Improving Customer Experience in Insurance Can Reduce Costs

Insurance customers might leave for a better price, but they’re most likely to stay for the service. Service quality is the main reason consumers select and stay loyal to insurers, according to “CX Viewpoints: Insurance,” a report by Execs in the Know for Genesys.

The top loyalty driver for auto, home and life insurance consumers is customer care (37% of respondents). And the number one factor for a better experience when interacting with the company is simplified processes (e.g., claims, quotes), according to 29% of consumers polled. A speedy resolution improves the experience for consumers — and it reduces costs, from acquisition to servicing.

Additionally, three-quarters of consumers polled say an insurer’s reputation for good customer service is important when choosing a provider. But less than half of surveyed consumers were very satisfied with their most recent interaction with their provider. And 43% say customer service in this industry has become worse in recent years.

Three-quarters of consumers who were dissatisfied with their most recent interaction were most likely to be filing a claim or filing a complaint.

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Three critical factors for building customer loyalty in insurance

With the rise of digital channels, consumers have many choices in how they engage with insurers — from self-service to contacting a live agent. This white paper gives you a pulse on the consumer experience in insurance.

At a time when 70% of consumers globally say a company is only as good as its customer service, yet 18% say insurers provide exceptional customer service experiences, insurers must reassess the customer experience (CX) strategy. That doesn’t mean service costs will increase. The opposite might actually be true.

Insurers closely monitor their combined operating ratio — identifying opportunities to reduce operating costs. Our research indicates there’s a close relationship between empathetic customer experiences and efficient ones.

Consumers want efficiency; they prefer a first-contact resolution and want to be listened to and understood so their issues are resolved quickly. Companies that provide efficiency by better orchestrating customer experiences also benefit by gaining a lower cost to serve.

Changing Channels Creates Consistent Customer Experiences

Providing empathetic, yet efficient, customer experiences is especially important when you consider that 62% of consumers polled phoned customer care for their most recent interaction with their insurers. Sixty-seven percent prefer the phone for filing a claim — often the most expensive type of interaction for insurers.

Insurance companies that implement strategic contact center technologies can reduce call time and related costs. For example, they can use tools like predictive routing to better match customers with the right agents.

Although the phone might still be a primary interaction method, customers interact with their insurers across multiple channels. Twenty percent of respondents say they used multiple channels to resolve their most recent issue with their insurer. But these conversations are fragmented — with customers often having to repeat themselves and questioning, “Does my insurer know me?”

Rather than optimizing the customer experience in individual channels or functional areas (e.g., claims, policy administration or underwriting), insurers should simplify processes across complete customer journeys. They should provide an experience that’s best for their policyholders.

Insurance companies can use technologies that link channels and provide a more connected, efficient experience. This enables customers to start an interaction in one channel and easily complete it in another.

Insurers also should consider tools like artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots or voicebots. These can help customers self-serve, complete simple processes or resolve basic issues. And that further reduces costs.

CX Delivers Premium Returns

Insurers need to better understand why, when and how customers interact with agents, brokers and customer service. One crucial reason: One in 10 respondents say they’ve shopped for a new insurer because of a bad experience with customer care.

Every insurer needs to know their customers, so they feel listened to, understood and valued. We refer to this as empathy. It’s remembering customers and treating them as individuals. That means proactively engaging with customers at the optimal time to give them the right offer, information, service or support.

Contact center technology is integral to delivering these efficient, empathetic customer experiences — especially those that reduce a company’s costs in the process. It helps companies determine how to approach customer experience to foster brand loyalty and retain customers.

And they can do this while improving their combined operating ratio and promoting their brands. These positive customer experiences empower them to win in the challenging experience economy.