Jay Chitnis, Senior Business Consultant at Endava, shows how the insurance industry can embrace the technology used by others to put customer experience first.
Insurance is a necessity, not a luxury. Whether it’s for our car, pet, home or holiday, it’s something we have to have — in some cases by law — and for that reason, it’s an industry that doesn’t always have the best reputation or relationship with its customers. We feel obligated to buy cover, rather than a desire to have it, and it often feels like a one-way transaction — especially considering it’s something we usually hope we never have to use.
That’s not helped by the fact that the industry has stayed somewhat stagnant when it comes to meeting customer needs, compared to industries around it. Legacy technology is still the norm, meaning the customer experience is usually lagging behind when it comes to documentation processing, payments and claims. In order to remain current and to improve the relationship with its customers, the insurance industry needs to consider how deploying the right technology could help to revolutionise its processes. The fact is, there are plenty of other industries out there offering the latest technology and features for insurance to take inspiration from which put the customer experience at the forefront. Here are just three ways in which the insurance industry could do the same:
The retail industry has pushed forward in improving payments and in particular, by embedding payment options right into the shopping experience. Giving people options like Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) and integrating services such as Apple and Google Pay has made it easy to complete a transaction without ever leaving the page or mobile app. Making this process easy and straightforward not only encourages customers to spend more easily with your brand, the simplicity also improves customer satisfaction, builds brand loyalty and encourages them to return.
If insurance took inspiration from this and embedded payments into their flow, it would not only make buying their insurance policies easier, but would also make for a quicker, smoother claims process. Getting the right solutions in place is key, so hiring a Head of Payments to handle implementation and management of payments could be an option for insurance businesses.
While the full possibilities and potential of the metaverse remain to be seen, virtual and extended reality systems are creating huge opportunities across a range of industries. Whether you look to art galleries, offering people in-person experiences from the comfort of their homes, or estate agents offering virtual house tours during the pandemic — car companies have even been able to “build” a car in virtual reality, having engineers from all over the world working on designs for a prototype without ever leaving their homes.
VR technologies could simplify working process within insurance for both insurers and claimants. From the get-go, items could be assessed for value using virtual modelling as digital twins, and in the event of a claim, damage could be assessed virtually as well. This would be particularly useful in the event of a breakdown of expensive machinery in a hard-to-reach place. Rather than carrying out a physical inspection at great cost and risk delaying the claims process, an assessor could do it virtually, cutting down the time to claim. It would also mean that repairs could be planned virtually before contractors are engaged, shortening a potentially lengthy process.
3.Bring insurance to the customer
We have very quickly got used to getting everything we want in one seamless transaction, thanks to embedded experiences. Now, whenever we buy online we don’t expect to have to go to a list of different websites to book, pay, add extras and everything in between. That means when we are booking a holiday, we often prefer to use a site that allows us to book the flight, hotel and hire a car all in one.
This provides a smoother and more convenient customer experience. It also increases the likelihood of a customer adding extra services on top. By embedding insurance at the point of sale — right when you’re buying a car, phone or pet — it takes away the precarious step of leaving the customer to go and find it for themselves. Not to mention the richer data sets this provides to insurers, for deeper analysis into buying trends and claims down the line.
While the insurance industry has shown plenty of willing in taking technology trends on board and ensuring the right systems are in place, there is more it can do to truly get ahead. In order to change perceptions and make customer relationships that last, it needs to prove it is genuinely a customer-centric industry. Using technology like the examples above to put the customer experience first, will go a long way to ensuring it succeeds in getting ahead.