Customer Experience Featured Article

Insurance Industry Invests in Customer Experience Improvement

June 04, 2014

While technology adoption rates have increased rapidly for insurance companies looking to cut costs and improve efficiencies, today the focus in the industry has shifted from cost reduction to improved customer experiences, according to a recent study.

"The quest to improve the customer and producer experience is driving significant change at many insurance companies,” said Mark Breading, a partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA (News - Alert)), an insurance strategic advisory firm. “Technology for communications and document management has a major role to play in improving those experiences."

SMA sponsored the study on how insurers plan to capture, create, manage and deliver digital content. The research found agents and producers continue to handle most of the interactions with customers, although new investments by insurers now are focused on digital channels.

The difference is the way consumers use technology. For example, the rapid adoption of mobile technology and smartphones has opened up Internet access to a wider range of consumers. That, in turn, is driving demand for better customer experiences via technology.

Among smartphone owners, young adults, minorities, those with no college experience and those with lower household income levels are more likely than other groups to say that their phone is their main source of Internet access, according to Pew (News - Alert) Research. That’s a significant difference from a decade ago, where Internet access was more limited to populations with access to desktop computers.

Insurance companies are taking note of these industry changes, with 62 percent investing in Web self-service projects in 2014, and more than 50 percent working on e-billing and e-delivery, according to the SMA survey.

"A strategic shift is occurring, with insurers now energized around customer-centric strategies and improving the customer experience, instead of just focusing on cost reduction and transaction efficiencies,” Breading said. “This is resulting in new investments and approaches for customer communications and document management."

The report, titled “Improving the Customer Experience through Communications and Document Management,” is based on interviews and a survey of 112 insurance professionals conducted from the fourth quarter of 2013 through January 2014. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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