Redefining Client Engagement with an Integrated CX Strategy

Redefining Client Engagement with an Integrated CX Strategy

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64% of respondents claim their firms experience operational errors due to manual data entry

- Life Insurance Digitized, Forrester Report

A recent study commissioned by EQ and conducted by Forrester, which compiled responses from 207 North American Life Insurance executives, revealed an unexpected customer experience challenge for a life insurance industry in the middle of extensive digital transformation.

Despite substantial effort to digitalize their operations and satisfy skyrocketing digital expectations, many firms still rely on too many manual processes that degrade the customer experience (CX).

Current Situation: Customer experience in the industry

Customer expectations with regards to life insurance applications, new business processing and application modifications are rising exponentially. This is in line with the 5-star experience that customers have grown accustomed to in every other industry. If you can order a pizza, make modifications online, and track its baking time & delivery, shouldn’t you have similar visibility and control over your life insurance application?

And, life insurers are not only thinking about customer experience in the context of new business - they’re also focused on retaining their current customers. As a matter of fact, the term “customer” no longer only refers to the policyholder. Rather, it refers to whomever is going to benefit from the life insurance distribution. Life insurers are thinking of ways to engage with all customers – meaning policyholders as well as their beneficiaries.

Ellen Carney, Principal Analyst at Forrester explains,

The digital life insurers of tomorrow are going to be operating in an increasingly complex and competitive world where whoever had the first to market advantage is going to be the winner. And it is going to be based on who was actually delivering the best-in-class customer experience

What is important in trying to deliver superior CX in life insurance?

An integrated digital sales solution

“The Forrester study reveals that 81% of respondents believe that a digital insurance platform is necessary to satisfy customers and elevate CX.”

However, respondents stated that they have started their CX enhancement journey by focusing on front-end experience, leaving back-end systems on the backburner. Truly elevating CX requires a connected ecosystem and insurance back-office systems that are able to support the level of CX life insurance customers have habitualized.

An integrated digital sales solution will help streamline the buying experience for customers and improve CX. Unfortunately, life insurers are unable to meet current expectations and are experiencing a lot of abandoned shopping carts. For example, Brian Carey, Senior Director at Equisoft explains,

“People may not understand why it takes 30 to 45 days to issue a policy, which may cause insurers to lose customers”.

Understanding and integrating B2B and B2C channels into core systems can streamline services tremendously by ensuring process continuity and filling in the gaps between processes. As a result, insurers are currently searching for end-to-end CX vendors who will enable their businesses to deliver outstanding CX by minimizing manual processes and offering advisers support and tools. To solve their system integration challenges, for instance, 75% of respondents are seeking an API-enabled insurance platform, while 73% are seeking an end-to-end solution that combines back-end policy administration systems (PAS) with front-end digital sales/services.

The intersection between CX and Data

Leveraging data to create a better customer experience is one of the best ways to come out on top.

56% of respondents believe data and analytics challenges are their organizations’ biggest hurdles.

- Life Insurance Digitized, Forrester Report

To come out on top, insurers need to engage customers beyond the buying process. This helps provide continuity in the brand, upsell opportunities and referrals. Being able to leverage data to learn, listen and capitalize on these opportunities is gold. Instead of going in blind, insurers can prioritize making improvements to the processes with the highest impact on a customer. This is where the ability to retrieve and interpret can go a long way in elevating CX. With access to exhaustive data, companies are able to benefit from insights to help deliver better experiences, new products and be more compliant.

How exactly are insurers looking to retrieve this data?

49% of respondents are looking for data support and tools from their vendor partner. 42% of respondents reported that their priority in the upcoming 6-12 months is investment in new partnerships that will expand CX capabilities or access to new data sources.

- Life Insurance Digitized, Forrester Report

Conclusion:

As business demands continue to increase, technology platforms need to be able to keep up. Legacy insurance systems are no longer capable of delivering the digital experiences customers expect. In order to overcome the CX challenges that insurers face, companies need to modernize both their front-office and back-office systems.

Check out the full research report for key points insurers need to consider while strategizing on how their core systems will meet increasing customer expectations.

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