Effective digital customer communication is key to building stronger relationships in insurance

Traditional insurers today are fighting for their customers’ attention. Competition is rife, as tech-centric startups are simply better at meeting and adapting to the needs and expectations of today’s consumers. A focus on building stronger relationships in insurance is thus key to attract and retain customers and the best way to achieve this is with digital customer communication.

This means insurers need to change the way they interact with customers. Traditionally insurance organizations are only in contact with their customers during the purchase or renewal of a policy, or when they make a claim. Even then, it’s more likely that the actual point of contact is an agent or broker, rather than the insurer.

While this approach may have been acceptable in the past, consumers have changed. They have become used to the levels of engagement they get from other companies, so they’ll quickly notice when a company fails to meet their expectations.

So, with little to no control over customer touchpoints and the associated communications, insurers find themselves in the dangerous position of having a weak relationship with their policyholders.

Are your insurance customers falling through a widening relationship gap?

There is a distinct gap between what insurers can offer their customers and what customers expect. According to a recent Salesforce report, there “is a misalignment in priorities between insurance buyers and insurers.” And this has a direct impact on customer experience.

For instance, “Knowledgeable salespeople” is the #1 requirement of policyholders, yet it appears relatively low on the insurer’s priority list. The report also points out that mobile apps are considered a top priority for insurers, but are relatively low down on the customer’s list of priorities.

This gap clearly results from a lack of understanding in terms of customer wants and needs, so customers won’t get the experiences they’re looking for.

Building stronger relationships in insurance with digital communication is key

Customer communication via digital channels can help insurers build stronger relationships with their customers. Afterall, we know that strong relationships are not built in silence.

Traditional insurers have relatively few opportunities to engage with their customers due to many customer touchpoints being managed by the broker or customers making use of self-service options via a portal. However, insurers can still interact with customers outside of these instances. In fact, they should.

Insurers sit on vast amounts of data, which they can use to anticipate life events and send out communications that are timely, personalised, and relevant to each individual customer.

Make customer communication the heart of your digital CX strategy

It’s evident that customer communication plays a vital role in creating those great customer experiences expected by consumers today.

Here are some ways insurers can use digital communication to create exceptional digital customer experiences:

  • Digitise the customer communication experience by offering customers the option to receive bills, policies and other communication by email or online
  • Track customer behavior to improve the relevance of customer communication and create personalised communications that drive customer engagement, loyalty and ultimately, customer experience.
  • Insert custom offers into transactional messaging. Customers appreciate relevant marketing information that is personalised according to their interests and life stage.

These steps should form part of a defined customer communication management strategy that includes both the customer and the broker/agent that holds the relationship. This strategy should focus on removing any friction in the communication experience and adding value to both broker and policyholder.

Digitally transform your insurance organisation now and thrive

Digital technologies are transforming insurance just as quickly as any other industry. Traditional insurers that don’t respond to this trend, risk falling behind and losing customers. Those that do, however, can build great, relationship-based experiences for their customers, maintaining loyalty and competitiveness in the current, dynamic market.