SSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology, has launched its latest whitepaper, ‘Digitising the customer journey’, which identifies how insurers can harness the power of technology to drive better digital customer service.
With the explosion in the number of digital devices and channels favoured by consumers, the white paper examines the increased opportunities but also the challenges facing insurers in an increasingly competitive market. For example, Cisco predicts that globally, the number of internet-connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. Meanwhile, recent research from Eptica has highlighted that insurers are lagging behind other sectors such as fashion retailers, answering only 57% of customer queries online versus 79%.
SSP’s white paper identifies four critical elements of the digital customer journey which insurers should consider when adopting new technologies.
The four key areas are:
1. Enhanced digital user experiences — Increasing use of mobile devices will lead to customers expecting high levels of customer service anytime, everywhere. Insurers need to consider the value of offering mobile-friendly customer service applications for self-service.
2. Constant social connection — By 2015, Gartner predicts that 75% of consumers will tell friends about good or bad experiences using social media. Already, over 80% of UK consumers are using social media as part of their online research before purchasing non-life policies. Insurance businesses must therefore consider adding social channels to their customer service initiatives, both to monitor positive and negative sentiment and to be able to respond via the same channel that customers are choosing to use.
3. Ever-growing volumes of data — The ever-expanding volumes of customer and market data available open up huge opportunities for insurers to analyse and apply greater intelligence to decision making across the business. From customer acquisition and retention to fraud prevention and reduction, the automation of decision-making to drive business growth and improve customer relationships offers opportunities for new product development and market differentiation.
4. Speed, choice, privacy and security — Regulation and compliance needs around data privacy, security, freedom of choice and fairness will continue to underpin the decisions and processes within insurance businesses, and must be at the forefront of any change in process or business model.
Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy for SSP said:
“The pace of change over recent years has been frenetic and digitalisation is now about much more than simply adding new sales channels or self-service capabilities. Becoming digital is about fundamentally changing the way business is done whether that means better supporting end-to-end digital transactions for better operational efficiencies or ensuring the seamless experience that 21st century customers expect.”
“A complete business model re-design is a daunting prospect but anyone planning to upgrade their technologies should start by reviewing their entire business processes. Only by mapping these out and deciding what you want the customer’s journey to look like can you establish which elements have the potential to drive the most value in the shortest possible timescales.”