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Lifetime relationships and employee loyalty: How the total experience approach is transforming insurance

By Monica Hovsepian, Global Industry Strategist for Financial Services, OpenText

The insurance industry is undergoing a generational change as customers migrate to the digital world. The pandemic accelerated customer expectations for digital experiences and many insurers struggle to effectively respond to their customers’ changing needs, due to legacy information systems which are becoming inadequate for modern purposes, according to McKinsey.

Meanwhile on the other side of the desk, as it were, 70% of employees in the sector have more work to do than they have time for – without outdated systems adding to the frustration around workloads and the inability to seamlessly meet customer demands.

Balancing these two challenges is arguably the most important thing insurance companies need to address going forward. The customer experience (CX) and the employee experience (EX) are the key pillars that drive the success of any business, requiring a fine-balance of back-office optimisation and customer-facing excellence.   The added benefit is that by delivering on the Employee Experience (EX), Customer Experience (CX) is improved, and Operational Excellence (OX) is achieved.

It might once have been the case that CX and EX could be viewed as independent of each other. But now, as the digital transformation of the industry continues apace, we’re finding them increasingly interlinked. Insurance companies need to recognize that EX is the driver for CX and it delivers OX and the underlying concept is TX.

Taking this holistic approach can help insurance companies keep up with the disruption caused by digital migration, and differentiate themselves in a fiercely competitive market.

Managing customer data more efficiently

Again according to McKinsey, companies that manage CX effectively can see a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction, a 15% increase in sales conversion, a 30% lower cost-to-serve and a 30% increase in employee engagement.

The first step on the road to harnessing those benefits is to transform the way customer data is managed to make it more efficient and agile. This is ultimately about understanding your customers better, and can be achieved by leveraging technology to streamline internal systems, bringing information into a single, 360-degree customer view.

Technology which integrates systems and breaks down siloes provides employees with readily available insights, which they can then use to elevate the experiences they offer to customers, including joined-up interactions and personalised service.

Fueling seamless experiences across channels

Once a 360-degree view is in place, insurance companies can then begin to roll out a seamless, frictionless and personalised experience across different channels, whether on a website or application, over the phone or even in person.

For example, technology can enable self-service options, which can reduce the burden on employees and allow them to focus on delivering more strategic, valuable experiences elsewhere.

The hot topic in almost all industries right now is AI. While many are still working out how to deploy it effectively, there are already demonstrable use cases for AI in insurance. Taken together, AI and analytics can help to manage information overload and optimise customer marketing and support, by giving customer-facing teams the AI-driven intelligence to anticipate the next-best action, next-best offer, and next-best channel via which to best engage customers.

The Total Experience Future

Total Experience is not just a cool-sounding concept. The recent Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Survey found that “Improving the customer experience (CX) ranked higher in the survey this year than more strategic focuses, such as growing revenue or new products/services development to support transformation.”

Alongside that, operational efficiency is top of mind as insurance firms continue to navigate economic turbulence. As an approach that finds harmony between CX excellence and streamlined operation, TX is therefore key to driving success in an era of constant change, with benefits including:

  • Building lifetime relationships with customers by providing rich, relevant, and targeted communications across all channels
  • Empowering and engaging employees by ensuring they have the most current and relevant information across critical business systems with a single source of customer truth
  • Making better business decisions by leveraging AI to deliver actionable insights to employees.

George Orwell once said that “each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” We might not be able to guarantee the supremacy of our wisdom over future generations, but with the rate that technology is advancing, we can certainly use the information available to us with more intelligence than our predecessors.

By doing so, we can offer the kind of cohesive and integrated solutions for both employee and customer experiences that are central to business success in the digital age.

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