By: Carla Gregory, Senior Principal
“The lines between B2B and B2C are blurring, and it’s now B2E – business to experience. We are all consumers in our personal lives of course, and we bring those personal expectations into our business lives.” – Tiffani Bova, Evangelist, Salesforce, and Former Distinguished Fellow, Gartner.
Traditionally, companies used to compete on price or product features, but now the product is customer experience, as 89% of companies now compete primarily based on customer experience.
Contributing factors to customer experience
Customer experience is something that must connect across all channels, all the time. A customer may engage with a carrier first on social media. Then perhaps they visit a local agent, the company website, or download the app. Every interaction with a carrier must be consistent and persistent—meaning, the message is similar and always on.
While technology is the backbone for delivering excellent customer experience, clearly defined processes must be in place to enable the technology to work correctly. Without the foundation to create an app, host an online chat, or search and purchase insurance products online, carriers can’t compete. As the definition of “customer” shifts to include potential purchasers, if carriers can’t compete, they will see life and annuity sales decline.
Customer experience should not be confused with customer service or customer care
At the surface level, they all seem the same—the touchpoints are all customer-centric. But if you examine further, there are stark differences between the three:
• Customer service is support or information a company gives customers, usually when an issue arises.
• Customer care is how customers are taken care of while they interact with a company.
• Customer experience is the complete journey of a customer’s interactions with a company. More than satisfaction, it is what the customers think and feel at every point in their journey.
Customer service and customer care are component parts of customer experience, but customer experience transcends just those two elements. The experience includes the connection a customer has with a brand—how does it make them feel emotionally, physically, mentally? Unlike customer service or customer care, the customer experience begins from the first discovery of the brand and includes every interaction throughout the customer journey. It is a responsibility shared by the Marketing and Service leaders, adding to the overall complexity.
Maximize customer experience by optimizing data
Insurance carriers are armed, if not wholly inundated, by customer data. Parsing and analyzing data to offer more tailored offers and services to customers all contribute to a more personalized experience.
Especially as customers engage and interact across different platforms, it’s more important than ever to follow their journey with your brand to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
In closing, as you think of your brand, distribution, and service priorities, consider looking at the entire customer experience as your product—what are its features and how do they ultimately benefit the customer? How does it enrich their lives—maybe by making things easier, simpler, more enjoyable, or more convenient? How can employees package this product and deliver it to customers at every single touchpoint? And finally, look at the business to understand how data aids in this mission to identify qualities and habit of customers so offers can be personalized.
Today’s customer behaviors and expectations drive the requirement for immediate access to data. NEOS helps you fuel customer applications with the data needed to deliver optimal customer experience. Learn more about our signature Data Lake Accelerator.