P&C insurance has always been competitive, with a constantly-changing landscape of carriers, substantial government regulation and an uphill battle when it comes to differentiating from peers.
One of the best ways P&C carriers can stand apart from the rest is through a focus on a superior customer experience. P&C insurance has multiple customer touchpoints, most of which lend themselves to streamlining and even full automation in the interest of improving efficiency and ease for insured and carrier alike.
From quoting through to claims, the most successful P&C insurers are those who have invested in providing a seamless customer experience, retaining happy clients for the long-term.
Why P&C Insurance Customer Experience Matters
With intense regulation, increasing competition and staggering advertising spend by the largest carriers, P&C insurers have a hard fight to stand out. In the interest of avoiding a race-to-the-bottom on pricing, superior customer experience creates new net promoters and helps build brand reputation that undergirds preference.
This has a dual benefit in the age of customer experience shared via social media. Poor customer experience can be easily amplified by customers on social media, but there’s a silver lining — customers who have a great experience can also share their positive experiences quickly, becoming trusted referrals for new clients.
Build Trust Early
The customer lifecycle begins with customer awareness of a P&C carrier and its products. As the first touchpoints a customer has with a P&C carrier, outreach to establish awareness through websites, ads, customer testimonials, etc. should all be clear and concise in their value propositions so potential customers know exactly what to expect and they’re inspired to learn more and begin a journey of trust with the carrier.
Tools like comparison pricing, or a quick and easy application process go a long way towards building customer loyalty from the outset. Conversely, confusing or misleading information can quickly turn off a potential customer and lead them to the arms of the competition.
Intuitive, Easy to Use, Frictionless
When analyzing P&C insurance customer experience, set achievable goals on how you want prospects and customers to feel: frictionless, easy-to-use, conversational, intuitive, etc. are all feelings — conscious or not — you want your customers to have when they experience your products.
It’s no mean feat to balance implementing shortcuts and solutions that optimize efficiency while still maintaining a human connection. Demographic trends, however, are on your side with many younger customers preferring text-based and automated interactions to traditional human-staffed customer service interactions.
Maximizing a smooth experience is an admirable goal, but not if it comes at the expense of removing the human touch that consumers seek from their providers. Carriers adept at creating a great customer experience enable customers to interact in the ways they prefer vs. shoehorning all customers into a one-size-fits-all approach.
Claims is Key
Let’s face it: few customers really want to interact with their P&C insurer more than they must. Non-routine customer interactions moreover can occur at the same time as some of life’s most sudden, surprising and/or upsetting situations that result in a claim.
This is an opportunity for carriers to really shine for their customers. Expressing support and empathy for clients while smoothing the claims experience is a make-or-break opportunity for P&C insurers. Enhancing the digital experience goes a long way here — being able to send pictures of a claim by mobile, easy paperwork on an app, etc. all make it easier for the insured. On the backend, carriers can use analytics and other tools to help with predictions and anticipate client issues.
AI, Analytics & Automation for the Customer Experience Win
For carriers, customer experience success starts with state-of-the-art backend technology. Time-consuming, manual processes that are slow and confusing are the principal cause of frustration for P&C customers; carriers that work towards automating these touchpoints are already a step ahead.
Regardless of in-house systems or entrenched technology partners, carriers now have the option of tapping into headless service providers with tools across customer experience departments like claims and billing. DRC, for example, has dozens of headless APIs in its API library that seamlessly integrate with existing technology stacks and help insurers stand out where it counts for their clients.
- The tough, competitive world of P&C insurance faces both heavy regulation and a war of words that’s difficult to win with the advertising spend of the largest carriers making both awareness and differentiation a challenge. Customer experience is one of the few areas where P&C insurers can really stand apart from the pack.
- Building trust with customers starts at the beginning of the customer experience journey, with the awareness process.
- Focus on creating a service environment that inspires a positive customer experience that is intuitive, easy-to-use and frictionless.
- Tools like AI, analytics and automation to back-end processes are the best ways to start and deliver the best ROI for building out a strong customer experience operation.
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