This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.
If there’s one thing your insurance company can do to improve both employee and customer satisfaction, it’s find a way to reduce delays and backlogs in your internal and customer-facing processes. More often than not, the right technology is a significant part of the answer.
The importance of moving fast in today’s world
Speed is no longer a luxury or a distinction. It is a basic expectation that most consumers prioritize and are even willing to pay extra for. That means if your company isn’t offering a fast customer experience, you can be sure your competitors are, and that means lost business.
Speed drives satisfaction in insurance
People don’t like to wait. Even putting a customer on hold for a few minutes can cause customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores to take a nosedive. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that when it comes to customer experience with insurance companies, getting claims settled quickly is a big part of customer satisfaction and retention.
A recent study by insurance industry SMS messaging provider Hi Marley found that the highest performing and highest ranked claims adjusters also had the lowest time to first contact (TTFC). These high performing underwriters reached out to their customers in as little as three minutes and made 80 percent of their first contacts within the first three and a half hours. On the other hand, the worst performing claims adjusters took up to two days to make initial contact with their clients.
It is not earth-shattering to hear that applicants who received a response within a few hours were more satisfied with the service they received than their counterparts with multi-day response times. But seeing how dramatic a difference this speed can make, not only in terms of customer satisfaction but also in profitability, is newsworthy. The Hi Marley study found that the top performing claims adjusters were able to close claims 10 percent faster than the lowest performing adjusters, on average, which translated into completing a claim three days faster.
When you think about shaving three days, or 10 percent, off any of your business processes, think about the ripple effect that can have on everything from employee satisfaction to profitability. Whether it’s the same number of people doing more in less time, or being able to increase your business volume without increasing the number of employees, removing delays in your processes tends to make everyone happier with the work they do and the service they receive.
The insurance has a speed problem
A 2018 PwC study found that a large majority of global survey respondents (almost 80 percent) ranked “speed, convenience, knowledgeable assistance and friendly service” as key factors for a great customer experience. The same study found an 18-point delta between respondents’ ranking of the importance of customer experience in the insurance industry and their actual level of satisfaction with their insurance industry experience.
Given what we know about the slow nature of the insurance industry as a whole, plus Hi Marley data on claims speed and satisfaction, we can extrapolate that at least part of the less-than-ideal customer experience Insurance Consumer Reports is based on speed, or lack thereof.
Further evidence of the speed-satisfaction relationship in the insurance industry is exemplified by record high levels of customer satisfaction with auto claims in 2020 as COVID reduced the number of claims and expedited processing times. A JD Power study found that the lower number of auto claims reported during the pandemic helped insurers reduce the average (repairable) auto claim cycle from 12.6 days to 10.3 days. This correlated with a four-point increase in car insurance customers planning to renew their current policy compared to the previous year.
Overall, it seems clear that the insurance industry’s speed problem directly relates to their customer experience gap. But does this affect other areas outside of client retention? Short answer: You bet it does!
A smooth and fast experience is also important for insurance producers and compliance professionals
Working at an insurance company, agency or MGA/MGU, you can easily see the impact fast communication and seamless processes can have on your customers’ satisfaction. The same goes for your licensed agents and underwriters, along with other operational and compliance personnel.
A faster onboarding experience means your producers are ready to sell faster. A simpler (and faster) process for appointments and license renewals is less burdensome for administration and compliance teams. Helping your staff do their jobs faster, including but not limited to enabling producers to be ready to sell sooner, helps you build a reputation as an easy-to-do-business-with, for and in insurance company or agency the end with. Whether it’s your reputation among your internal staff or your downstream distribution channel partners, being known for creating an exceptional experience helps with everything from producer recruitment and retention to lowering operating costs.
Increasing speed with modern insurance technology
Insurance companies saw a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction when claims adjusters used SMS technology to quickly communicate with policyholders. Likewise, technology can hold the key for insurance companies and agencies looking to reap the rewards of speeding things up in other areas of the business.
If your insurance company, carrier or MGA is suffering the consequences of slow, manual and tedious producer onboarding, wasted money in unused carrier meetings, or delays caused by data and workflow silos (among many other issues), see how it can be added to AgentSync. improving speed and satisfaction at every stage of the deployment lifecycle.
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