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Insurers need to rethink millennial engagement

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Insurers today need a unified platform to provide better and faster customer service at a lower cost if they want to turn sceptical millennials into loyal customers.
According to senior executives from analytics company Verint, such a platform will help streamline end-to-end processes by assisting insurance companies to manage their people, processes and improving the flow across the customer journey.
Verint recently hosted a roundtable at the Operational Excellence in Financial Services & Banking Summit and from discussions it was clear that the industry needs to find new ways to engage Millennials in the industry, both as customers and as employees.
Donna Denehy, global contact centre and insurance team leader at Verint, explains that many millennials view insurance as a nice-to-have, or something they would need only later in life.
“Compounding this is the fact that the sale of insurance is typically the result of a personal interaction. The needs of the individual and the complexities of the products — combined with risk and underwriting practices — make a sale difficult to manage through online tools.
“How to engage millennials and create the opportunity for a personal dialogue with ‘one click ease’ has yet to be resolved,” she says.
At the summit, executives expressed their frustrations over how to best manage social media.  While the number of customer complaints hasn’t necessarily increased, the exposure of those complaints has grown exponentially due to the social media channels.
Denehy says most insurers still don’t have a plan or the ability to integrate social media with their customer communications.
“They are still looking to find a solution. This is especially concerning as millennials, one of the largest buyer populations, is extremely active on social media.
“On top of that, for insurers to attract and retain millennials in the workforce, they’re going to need to provide technologies and interfaces that are modern and intuitive.  Few millennials will be excited about working in an environment that still uses green screens.”
According to Craig Seebach, vice-resident: back-office operations at Verint, the recession caused many insurers and financial services firms to hold off on upgrading their legacy systems.
He says that insurance companies today urgently need to build unified platforms to manage a variety of issues across their businesses, in order to catch up on previously postponed upgrades.
“Executives at the summit acknowledged the impact the back office, or the non-customer-facing support functions, have on customer engagement.
“The slow or incorrect processing of a claim can have an even greater impact on a customer’s experience than a poor web interface or a less than helpful agent interaction.”
A broad vision is necessary, said Seebach, to break down data, systems and people silos between the front and back office. This will create process visibility across the entire customer service journey, from initial contact to payment of a claim.