Customer Communications and Experiences

Best Practices for Creating a Quality Customer Experience

Consumerization isn’t a new concept, but it is certainly a big buzzword in the insurance industry. It transfers our focus from process-centric to consumer-centric, and when coupled with new technologies, it is quickly shaping the future of the industry. It forces us to evaluate what our customers value, what motivates them, and how we reach them in a whole new way. And at the end of the day, when it comes to creating a quality experience for our customers, consumerization challenges us to rethink our entire approach. So how do you create a quality customer experience? Start with these four tips:

 

  1. Know your customer. This may sound obvious, but it is an important point. Today’s customer is so much different than the customer of five years ago, or even the customer from one year ago. Customers are spending their time in different places and they have different needs. For example, Facebook has become a preferred way to share content, second only to email. If you don’t know what social networking sites, blogs or mobile tools with which your customer is engaging, chances are you’re missing an opportunity.

2. Align your business to your customer, not your product. Once you understand your customer, use your knowledge to create better user experiences. In the past, insurance companies focused everything from business functions to customers around the product. This approach won’t work in today’s consumer-driven culture. Instead, put your customers in the spotlight and align your business functions and products around them. This may call for a complete redefinition of your process, which might also require a dedicated team to shape and guide this strategy.

 

3. Develop customer data analytics. Customer analytics will drive insurers to be more customer -centric in everything they do. For example, this might include developing mobile applications – a way to gather actionable insights about the ways customers use mobile devices to access information. Analytics can also be used to gather customer information to create targeted and tailored messaging, and customized products based on needs.

 

4. Prepare for rapid product innovation. Customer analytics help to drive innovation, and innovation is something for which we all need to be prepared.  In a world with Internet-savvy consumers, different types of products are a must, and without them, companies do not have a way to differentiate. Customer data analytics will drive a lot of this, but creativity is also important. For example, at Grange, our IT development teams sit on the same floor as their business partners. We also have special areas of the building designed specifically for agile development. This environment fosters self-direction and creativity, both of which help us to be innovative for our customers.

 

Creating a quality customer experience doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require a different business mind-set, and of course, thinking several steps ahead of your customer. This means that for insurance companies, creating a culture of risk-takers and entrepreneurs with a focus on innovation-driven activities is a must.  With the right business mind-set and the right people, we have the opportunity to achieve solutions unforeseen by our customers, and to a large extent, by the industry.

 

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