In any other industry the idea, that two thirds of a company’s clients were only a drop of a hat away from signing up with a competitor, would be shocking. In insurance it seems to be a standard according to Cap Gemini’s World Insurance Report for 2013. They carried out over 16,000 individual customer surveys and drew their data from 41 markets and 114 senior insurance people. Their conclusion is that nearly 70% of insurance customers would switch to another provider for minimal or even no additional benefits.
The Basis of Customer Experience
In essence the customer experience is defined by three areas of the customer lifecycle:
- The contact a customer has with other people or companies regarding a single company or product
- The company’s own sales and marketing efforts and following a sale the support function of that company
- The customer’s use of the service itself
The Customer Experience Management Process
In order for insurance brokers to effectively manage the customer experience they need to understand the underlying management process. That is:
- Being able to monitor the path of a customer throughout the customer experience lifecycle
- Bring together data from every channel and touch point that influences the customer experience lifecycle
- Properly integrate data from external sources with data that is generated from the insurance broker’s own departments
- Focusing on improving the overall quality of revenue streams (and thus profits) gained from customers within the customer experience lifecycle
- Optimising internal processes so that they are focused on the customers and not on the broker’s preferred business model
The purpose of customer experience management is to create a positive association in the customer’s mind with your brand and your product offering. CAP Gemini’s report is quite clear that it is neutral and/or negative customers which are most at risk.
One of the easiest ways to improve the customer lifecycle is to integrate with the way customers live. The report focuses on social media and mobile applications as a specific way to improve interactions with clients and improve their experience of your overall service. If you’re looking for ideas in this area you might want to see our recent series regarding social media for insurance brokers.
The key factors in these two contact points are the ability for your customer to interact with your brand anywhere at any time and do so in a social setting. The right levels of engagement should deliver much higher levels of retention. Two-thirds of your client list being at risk is not acceptable – the cost of gaining new customers is always markedly higher than retaining original customers. The CAP Gemini report suggests there’s a lot of work to be done in this area. Are you letting your customers spiral away from you? What can you do to improve their experience?