By Tim Barber, Vice President of Digital Commerce, EMEA, Pitney Bowes
The insurance industry is in a state of flux, more so now than ever. M&A activity is stepping up, and changing regulatory requirements demand fluidity and responsiveness. Customer empowerment is a major disruptive force, as consumers’ appetite for digital channels drives new levels of expectation. Considering insurers are currently less trusted than banks or supermarkets, the need for change and a shift towards improving the customer experience becomes very clear.
Unlike many industries, insurance firms are generally not in frequent contact with their customers. The average personal lines insurance client submits a claim once every six years and will renew annually, requiring minimal communications from the insurer. Some insurers will circulate updates on other policies in the hope they can cross-sell, and all must adhere to regulatory requirements and update customers on policy changes, but in general, there are few chances to interact. Here’s where the unprecedented opportunity emerges: insurers’ clients actually want to be contacted more. 57% of global insurance consumers would prefer to hear from their providers at least twice a year, but they’re not receiving that level of contact.
Today’s empowered consumers want self-service, flexible payment options and the ability to change their policy details online. They want to choose their communication channels: 80% of insurance customers are happy to use digital and remote channel options for different tasks and transactions4. And they want “more frequent, meaningful and personalised communications”, according to research from Ernst & Young.
The industry has a duty to respond to this demand, and must do so if firms are to remain competitive, build relationships, and retain customers. This needn’t require an expensive, complex new customer communications strategy. Instead, insurers can make the most of every touchpoint they have with their customers, and use these opportunities to engage and impress customers, generate interest and excitement, develop trust and drive loyalty.
Now, insurers are using these transactional customer touchpoints as opportunities to excite and educate customers with interactive personalised video communications, taking engagement to a new level. The videos, unique to each recipient, draw on different customer data sets – location intelligence, financial data – and use them to create dynamic, interactive real-time video content which changes based on responses to customer prompts.
Interactive personalised video enables insurers to deliver immersive, relevant and engaging interactions across the customer lifecycle, increasing customer lifetime value. It can be used to clarify complex policy documents, explain line items and highlight issues where cover may need to be extended. It can increase visibility and understanding of the ‘small print’, reducing the need for callers to get in touch with call centre staff to go through detail and discuss any misunderstandings. And it can improve a company’s visibility and transparency: research from Accenture5 found 94% of respondents felt that explanation and transparency of the claims process influenced customer satisfaction, and 95% felt speed of the claims process impacted their satisfaction. Interactive personalised video addresses both of these issues, boosting customer satisfaction by informing and educating policy holders.
Interactive personalised video in the insurance industry can:
- Deliver relevant, timely communications with precision and accuracy, such as:
- Providing a helpful and intuitive guide through new policies
- Offering “best next engagement” recommendations based on individual circumstances
- Give a competitive edge to insurers that creates an interactive dialogue, improves customer satisfaction and drives customer loyalty and retention
- Contribute to the development of a strong brand personality.
- Ultimately improve profitability by streamlining sales, marketing and service operations.
The very nature of this new interactive media fits perfectly with the ethos of the empowered consumer, as it is the customer who decides which content to view and when in their journey they choose to view it. Those insurers empowering customers, giving them flexibility, choice and accuracy in their communications, are driving transformation across the customer experience.
Security First Insurance was set up 100 years ago in Florida, USA, to deliver sound homeowner insurance protection to residents in the hurricane state. The firm has always demonstrated a very strong customer commitment and community focus, and introduced interactive personalised video communication as an extension to this commitment. It delivered an improved customer experience, and was used to convey important policy information. 20% of new policy holders spend an average of over five minutes viewing the video and learning about their policy coverage. Now, following the success of the English language version, a Spanish language version has also been launched, responding to customer demand and driving tailored, immersive communications.
Click here to view an example.