A fundamental lack of understanding about who the customer is means insurers are facing a “through the looking glass” moment. Traditional perspectives about the importance of operational excellence and a primarily product-focused approach, are being turned inside-out in the rapidly emerging customer-ascendant marketplace.
New research from the global analysts highlights how the insurance sector is quickly moving through an inflection point in the way commerce is conducted. The market is moving from a model where one-to-many messaging works, particularly in mass media, to a framework where consumers are gaining more power in the business transaction.
However, Ovum believes that until insurers understand who the customer is, they will be unable to shape, deliver, and strengthen the experience each customer expects. Insurers must ensure that marketing is tailored to each individual customer as closely as possible.
“Without a thorough knowledge of their customers, insurers are heading towards a competitive myopia. Customer experiences are becoming the basis of competition in the insurance industry and companies need to encompass customer needs, expectations, and satisfaction into their customer experience management (CEM) strategy,” says Barry Rabkin, principal analyst, Insurance Technology.
The forces of technology are creating an environment of “more” – more information, more smart devices, more functional apps, more interconnected people to seek advice from or share opinions with – and making all of it available at a customer’s fingertips.
The forces of “more” are delivering a personalised, realtime experience to each person. One of the biggest challenges facing insurance companies is figuring out who the customer is, and how to find competitive success in an environment where each customer expects to be treated as an individual.
“In this age of “more”, customers are increasingly expecting to receive a quality experience from their interactions with insurers. Insurers must quickly weave in the importance of customer experience into the company strategy at each touch point in order to succeed or fail to meet their expectations,” Rabkin concludes.