Let’s be honest: The insurance industry has never been regarded as a shining example of communication at its best. That is a problem. There is a solution.
Let me explain.
In its simplest form, communication is the exchange of information between two parties.
- The intent of the exchange could be to inform, to transact, to maintain or build a relationship.
- The nature of the exchange can be characterized along three dimensions:
- Effectiveness: How well the intent was accomplished
- Efficiency: The amount of effort that each party expended
- Satisfaction: How much each party enjoyed the exchange and is looking forward to similar exchanges in the future
Good communication is effective, efficient, and satisfying.
The leading consumer technology companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon) have radically reset expectations of what good communication is. Their more satisfying online and mobile experiences create higher levels of enjoyment for users and customers. Users want to return to search more (and buy stuff), to keep up with more friends (and buy stuff), and to buy stuff (and buy still more stuff).
Can the insurance industry meet those expectations and standards?
Insurers communicate with a number of audiences: individuals and businesses as prospects and policyholders; claimants, agents, brokers, auto repair shops, medical providers, and more. Each audience (or persona in marketing parlance) enters into communication with an insurer to accomplish something (aka embarks on a journey): to get a quote, to buy a policy, to add a car to a policy, to make a claim . . .
On that journey, each audience will judge its communication with the insurer by its own combination of the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction criteria. If the communication experience falls far enough short with enough frequency (or maybe even once); trust is eroded. Since trust is the foundation of the insurance business, over time some portion of the audience will shift its relationships to a different insurer with better communication skills.
Providing the right message, at the right time, in the right format, through the right channel is now an essential part of an insurer’s competitive strategy.
For more insights into how insurers are using technology to enable their strategies see Property/Casualty Insurer CIO Pressures and Priorities 2019: North America Edition