06/10/19

3 Ways to Optimize Customer Experience

By: Chris Dickinson, Senior Principal

In the insurance and financial services industries, competition has never been more intense. Consumers today care less about brand recognition and more about obtaining the product or service how and when they want. Saturated markets, coupled with the ease of obtaining products and services online, means brand loyalty is a thing of the past.

76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere—switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations. – Salesforce Research

Consumers today require—and expect—more from their entire experience, and organizations that can satisfy these needs will prevail. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, by next year, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

As you evolve your customer experience strategy, here are three must-haves for insurance companies and financial services providers to differentiate and deliver the ultimate customer experience.

1. PERSONALIZATION

Due to the nature of today’s top retail giants—think: Amazon—consumers have grown accustomed, and now expect, this same customized level of service from other businesses. And the volume of data obtained about customers means we have more access than ever to tailor an experience, service, or product to a customer. By gathering demographic data—information like marital status and children, home ownership, and communication preference—products and services specific to a customer’s life stage can be offered.

Takeaway: Leverage customer data and machine-learning to anticipate customer needs and cater to your diverse portfolio of customers.

2. SECURITY

The single most impactful and hardest earned aspect of your customer’s experience is their trust. In the U.S., “30% of customers who feel high levels of trust and loyalty are willing to hand over personal data and 41% are up for sharing their purchase data with trusted brands”, according to the 2018 US Retail CX Trends Report. Understanding the business value of this data it is easy to see the desire to increase customer participation by the remaining 70%. Broadening trust by addressing emerging data privacy regulations while striving to improve personalization and convenience can be a difficult balance to strike. Emerging regulations limit the availability and usage of valuable customer data and the financial and brand impact of non-compliance can be significant. Consumers are willing to engage with companies they trust but get it wrong and that trust can be severely damaged. It’s imperative to build and maintain customer trust through data security and responsiveness to regulatory change without hindering the ability to deliver the capabilities that customers demand – achieving this balance is a true competitive advantage.

Takeaway: Strengthen and communicate your data security strategy to build trust with customers.

3. CONVENIENCE

A Citigroup study found that half of the banking customers use their smartphones or other mobile devices. But customers still expect in-person customer service as well. Similarly, insurance companies are making it easier for claim submissions and updates, purchasing new coverage, and offering wealth management services through online self-service portals. Whether it’s in-person, online, or through an app, hyperconnected consumers want easy, 24/7 accessibility no matter the device or method.

Takeaway: Consider omnichannel and omni-device communications to deliver information to customers according to their preference.

Customer experience transcends price and product and is the compilation of a variety of tactics. As such, insurance and financial services organizations that listen, anticipate, and cater to customer needs will ultimately succeed in delighting the customer and winning the experience.

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