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COVID-19 means insurers should pick up the pace on improving experiences

 

Photograph Insurers have been focusing on customer experience through revamped service and product design for several years. In fact, shortly before COVID-19 hit, industry CEOs identifiedPDF customer experience as their top growth and investment opportunity for 2020. The pandemic’s sudden onset drastically accelerated that priority in two ways: Rarely have the mutual needs of customers and insurers been more pronounced. Consumers are staying with brands they know and trust, and insurers are focusing on retaining customers, for instance For insurers, consumers’ vulnerability presents an opportunity to shine, Put customer care first. When it comes to the customer experience, trust is the elemental ingredient. But trust is not built overnight: It’s the product of a relationship nurtured over time, across an ecosystem of touch points, including marketing, interactions with agents or distributors, customer care and online platforms, and claims.

People need reassurance — in general, but now more than ever — that they’re protected and that the brands they trust will live up to their promise to be there when they really need them.

Policyholders will want to know their claims will be paid. But it doesn’t always work out that way — especially with a pandemic, which is not generally covered Consumer expectations — for simplicity, speed, convenience, personalization, and interactions that reflect genuine care — haven’t changed from before the pandemic, but they’re more pressing now. Insurers can deliver on these needs faster and better, with a modern, efficient, digitized customer experience, supplemented at sensitive points Help B2B customers stabilize. Many small and medium-sized enterprises have been badly hurt Insurers’ sector and business expertise can help clients stabilize their operations, and in the process help stabilize their own commercial insurance line of business. For example, if an insurance business insures many restaurants in a given region, agents can help those restaurant owners plan for the future A relationship of trust with commercial clients that’s grounded in customer care and extends beyond the simple policy will likely outlast the pandemic.

Pivot from a transactional approach to one of overarching support. For insurers, points of contact with customers are often part of a larger transactional business approach. Businesses can take the lead in changing the perception of insurance as a “necessary evil” Insurers can start The pandemic also presents an opportunity to take proactive, tactical actions, such as refunding auto premiums due to reduced driving, waiving premiums for first responders, eliminating deductibles for people who are directly affected Integrate brand and purpose in all your business does. The pandemic has thrown into relief the unique role the insurance industry plays when a large-scale disaster or disruption hits. And societal expectations about how businesses fill that role are high. A company’s perceived environmental, social, and governance stance is increasingly seen as part of its fundamental brand attributes. Yet insurers often underestimate that higher mission when thinking about how to deliver a positive experience.

To be successful, insurers should weave in, at every level of their service offerings, a deeper sense of the larger purpose of the industry: protection, care, empathy, support, and trust. It’s a message that must cut across all experience lenses, from consumer to employee to leadership.

Invest in employee experience to deliver on the brand promise. A positive customer experience is impossible without an equally positive employee experience, one that enables agents to fully focus on the customer conversation and gives them the tools to quickly and seamlessly address customers’ needs. Customizing agent dashboards, redesigning workflows, and providing frontline workers with training and incentives are some of the ways insurers are optimizing employees’ experiences so they can represent the brand well while serving customers efficiently.

The employee and customer experiences work hand in glove, and their impact can be measured COVID-19 has brought to the surface in a sweeping way the vulnerabilities and stress points of consumers, commercial clients, insurers, and their employees. It’s also illuminated needed improvements and reforms for the industry, many of which are long overdue. But by staying clearly focused on five key areas — putting customer care first, helping B2B customers stabilize, pivoting from a transactional approach to one of overarching support, integrating brand and purpose in all the business does, and investing in employee experience — insurers can turn this global crisis into a long-sought opportunity to dramatically reengineer their operations around the most important asset of all: customers.

Also contributing from Strategy, PwC’s strategy consulting business, were Gero Matouschek and Christine Korwin-Szymanowska.

 

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