Survey: Embrace digital to improve poor customer relationships

by Jamie Henry28 Jan 2015
Advisors and insurers need to change the way they communicate to succeed with the customers of the future.

By nature, insurance products are typically out of sight and out of mind. Insurers have few interactions with customers, making each one a critical opportunity for strengthening customer relationships and building trust. The key to higher trust levels is strong, two-way customer relationships.

“76% of life insurance consumers are willing to use digital and remote channel options for different tasks and transactions,” said Marc-Andre Giguere, EY Partner and Canadian Financial Services Insurance Leader. “To stay relevant and enhance personal interaction, insurers must develop flexible and multichannel contact options like online chat, video tutorials and mobile apps."

To improve the effectiveness of existing contact channels and establish more digital options for consumers, insurers should invest time and resources to identify which channels customers want to use and how they want to use them.

Pilot programs for specific product lines or regions can help build the business case for updating and optimizing distribution channels and service models.
Insurers can also improve their customer relationships by:     
  • taking responsibility for the overall health of all customer relationships
  • greatly improving their customer intelligence by embracing advanced analytics
  • acting predictively, precisely an nimbly in advance of key decision points
  • being "easy to deal with" by offering relevant and timely solutions during critical interactions
"Leading Canadian insurers will start reinventing themselves as customer-focused companies to tackle high customer turnover in the short term," said Giguere. "Future industry game-changers such as telematics and wearable technology give even greater reason for change, to help insurers serve the customer of the future."