Customer Centric Business Models
A company can’t operate without customers, but it’s not easy finding the best way to deal with them.
The options today’s insurance-buying public have at their disposal have forced insurers to change the
way they connect with their customers. Loyalty to a particular insurance brand is usually related to how
well the last claim was handled, but today loyalty means more than simply satisfying a claim; it means
connecting with the customer in different—and seamless—channels. This month we asked three analysts
to offer advice on customer connectivity. Our group includes: Karen Monks, an analyst with Celent; Russ
Bostick, managing partner with MVP Advisory Group; and Ellen Carney, principal analyst, insurance
e-business and channel strategy with Forrester.
This month’s question:
What is the next step in customer connectivity
that you would recommend to insurance carriers?
MVP Advisory Group
Never take relationships for
granted—and if in
doubt, always send
In today’s trans-
parent world, it
takes just one bad
experience to move
from ‘best friend forever’ to ‘you’re so
last year.’ So be there and be timely for
life events, be available on demand, and
be relevant so you stand out. You need
to be in all venues that prospects visit:
Facebook, exchanges, aggregators, con-
sumer blogs, etc. Provide a chat service
with robust off-hours support. Gather
social media data and use predictive
analytics to make direct solicitations
The 2016 policyholder wants to have
it their way, so you need to provide an
omni-channel access so that they can.
When they want to speak with someone, provide your front-line staff with a
complete contact history for all channels
Finally, when things go badly, as they
sometimes do in this business, don’t
forget to send flowers. Even virtual ones
will leave a lasting impression on your
Smart homes, connected cars, agency
ecosystems of value.
As insurers look
ahead to 2016, the
est—in all connected
stuff is exploding.
Connecting to customers is not only a
means to collect and distribute information among insurers, agents, and customers. That connectivity will be the means to
change the nature of engagement.
Insurance is an arms-length relationship; the product is sold and then there’s
a claim. Connectivity provides insurers
with the means to provide new kinds of
experiences to their customers; experiences to drive engagement and those
that provide comfort and peace of mind.
This drive will shift how insurers interact
with their customers. That connectivity
will drive more insurers to follow the lead
of Germany’s Allianz and Brazil’s Porto
Sego and become mobile virtual network
operators (MVNOs). For technology
vendors, it will be an opportunity to
provide added services to ensure greater
availability, faster performance, and more
Most life insurers
struggle to engage
ers want simplicity
like what they get
online from Amazon
and others. An
agent is valued, but
self-service and products that meet their
Few life insurers accomplish these
demands. A customer centric/connected
organization has the following attributes:
they understand customer needs; they
translate the needs into appropriate
products and services; they match customers with the appropriate channels;
and they deliver customer experience
that enable, delight and show understanding of their customers.
A focus on risk and complex products
means insurers lag behind customer centric techniques used by other sectors.
John Hancock’s Vitality program is an
example of customer connectivity. The
program offers rewards for simple everyday activities to stay healthy. Rewards
are redeemed for discounts on premiums
such as hotels, restaurants, and travel.
The industry is making progress, but
has a long way to go.