Technology Delivers Customer-Centricity for Group, Voluntary Benefits Insurers
Consumers today are more educated, more demanding, and more mobile than those of the past, and are using—and enjoying—the benefits of technology advances in other industries. Those advances have led to increased personalization, improved product choice, and greater accessibility.
For insurers in the group and voluntary benefits market, these advances also create a challenging environment in which insurers are trying to provide access to core plan and voluntary product options, self-service functionality, mobile access, flexible billing plans, and online enrollment with outpaced legacy systems. Any insurer unable to meet the needs of this consumer-driven market, by connecting with consumers where, when, and how they shop, faces significant challenges to gaining market share and closing new business.
Instead, insurers must move past limited legacy technology. By investing in modern core administration systems, which can leverage predictive insights from external and internal data and convert those insights into sales and service actions, insurers can improve customer engagement and product development.
Technology modernization is designed to increase customer-centricity by transforming the purchasing experience, enhancing service levels, creating personalized offers and experiences, and promoting loyalty by unifying systems around customers.
Transform the Purchasing Experience
Insurance transactions come in all shapes and sizes, and as distribution continues to evolve, the purchasing experience will continue to evolve as well. Demands for access anytime, anywhere, anyhow and the ability to purchase, modify, renew or file a claim on demand in a self-service environment are growing among insurance consumers.
These consumer demands make the move toward omni-channel even more imperative in light of recent news about Google Compare and Google`s investment in innovative insurer Oscar Healthcare Insurance.
Insurers competing in terms of the purchasing experience may soon also have competition from such consumer behemoths as Apple and Amazon. These companies have honed the art of transforming the purchasing experience in other industries and now look poised to step into insurance.
Enhance Service Levels
Teenagers aren`t the only people demanding instant gratification. Although parents often counter that “right now” is an unrealistic goal, many modern businesses have worked hard to condition customers of all ages to expect it.
These expectations, unrealistic or not, make speed-to-market for new insurance products, reduced claim cycle times, and enhanced service levels a priority for insurers. For the employer, the ability to tailor the insurance experience instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all mentality, which is common in traditional group insurance offerings, is paramount and speaks to consumer demand for personalization as part of an enhanced service offering.
For example, individual employees expect to be able to select a preferred billing cycle for each insurance product and are disappointed if the insurer (or the employer via the insurer) cannot make a single, list bill for all group and voluntary products immediately available.
Brokers trying to keep up with customer expectations are asking insurers to create group and voluntary quotes on a single proposal and to have one place to view activity on any account, at any time, whether it is the status of a proposal, enrollment results, a bill or a claim.
Personalize and Grow Business
By understanding an individual`s purchasing context, including overall lifestyle, family dynamics, goals and aspirations, insurers can use digital channels to create a more personalized experience with more inherent, seamless opportunities for up-sell and cross-sell. Capturing lifestyle data is critical for the success of such efforts, and online enrollment and service processes need to be adapted to make it happen.
In this way, online enrollment can adopt some of the more personal qualities of the expensive and much less efficient face-to-face enrollment. When customer lifestyle data and account and transaction data are combined and analyzed, insurers can better predict customer behavior, such as what offers through what channels will appeal to a particular customer.
Unify Systems around the Customer
With the rise of comparison shopping and the increasing role of exchanges and enrollment firms pushing insurers further from the forefront of the consumer relationship, insurers must create unique, compelling experiences to bring their own brands back to top of mind. Therefore, any technology modernization initiative must put customer engagement at the epicenter.
Technology supporting this approach gives the insurer a complete, real-time view of the customer, enabling every frontline employee and automated system to conduct more informed customer interactions. Unifying systems around the customer also promotes loyalty by ensuring the company is easy to do business with and giving the customer a sense of dealing with an integrated company.
Insurers are moving to bring the front and back office together, breaking down traditional silos. It means taking system integrations to a new level, mining the information residing in core systems, and then combining that data with sales, marketing, and servicing insight—in real time, in the right context—to significantly improve the experience for the customer and help insurers break out of the commodity trap that is being set in this fight for the consumer.