In this series of blogs, my colleagues and I will look at the insurance sector in emerging markets, with a particular focus on technology, digitization, platforms and ecosystems.
Companies in all industries know that their customers are the key to their success, and that it is important to measure customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). After all, you can not improve where you go wrong if you do not know where you go wrong. That means asking your customers.
When it comes to insurance, customer satisfaction is linked to the claims process: payments must be made on time, they must be properly explained and they must be fair. Therefore, a few years ago at an insurance conference in Southeast Asia, I asked the participants about helping out with a basic question: Do you measure customer satisfaction at the end of each claim?
Not a single hand went up
Although I did not expect to know that every insurer in the room measured customer satisfaction, I thought some would be. The problem is that payment claims are still seen as an administratively intensive process. Although this was once the case, the technology has provided many opportunities to create a superior customer experience.
Success begins with putting the customer journey at the center. Over the years, I have found that it is often necessary to state this in advance, as some insurers do not take the time to look at this issue from the perspective of their customers or claimants. But if they want satisfied customers, they must.
Revolutionize the customer experience
At the most basic level, an insurance company sells the opportunity to pay a claim in the future. Therefore, if they fail to deliver that service successfully, they will have betrayed their original promise.
In my experience, many of the questions about customer satisfaction depend on informing them about what is happening in their customer journey ̵
These are the points that insurers should focus on improving. Start with a claim – for example in a hospital after an accident. Insurers can incorporate a QR code into their mobile app that facilitates hospitalization, eliminating the need for customers to wait while the insurer confirms policy details to the facility.
When the claim is pending, the insurer can proactively notify its customers where their claims are, even if those claims are stuck, say, wait for the police to send an accident report or for the car repair company to send the bill – a simple SMS does the trick. Insurers can also take reactive steps – for example, by improving their contact options by having chatbots to handle high-volume, low-complexity issues to ensure a 24-hour service.
Insurers may be proactive in other ways. Accenture worked with a client to develop a system that analyzes the types of claims and then flags the categories where customers have often been dissatisfied. This allows the insurer to calculate a predicted satisfaction. If the claim is below a certain threshold, the claim is escalated to a customer service representative who calls preventively to explain the process.
Keeping customers informed requires systems that can clarify the different stages of the claims process, determine what is needed and calculate what happens next – and can deliver that information in a way that the customer can understand.
Which brings me back to my question to insurers at that conference about measuring customer satisfaction. A data-driven platform that puts the customer at the center and keeps them informed not only maximizes customer satisfaction. It also offers opportunities for customers on that journey to provide feedback, so that the insurer can be responsive and stay focused on delivering the best experience.
Once again we return to central data in the digital age. Information is also important in other areas of insurance, including the topic of my next blog: how technology can help insurers keep business costs down.
Subscribe for more from Accenture Insurance.