Customer experience (CX) has been around the heads of CEOs, CIOs, and CMO of many industries for the last few years. Everyone knows that the better you know your customers, the better you’ll be able to engage with them and offer them more products But the big question really is: how do you do that? That's the tricky part.
Be Mindful of Your Thoughts, Anakin. They’ll Betray You.
Most insurers have started this path and got lost in the woods. They realized that everything counts. When they want to become a customer-focused company, they need to clear the way in many fronts. For example, processes across the company have to be customer-focused. The problem is that so many — Sales, Underwriting, Collections, Claims, and Renewals — are policy-oriented. The customer is involved at the beginning and at the end of the process.
Data is another issue. For instance, insurers realize that they have not connected all their systems, and they have duplicate data everywhere. Don't believe me? You just need to ask your marketing department for the data they use. As a customer, you learn about this when you receive offers for products you already have or when you receive an offer on your first name and a separate one on your middle name. Sometimes you will receive offers at your address for other people. That’s data. Afterwards, in the process of becoming a customer-oriented company, issues like this eventually become projects that would only push forward the deadline for the ultimate CX. At the end of the day, the journey to define, design, and create the customer journey becomes a bumpy and a painful one.
There are some methodologies that may help insurers map the customer journey. For example, “Design thinking” and “Business Model Canvas” can help insurers understand how the customer interacts with the company, which sounds very cool. The bad news is that you can’t achieve a high level of CX without the use of technology; after all; you need to implement new concepts. Along the brainstorming process, insurers learn that there are many components that can’t escape from CX; being digital and using mobile devices are examples. So, where to start? Data and analytics, core system replacement, digital, artificial intelligence (AI)? The list can go on and on.
Luke, I’m Your Father
Also, you may have to face the sad truth that the core system is not ready to support such capabilities (something that my colleague Tom Scales wrote about last week in his blog: ‘Is your back office ready for digital?’) and a storm of requirements will come over the IT department. You may need to do business cases to support each initiative, such as cost/benefits analyses with the customer at the center.
Fear Is the Path to the Dark Side.
The worst thing that insurers can do is nothing. Sooner or later, they will be forced to play the game, and it's better to be prepared and ahead. My advice is Use the Force, knowledge, and just then May the Force Be with You.
Celent has always acted as a catalyst that promotes change and innovation by leading projects and exposing case studies to the insurance industry. We help insurance companies understand, respond, and adapt to a more competitive environment with the use of technology through our expertise and insight.
Next 15 December 2017, 11:00 - 12:00 EST, we will be hosting our “Policy Administration Systems 2017: Trends in the Life Insurance and Annuity Market webinar.” You can register for this event here.