Twenty years ago, customer retention strategies in the insurance business included doing fairly simple things like sending holiday cards or tucking a customer survey into an invoice. Fast forward five years and you were ahead of the game if you used email to make these same connections (bonus if you could personalize these engagements in any way).
Today, improving customer loyalty and market share is all about how well insurance companies can leverage advanced data-driven solutions being made available to the industry. Of these solutions, document management is essential to insurance customer retention strategies for a variety of reasons.
“Wow” Customers at Key Moments of Truth
According to global management and consulting firm Bain & Company, ‘customers who are promoters of their carrier are worth seven times more in lifetime value than those who are detractors’. Making a customer happy shouldn’t be that hard if you offer them what they want, right?
But, as their report, Customer loyalty in P&C insurance: US edition 2014 points out, carriers who excel at offering the lowest price point may not always have it together in the customer experience arena—and vice versa.
The firm’s research has shown that the ‘wow’ moments that keep a customer onboard or encourage them to jump ship typically have to do with moments of convenience. These moments of convenience or ‘wow’ factors include:
- Giving customers same-day quotes
- Providing self-service options like Allstate’s QuickFoto Claim application
- Integrating all activity into a single, real-time view. For example, when a customer needs help making a smart-phone payment, customer service can see the transaction-in-progress and help them step-by-step.
Automated document management enables these ‘wow’ moments to happen in a number of ways:
- Insurers can shorten take advantage of claims case management platforms to shorten settlement times.
- Agents can have insight into the entire claims process (what’s going on, what’s missing, what to expect next) to deliver a better customer experience in terms of consistency in messaging about progress/delays.
- Customers can be given opportunities earlier not after-the-fact to add new coverage to an existing policy or purchase additional products—a cross-sell strategy that tells the customer you really know/understand their needs.
Ensure a multi-channel, multi-platform experience
Your office may not be up to speed on the latest technology, but you can bet many, if not most of your customers are. Customers want to be able to use any platform available to them—even switch from one to another—and expect for you to keep up with them along the way.
Leveraging document management solutions allows you to digitally integrate all your insurance processes (new client set-up, claims, client education) and all the documents related to those processes (new account forms, claims forms, educational pieces) into a single location that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. Allowing your customers and prospects to engage with you from where they are most comfortable wins insurance companies kudos all the way around.
Here are a few examples of how automating document management to deliver a multi-channel, multi-platform experience can help improve your customer retention strategy:
- Delivering multi-channel experiences allow customers to engage based on convenience and/or comfort level,insurance companies can cast a wider net.
- Delivering the customer experience through several integrated platforms, insurance companies give customers choice and ensure a consistent experience.
- Providing more instances through which clients/prospects to engage increases the amount of client data insurance companies can collect to drive better decisions regarding things like lifecycle planning, for example.
Improve targeted messaging by customer segment and lifecycle stage
Ever gotten a present that was obviously re-gifted when what you wanted was something with real sentiment attached? Customers too, are impressed and equally turned-off by how well you manage the message. Automated document management can ensure that customers are catered to not only by who they are, but where they are in the customer lifecycle.
According to one study on winning customer loyalty in the auto insurance industry, there are at least nine distinct auto insurance consumer segments. Carriers who have the means to deliver segmented messages throughout a customer’s lifecycle, will come up ahead. Automated document management allows insurers to leverage specialised, often industry-centric platforms to make sure customers are getting the right message every time they engage with the organisation and throughout each stage of their customer journey.
- Customer service can deliver a more personalised experience with scripted responses, educational material and cross-sell information that is targeted to each segment.
- Targeted messaging-related documents can be centralised for easy access by customer service, sales and marketing insuring message consistency throughout the organisation.
- Centralised message-related documents allows for airtight version control. Customers don’t become disgruntled because they’ve waited weeks only to find they’ve been given an outdated form or old information on a product or service.
In the end, the basics to keeping customers and keeping them happy are still the same. Shake their hand. Look them in the eye. Deliver the best service possible. What has changed is the availability of technologies like automated document management to deliver on these same expectations of outreach, personalisation and customer care faster, and more efficiently than ever before.