The Future of Customer Service in Claims
There are a lot of exciting insurance transformations taking place in areas of customer acquisition, marketing and analytics, underwriting and more. But when we look at the claims process, it’s easy to realize that aside from several improvements in computers and technology, digitalization of media, and mobile technologies, the claims process has remained pretty much unchanged for many decades.
While we can certainly discuss the developments and many improvements in efficiencies and productivity that have been added to the claims process over the years, there is one major shift that challenges the traditional claims process in its entirety. And that is the fact that every customer is now demanding to be in control of the way they conduct business with the organization. They demand options for the type of service they choose to receive.
Recently, I had a conversation with a client that said to me “Alex, your team is highly regarded and I know it will do a great job. What I’d like to see is three options – the good, the better, and best.” From my career in engineering, this was not new. It is a good approach to conduct high level, 30 thousand foot view visibility of solutions and their capabilities. But, this time, hearing the words, I had a revelation. What is the good, the better, and the best option for the policyholder during the claims process?
There is no boiler plate answer here. The best option is customer’s personal preference, their choice based on what is most comfortable, convenient, and pleasant. For example, millennials prefer to conduct business autonomously through self-service tools without speaking with anyone at all. They grew up discovering everything online, so it’s a natural preference. My generation, generation X, generally prefers a guided approach – we love to talk with an expert and be guided in the right direction to help advise us on the best solution. Other generations seem to prefer the in-person approach following the standard commitment they have become used to from the very first time they acquired insurance. I recall seeing an old, black and white picture in one of the oldest insurance carrier’s corporate offices, proudly displayed on the wall - an insurance agent standing next to the injured policyholder at the hospital bed after a car accident. The picture had a big sign that described how the agent traveled over 300 miles to make sure he was there for his client, by his side at the time of need.
The interesting observation to note here is that a convenience method of customer communication plays a great deal into the customer satisfaction metrics. It is no longer a choice of the insurer to provide a channel of claim reporting. Today, it is a choice of the customer. That is no longer a future of customer service in insurance. It is the reality of our present times. And the organizations that can attend to the customer needs using their preferred, timely, and with a desired level of attention will gain the upper hand.
For us, we realized early that the solutions we deliver need to not only satisfy the insurers and insureds of today, but also foresee the way claims experience will be managed for the policyholders of the future. We envisioned and designed Livegenic to help drive effiiency and customer satisfaction by facilitating all types of business models, from high touch, to self-service. And this is why we've been gaining the visibility and recognition. To quote Capital One "What's in your wallet?", let me ask a similar question - "What's in your vision?". How do you see the customer service future of tomorrow's insurance customer?