Insurers don’t even try to build customer relationships. Go figure.

Here’s the elephant in the room: people buy a policy and then forget about who they bought it from the next day. After all, insurance is about not worrying about the future, right?

So the oblivion is kind of natural. What isn’t though, is the fact that insurers don’t really care. According to experts from the SAS Institute, more than 90 percent of insurers worldwide do not communicate with their customers even once a year.

Granted, we are bombarded with so much messaging every day, it seems to be obvious we might not want any more of it, especially from an insurer we wanted to get out of our heads the soonest.

On a second look

But the data says otherwise. Customers expect their insurers to stay in touch and are interested in support from an insurer in emergency situations or daily activities. According to Bain & Company research from 2018, “about 80% of insurance customers around the world are open to the idea of ecosystem services, and many of them are open to having insurers provide those services.” Such preferences are on the rise: “consumers increasingly want their carriers to be part of an ecosystem of providers – made up of both insurers and noninsurers –that help them lead safe and healthy lives”, Bain & Company claims.

So why don’t insurance companies try to build customer relations by means of a regular communication? One reason might be they don’t see a direct benefit for their businesses. Entering into a dialog is not a short-term investment with quick wins. So there is no relationship whatsoever until something goes wrong.

Managing claims

Here’s where claims reporting comes into picture. Just then people will keep digging to discover who it is they’re actually insured with. From the customer side, even simple procedures seem to be very complex if you’re all stressed out and doing it for the first time. So the insurers put a great effort into making a good impression with this step, but it is too late to build a positive feeling about the company.

Still, this is a critical moment. According to EY’s Global Consumer Insurance survey, 87% of policyholders say the claims experience impacts their decisions to remain with the insurer. But why not build the relationship before the claim occurs?

What people want

How to create an ecosystem of services? The insight from Bain & Company tells us a little on how to do that. Customers are interested in getting their cars or home equipment repaired, payments settled, safe driving habits rewarded, homes monitored and damages reported. They would like to have health checkups and personal online diagnostics, plus expert guidance during treatment and recovery.

For the win

So what can insurers win? Those services provide real help and support, and that builds trust and loyalty. Loyal customers stay longer with an insurer, buy more products and recommend the company to their friends and colleagues. And this just brings more sales.    

Now, to make all of this happen, you need a robust IT architecture that allows for expanding your services as you go.

And here’s where we step in.

 

Author: Małgorzata Moderacka, Comarch Digital Insurance Product Manager

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