claims process as a route to digital transformation and this paper leans on this heavily.
It cannot be done in isolation, but the suggestion that comes what may, this new model for claims will be essential has some weight.
Some insurers have already succeeded in automating elements of their claims processes for parts of their business, such as auto, baggage and flight delays.
If we can do some of this now, there will be no excuse for developing this capability when technology – probably blockchain – influences areas such as healthcare claims.
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