30 ITAPro // August 2015 // www.emagazine.ITApro.org
Insurers that adopt a holistic, customer-centric approach can realize a
clear and compelling business case.
By Bernhard Klein Wassink, Kaenan Hertz, Melanie Henderson
or years, there has been a clear consensus in the
insurance industry about the need for customer
These are all excellent—and
urgent—questions for insurers
to address, as confirmed by
findings from EY’s 2014 Global
Consumer Insurance Survey.
Based on 24,000 responses
worldwide, it is clear that in-
surance consumers want more
frequent, clearer, and more
from their insurers, as well as
greater transparency around
rates and fees. They also show
a clear willingness to embrace
digital channels for a broader
range of interactions.
As such, these findings point
to an effective first step on the
journey to enhanced customer
simplifying, and ultimately digitizing customer communications provide a clear, compelling
and often self-funding business
case for pursuing customer
is more than a “nice-to-have”
that may lead to a small uptick in policyholder satisfaction or
provide other marginal benefits. New regulations have made
plain language requirements a must do for insurers. More im-
portantly, there is real business value to be gained. Simpler and
clearer communications reduce call-center volumes, customer
churn, and operational expenses. Improved communications
can also result in increased operational efficiency and effec-
tiveness and clear competitive differentiation. In other words,
investing in customer-centric experiences and better commu-
nication can yield real and substantive financial returns.
Consumers to Insurers: “We Want to Hear
From the EY 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey
57 percent: Customers who want to hear from their
insurers at least semi-annually
47 percent: Customers who currently hear from their
insurers at least semi-annually
In the age of information overload, it is exceedingly rare for
consumers to ask for more communications, but that’s exactly
what insurance consumers want. The communications gap even
covers promotional offers; customers are open to receiving more,
meaning insurers are being invited to share more valuable content.
Why: high stakes and huge opportunity
Results from EY’s 2014 Global Consumer Insurance Survey
frame the business case for simplified communications:
K Insufficient frequency: Forty-four percent of insurance
consumers have had no interactions with their insurers
during the last 18 months.
K Low satisfaction: Only 14 percent of consumers report
being satisfied with communications from their insurers.
K Digital readiness: About 80 percent of consumers want
to use digital and remote channel options for many different tasks and transactions.
The low-frequency, low-satisfaction combination has the
potential to erode customer relationships. Current communication practices do little to address the situation, as illustrated
by these all-too-common scenarios:
K Insureds only hear from their insurance companies when
bills are due and don’t even recognize this as an interaction with their insurer
K Agents never follow up with policyholders after selling a