Last week, we talked about ways to increase engagement with customers. This is more challenging than ever because attention is at a premium with the push and pull of technology and social media.
It’s also more important than ever because customer experience and engagement continues to be the number one strategic initiative for insurers, with 85% of insurers investing in this important aspect of customer loyalty. The focus on the customer and the desire to improve their experience is reshaping how customers interact and engage with companies, products and services.
Today we talk about how to engage, and retain, those customers by business line including some firsthand accounts of what we have seen work for our own clients.
P&C personal lines: As the renewal date approaches for a homeowner’s policy, the insurer usually prepares a renewal letter. Rather than create a form letter in batch mode with just the policyholder’s variable information inserted, the insurer can create a customized letter informed by 1.) Recent risks in the area; 2) Things to reevaluate based on changes in home and auto; 3.) Any recent or new claims and 4) Opportunities for savings. Yes, this may seem counterintuitive but who doesn’t like a company that is looking out for them. Better yet, we are seeing our customers have great success through personalized video. Deliver the communication based on the policyholder’s known preference – and whether they want to receive communications via the mail or email.
P&C commercial lines: Because there are precise geocoded locations on every property, an insurer is able to proactively assess the risks and initiate a series of interactions with the business and collaborate on loss-control actions. The insurer can communicate through multiple means, including text alerts, e-mail, and phone conversations. The loss-control engineers and broker involved are armed with relevant, real-time information. These interactions assist the business in identifying the buildings and vehicles most at risk and help them to take the actions necessary to protect their employees and assets. It also pays to stay on top of direct risk by industry, a real estate business would not have the same needs as a film company. Arming brokers with important information, by industry, that they can then use as talking points for interactions with their clients are key. Even ‘tweetables’, short tidbits of info they can share via social media, may draw attention to the broker’s expertise, positioning them as a key expert in said industry/business.
Life insurance: Many requests for life policies come from someone submitting a request through the web site. How many people actually purchase? The information captured during a web visit represents valuable details for follow up based on age and people in the household. For existing customers, a common request is for a loan against the policy. Info on why the loan is needed can trigger a real-time notification to the agent assigned to the customer allowing for relevant, personalized follow-up. For example, that agent may see that the policyholder’s oldest daughter is now 18 and may be preparing for college. Or that the customer has just turned 59½ and has an IRA with the company. This information allows the agent to prepare a response to the customer and offer other options besides the loan. Better yet, we have seen our customers have a lot of success in this arena with cross-selling, offering annuities or long-term care for example, as investment opportunities. Phone conversations, emails and even personalized video could be appropriate in this instance.
Healthcare: Digital health tools can help patients navigate the healthcare system more efficiently. According to a survey from Rock Health, 46 percent of consumers use three or more categories of digital health tools. The survey also found that nearly 70 percent of people appreciate getting texts or emails from healthcare providers. The member engagement piece is critical in healthcare. Some ways to communicate and help reduce costs for the insurer and customer are 1.) Sending congratulations for using telemedicine and visiting cost-effective providers; 2.) Reminders about shopping for cost-effective providers; 3.) Reminders about available telemedicine and cost and quality transparency tools; 4.) Testimonials about available tools; 5.) Seasonal healthcare tips
Scenarios such as these are examples of the thousands of different types of interactions that may occur. Addressing these business requirements will enable insurers to gain advantages over their competitors by offering prospects, producers, and policyholders new ways to communicate, more personalized interactions, and increased opportunities to strengthen relationships.
Technology Capabilities for Engagement
The fundamental requirement for an integrated technology platform is to enable insurers to create, deliver, and manage print and digital content through any appropriate channel to any device. We have seen a prominent client in the life and voluntary benefits space deliver, and manage, all forms of content, including print and digital, direct to customers and direct to brokers successfully in this way. Template design and interactive document creation can be provided through a user interface that allows business users to easily create and customize communications. In addition to the marketing personnel being able to streamline and optimize print and mail for cost control, the brokers can act as end users to create and maintain templates, ‘made to order’ presentations for pitches, and generate personalized documents.
In insurance, a high percentage of communications are still based on MS Word. This is due to the many formal and ad-hoc templates that have been created over the years. Insurers need to understand how many templates there are in the enterprise, where they are located, and how they are used. Any solution must be able to manage the hundreds or thousands of templates, and template versions, that most insurers have, while enabling companies to migrate to a modern solution. Housing communications in one central database improves control and compliance too. Legal and compliance teams within the organizations love this control.
For e-delivery, insurers are looking for the ability to define specific delivery channels for individual communications, including SMS, e-mail, web portal, and video . Monitoring and tracking the status of the e-delivered communication is important. Did it arrive successfully? Did the customer open the communication? Were there any click-throughs or other interactive responses to the communication? The ability to maintain and leverage an interaction history is becoming an increasingly important component of customer engagement.
For insurance, an essential delivery capability for both print and digital is the ability to accommodate the requirements and preferences of intermediaries. Agents, brokers, and advisors may decide that some types of documents and communications should go directly to the customer, others should go to the customer with copies sent to the intermediary, and still others should be sent first to the agent, who will then deliver them to the policyholder. Understanding and managing these preferences is an important element of the customer relationship. All of these technology requirements can be designed and fulfilled using advanced design approaches to produce a modern user interface, enable easy integration with other systems, provide for efficient operations, and support new deployment options.
The Lift Factor
The Lift Factor offers a comprehensive suite of customer engagement solutions that enables insurers to dynamically deliver highly personalized, relevant, and engaging experiences across all customer touch points. Our unique set of capabilities spans physical and digital channels and leverages real-time insights. We can help you streamline and house all communications. As part of this, we can also assist with the planning and automation of campaigns. Our experience in customer journey mapping and developing relevant customer interactions across multiple channels helps us gain and leverage insights on what works and what doesn’t. We can then start to predict behavior, ensuring successful communication, higher response rates, and long-time customers.