Sedick Isaacs, Head of Business Support Services at Bryte Insurance
The insurance industry is witnessing a change in customer behaviour, which is informed by current conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a transition to a digital world and the experience they receive from service providers. By understanding the developments in customer engagements, insurance providers increasingly realise the importance of leveraging digital capabilities for a seamless customer journey and providing instruments that empower clients to find information and conduct transactions effectively.
Enhanced product offering
The industry is taking note of the developments that inform the type of cover customers need and what essentially works for them. As a result, customers are more confident and knowledgeable as they understand how to make smart purchases in line with their needs. When using their insurance, customers expect quick responses from their insurance providers.
The industry is also leveraging essential resources to access information to create the right products for customers. By using refined tools that help model risk, insurers are improving their capability to make decisions, understand different factors to the outcomes of claims and obtain better insight into future trends.
Furthermore, the industry is looking into providing sufficient insurance cover using simple, innovative and unique products that also provide for a better customer experience. In addition, better understanding and dissecting of information will help in improving product relevance and retaining customers.
The expansion of customer engagement channels provides both the customer and insurer with a seamless interaction process across a myriad of channels. Artificial Intelligence and programmes such as website chat boxes and social media are assisting businesses to promptly respond to customers’ queries and engaging with them quicker. While technology is making engagement easier, customers still need and value human interaction, as they still view human touchpoints much more trustworthy than digital elements they have at their disposal.
The need to balance digital and human engagement is essential and can only be realised if insurers understand their audience segments. The insurance industry is a service-oriented sector that requires an integration of different channels to communicate information and get hold of stakeholders, i.e. SMS updates with notifications, emails about product updates and phone calls to assist customers in need.
Strengthening capabilities for efficient results
Risks are continuously changing and managing them remains a multifaceted activity. The industry has put in place top-level tools such as analytics, robotics, etc., which dramatically reduce client exposure to risk alongside prevention measures and cover. However, as businesses embrace analytics as a critical lever, considerations need to be made about investing in people. In order to remain relevant, insurers need to have the right people and partners with the necessary skills and talents to service customers effectively.
Leveraging partnerships effectively
Customers have a genuine appreciation of receiving assistance that provides them with a better understanding of the cover they receive and the policy wording. Intermediaries have the capability to assist customers in understanding the type of risks they may or may not get cover for or the limit of cover for the prevailing risks they can face. Brokers are essential partners in guiding customers through claims processes, understanding what constitutes a claim and knowing which cover responds to the claim, concessions afforded, relief options available, etc.
The industry continues to evolve as a sector that predicts and provides risk mitigation against future incidents. Its ability to effectively provide advice and guide customers properly will ensure that it remains relevant. However, the industry also needs to maintain a high ethical standard to ensure that questions around fairness and transparency become irrelevant.