The why and how of simplified customer communications – E&Y
Article Synopsis :
Insurance consumers want more frequent, clearer and more personalized communications from their insurers, as well as greater transparency around rates and fees. They also show a clear willingness to embrace digital channels for a broader range of interactions.
In the thought leadership paper “The why and how of simplified customer communications”, E&Y’s insurance leadership team outlines the business case of why simple and clear communications are important and provides a recommended approach on how to realize the benefits. E&Y taps data from their 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey, based on over 24,000 respondents, to highlight the high stakes and huge opportunities in improved customer communication. Key findings include:
- Insufficient frequency: A full 44% of insurance consumers have had no interactions with their insurers during the last 18 months.
- Low satisfaction: Only 14% of consumers report being very satisfied with communications from their insurers.
- Digital readiness: About 80% of consumers want to use digital and remote channel options for various tasks and transactions — including seniors, often regarded as resistant to digital.
For insurers seeking simplified communications, E&Y stresses a holistic view addressing the underlying operational drivers not just the superficial layer of the customer experience. To this end, most simplification initiatives should include:
- Standards and guidelines
- Content management
- Form redesign
- Electronic distribution
- Online data capture
- Data integration
The paper articulates a three-step process to guide the improvement and simplification of customer communications:
- Rationalise – consolidate communications templates into manageable bodies of templates and messaging sets (by customer type and business function) saving print and postage costs while still fulfilling regulatory requirements.
- Clarify – simplify language and formatting leads for higher rates of customer understanding (especially for required actions), thus reducing call-center volumes.
- Digitise – beyond cost savings, an increasing percentage of consumers prefer to receive communications via email or through online channels.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsIn the age of information overload, it’s exceedingly rare for consumers to ask for more communications — but, according to EY’s extensive survey, that’s exactly what insurance consumers seem to want.
Insurance products, services and processes are inherently complex and simplified, meaningful customer communication plays a key role in the acquisition and retention of new business. Insurers relying on slow manual processes (e.g. snail mail) will find it increasingly difficult to compete. Robust communication strategies, combining mobile, social, and predictive analytics (combined with internal CRM systems), are truly differentiating in the digital age. Insurers must be proactive, which means:
- Watching the megatrends and mapping communication capabilities accordingly
- Identifying technology solutions, experimenting, testing, and prioritising investments
- Partnering with firms who specialize in innovative customer communication solutions
Ramping up takes time. Insurers must act, or risk waking up one day to realize their competitors – and customers – have passed them by.
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