Insurance carriers are off to a focused start in 2023. They have painstakingly planned for the unknowns of the economy and are investing their dollars and resources into projects that will improve their overall capabilities in the years to come. In Aite-Novarica Group’s Top 10 Trends in Life, Annuities, & Benefits, we found that user experience is a major focus of insurance carriers in 2023. User experience is a critical element to delivering fast, easy sales and service capabilities across industries.
Retail, banking, and airlines have set a high bar for the capabilities and transparency within transactions that make up a great customer experience. The pandemic accelerated the need for digital capabilities across lower-transaction-volume businesses like insurance. Some carriers quickly provided capabilities to meet these needs during a difficult time and are now catching up by improving the experience for customers and agents. Consumers now expect to have access to their carriers where, when, and how they want it.
It really is all about the experience—or is it? The answer lies in what is considered to be “the experience.” A great user interface that provides intuitive capabilities and information is a wonderful thing to provide to agents and customers. But if the underlying data and administration systems do not provide the ability to expose impactful data and functionality, that will diminish the value of the experience.
If manual processes need to happen to allow for the correct policy issuance or for changes to be applied, that also impacts the experience. The end-to-end experience must work, or at least appear to work, like a well-oiled machine.
There is no doubt that investing in the insurance customer and agent experience is important. Making sure that investment will yield real value is even more important. Modern core systems and data integrity play a huge role in delivering a superior customer experience. While many carriers choose to build user interfaces around their legacy systems, there are often limits to what that veneer can provide.
Some legacy systems provide highly automated processes that can be exposed through a well-designed front end. Some have major gaps or manual steps that carriers do not want to expose to their customers or agents. It is important for carriers to identify the real business problem they are trying to solve for to make sure the investment and solution will be beneficial.
Lightning-fast issue or claim adjudication times are great, too, but is that the most important thing? Maybe not. Transactions cannot take an inordinate amount of time, or customers and agents will be disheartened. What really matters is the level of transparency into the transaction. Allowing agents and customers to understand the status of their application or claim gives them the ability to better understand the process and not feel like their needs went into a black hole.
If carriers provide a slick interface but still do not have data that can provide insight into the status of a claim, they are not addressing the problem and are not understanding the customer’s experience.
It’s all about “the experience” means the entire experience. Providing access to insightful data and capabilities in a manner that is convenient and desired goes deeper than a pretty web interface. For carriers, looking at the way you deliver services to your agents and customers from their perspectives will help you better identify problems and opportunities and then develop strategies that hit the mark.
Interested in how else insurers are improving their customer experience and tackling other key areas of focus in 2023? Read the full report Top 10 Trends in Life, Annuities, & Benefits, 2023: Preparing for a Dynamic and Variable New Reality or watch the recording of our February 21 webinar on the trends here.