Simple considerations for insurers on how to trust their customers
“Impatience is a virtue,” Forbes Magazine asserts. “As more devices and apps deliver instant gratification, the more it sets a new standard for customer expectations.” It’s no surprise in today’s digital age that customers want what they want – and they want it now.
Online shopping isn’t just for clothes anymore, so how do insurers keep up? Instant policy acceptance is a great way to attract customers, but the age-old concern of letting the right ones in isn’t going away, at least not if a carrier wants to remain profitable.
Trusting your customer is an important step to getting the right customers in and keeping them happy. So how can you achieve the right level of trust? For insurance carriers, it’s all about changing your mindset on a few key topics.
Become a Champion of Technology
It’s no secret some carriers are still stuck in a bygone decade. But many are embracing the huge digital developments and resulting opportunities. In fact, 100% (that’s right – ALL) of the large carriers surveyed for Celent’s 2019 Property/Casualty Insurer CIO Pressures and Priorities Report say innovation initiatives are already underway, and 91% are embarking on digital transformation. Modern core systems allow for a greater level of analytics and automated processing, saving you and your customers time while quickly assessing risk.
Partner, partner, partner
Traditional carriers used to operate as independently as possible, which meant creating their own systems for all applications. But a jack of all trades is a master of none – and carriers today are beginning to embrace partnerships with companies who set their focus on only one task. Vendors who provide automated decision support, for example, ensure you are constantly up to date with the latest advancements. They focus solely on providing the best product for that need, so you can focus on your core task of being a top carrier.
Prioritize Customer Experience
“The difference between now and then is that great experiences were once differentiators,” shares Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis. “Now, great experiences are becoming mandates.” Today’s consumers have unlimited access to information and choices, and a company’s reputation matters more than ever. Good experiences are shared, and bad experiences are avoided at all costs. When you provide an ideal customer experience, they’ll stick around at renewal time – and they’ll tell their friends to consider you as well. Perhaps this is why, according to Celent, half of all large insurers have a C-Level customer experience leader.
Trust You Can Count On
While it takes time to build trust, technology is increasingly able to help us build it more rapidly… sometimes within seconds. Modern risk and fraud detection systems can flag potentially risky clients in under a second, allowing your staff to make a final, educated decision. And if the potential customer checks out, your staff can stay out of it altogether – allowing technology to make an immediate acceptance. Talk about instant gratification and customer experience! Celent analyst Karlyn Carnahan points out, “Using the right technology, most of the customers become trusted customers and customer experience and loyalty actually improve significantly.”
So what key technologies can we use to build this trust?
- Primary verification – internal and external data sources are checked to make sure provided details are correct, an applicant is not on a sanction list, etc.
- Text analysis – patterns and tendencies are analyzed to flag any suspicious statements
- Anomaly detection – items and events are compared against expected patterns, and networks are linked together to determine if seemingly unrelated people are actually connected
- Voice analysis – a person’s state of mind (relaxed vs. stressed, secure vs. insecure, etc.) can be determined by automatically analyzing voice signals
- Financial risk analysis – public sources are checked to assess risk, including previous bankruptcies or losses, gaps in insurance, etc.
- Predictive modeling – above methods are used to determine the likelihood of fraud or unreliability
Red Light, Green Light…
When assessing risk and reliability, an automated solution should provide a score or other basis to make instant decisions or trigger additional workflows. To simplify, a color can be assigned to determine the next steps:
- Green Light: Go! The customer is most likely reliable, and benefits from straight through processing of policy acceptance or claim payment.
- Yellow Light: Caution! There may be doubt about a customer’s morality or reliability, and further investigation or conditions may be warranted.
- Red Light: Stop! There’s a high likelihood of risk or fraud, and a policy’s acceptance or claim’s payment should be carefully investigated before continuing.
The good news is 98% of customers are legitimate – they’re not out to get you, and they’ll only claim a loss when it actually happens. So why not treat them like the good people they are? Think if it like an express lane – once you’ve been vetted, you’ve earned the right to straight through processing. While suspicious customers might be subject to delay, trusted customers will feel a sense of reward when policy applications are accepted, and claims are paid right away. When customers feel rewarded, they will remain loyal and become brand ambassadors.
Highly-trusted customers can benefit from higher limits, better conditions and even lower premiums. Insurers can offer this because less money is spent looking into their applications and claims, and they are less likely to cost the carrier much in the long run. Trusting your customers also offers many benefits to the insurer, including the ability to focus their energy where it’s most needed – like in depth investigations on fraudulent claims. Insurers also save money on what used to be time consuming processes. By keeping processes efficient, customers in turn repay their insurer with brand loyalty and positive reputation management.
These aren’t the only reasons to trust your customers, and they’re not the only benefits either. Learn more by downloading our e-book.