In February I attended the virtual ABI Annual Conference 2021, which brought together insurance industry leaders, regulators and politicians to discuss and debate the major topics and concerns currently affecting the insurance industry in the UK.
Throughout the day we heard a number of key themes that bubbled to the surface, which I expect will become the focal point for insurance companies looking to improve their customer experience this year.
Data Privacy: With machine learning and artificial intelligence on the rise, insurance companies need to devise ways to ensure their customers can trust (and have the evidence) that their data is being utilized in ethical and trustworthy ways.
Price Walking: Insurance companies urgently need to address how they will put a stop to the practice of gradual year-on-year increases in renewal pricing for existing customers. Insurance companies need to ensure clarity, transparency and equality for pricing of new and renewal policies alike, to enable informed/sensible buying decisions for products of a suitable quality and value at a fair price.
Trust and Transparency: Current levels of customer trust in insurance companies are extremely low. Insurance companies urgently need to address this and build back customer trust. One potential way to achieve this is by offering more transparency within the wording of policies and what is covered, ensuring the expectation gap (a disconnect in what a customer wants vs. what a company thinks a customers wants) is minimized.
Customer Experience: The customers’ needs, more than ever, must come first, and insurance companies must adapt to ensure their products and services put customer needs first. This means that companies should design new products centered on customer needs and ensuring succinct, easy and logical journeys at all points of the customer lifecycle.
What can insurers do?
Focus on the customer. All of these themes relate to the customer experience – by focusing on their needs, many of these will be solved organically. At Emergn we believe in a product mindset that promotes continuous delivery, fast and frequent feedback, and experimentation. In this way, you can discover what customers really want, then deliver it. Here are two templates Emergn uses with our clients to bring companies back to basics with their customers and start enabling customer centricity: customer personas and key customer insights.
The Customer Personas template outlines the ‘customer jobs to be done’ (buy insurance easily and efficiently), their pains (price walking, lack of trust and transparency, bad customer experience and data privacy) and gains (finding insurance products to meet their needs at a fair price).
The Key Customer Insights template is part of collecting real data to understand what will delight your customers. Interviewing customers can help you better understand where the disconnect may be in what you’re providing vs. what they want.
One thing is clear for the industry: this is their time to shine. Insurance companies who take these customer concerns to heart and focus on the customer will win. Creative new solutions are coming and I’m looking forward to this time next year to see how far the industry has come.