You should know me better by now – Customer-Centric Insurance

Jamie Peers

We have all had that moment in a heated debate, where we either think or say “but surely you know me better by now”. This could be with a significant other, a child, a parent or, a friend. I’m pretty darn sure everyone has experienced that moment many times over!

As humans, we want to be understood in our relationships, it is a fundamental part of our makeup. Naturally, we should all seek to understand others too, but that’s a separate point that I won’t delve into right now.

We want people with whom we have a relationship to know our strengths, our weaknesses, our moral standpoints, our views on specific topics, and how we will react to certain events and occurrences- Why should our relationship with an insurance company be any different?

Insurance agents and brokerages have a wealth of information about each customer (whether that be a company or a person) from birthdays, policies and claims, through to earnings, and where they live.

The data points are multitudinous and building these data points together frames a story about the customer. It provides insight into what the customer wants, how they will react, what their pressure points are, and what they may need right now.

So what are the complexities around implementing a connected network of information, and how do insurance agents and brokers go about this:

  1. Real time – to continue the analogy above; in the midst of a heated debate, it doesn’t help much to have a response that requires more time to learn the person. Amid the boiling point, one ideally should know how to address the person appropriately at that exact moment. The same goes for insurance. When a customer engages with the agent/brokerage, the company should instantly know where the customer is at. This requires an immediate and consolidated view of the customer policies, claims, number of calls, age analysis, outstanding invoices to be paid, etc.
  1. Business intelligence vs Integration – to be clear, BI (Business Intelligence) is an amazing tool, but it is for the most part retrospective. It is still ultimately reporting in hindsight, as incredible a solution as it may be. Much the same as the first point, true integration horizontally across your systems is needed. Vertical ETL strategies (Extract, Transform, Load) into BI are excellent and should be employed, but it isn’t the answer to knowing your customer in real-time.
  1. Implementation – it is all too easy to turn a blind eye to building out your real time integration, because, “where the heck do I start?!?!”. The answer is to approach the customer-centric model one step at a time. Start with the easiest step, and continue to nimbly build out the model as you identify needs. Start with something that is bite-size; integrate your customers between your policy management solution and your CRM. Then, move to fetching the policies and claims from the policy management solution into your CRM. Lastly, integrate a copy of the customer call recordings from your omnichannel customer interaction solution into the CRM.
  1. Customer-centric operations – implementing the technology is a big part of the challenge. Changing the business’s approach and culture can be just as challenging, if not more so. Make sure the organization is onboard with the changes as you roll out data inter-connectivity. The organization has to buy into leveraging the data provided comprehensively. Put a communication plan in place to tell the various departments in the business what is changing, how it is changing, and why it is changing. Having lots of data available, and not using it, is arguably worse than having no data at all! No one wants to end up with a white elephant.

By turning your real time data integration strategy into a nimble, step-wise system, you can get to know your customer and implement innovative strategies that can iteratively modernize your customer engagement.

Be brave, take the first step, and watch the ROI start rolling in. You’ll never realize the endless possibilities that can be achieved through integration if you don’t take the first courageous step. 

Get to know your customers better through data.

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