Is Consumer Demand Driving Your Future?

Jan Lindeboom |

Mobile computing has given rise to an unprecedented level of consumer power which is challenging the traditional business models of most industry sectors.  Consumers are growing accustomed to having instant access to information, price comparisons, order processing and customer service support from any mobile device in any location and at any time they chose to make the demand.  Providers that cannot keep up with this flexible consumer demand are avoided at best, or given a poor rating on social networking sites at worst.

The insurance industry is no different from any other in its need to respond to this rapid change in the market environment.  New digital-only providers such as CosmosDirekt in Germany and Oscar in New York are springing up and grabbing market share from companies that are slow to make the shift from the traditional agent-and-paper-based model of sales and claims management.

Some recent findings from research company, Nielsen and consulting group, BCG highlight new consumer behaviour patterns that need to be at the heart of the modern insurance company strategy:

  • According to Nielsen consumers spend, on average, at least one month researching non-life insurance policy options using multiple devices prior to making a decision to purchase. The Nielsen findings further show that half of insurance buyers begin their research on a mobile device, with 25 percent conducting it exclusively on mobile devices.
  • The BCG study found that 15 percent of consumers in the Western world would prefer to conduct all of their transactions with insurance providers online, while a further 50 percent want to be able to access their insurers using a mix of digital and traditional channels.

Clearly, insurers must respond to this consumer demand for omni-channel, digital service delivery to remain competitive – and there is a long way to go.  BCG studies in both the U.S. and Europe show that consumers rate insurers’ websites among the most unsatisfying of any major industry. But will insurers see any additional business benefits from the cost of implementing the digital model?

The good news is that there are many benefits.  By choosing a fully integrated, customer-centric platform such as Keylane’s non-life insurance solution (QIS) for managing the full CRM cycle of quotes, sales, policy management, claims processing and maintaining customer loyalty, the insurer will have the right information available in the right place and at the right time to enable faster response to both internal and external requirements.

This can have a huge impact on internal operations, improving both costs and overall customer satisfaction.  Take claims management, for example.  Consumers are often frustrated at the time this takes and the difficulties in agreeing the extent and value of the loss to be recovered.  With full mobile access to integrated online systems, the policy holder will be able to report a claim from their smartphone or tablet at the scene of the loss, uploading additional information such as photographs showing the extent of damage and scanned receipts of the original purchase as required.  Claims adjusters can use mobile devices to access pricing information so they are able to work through the value of the claim much faster and from any location.  Once the claim is agreed, payment can be made using online banking facilities.  The whole process becomes streamlined and more flexible to respond to consumer demand for service excellence, while at the same time enabling rapid innovation to respond to changes in products and markets.

Being fully optimised for mobile access, QIS enables customer self-service portals where the policy holder is able to view policy details, make changes as circumstances evolve, report claims and contact customer service from any mobile device.  The analytics generated in QIS facilitate more personalised risk profiling as well as insurer-generated customer relationship touch points, a key element in customer retention programmes.

Allowing consumer demand to drive your business could be the best thing you ever do.

About the Author

Jan Lindeboom

Jan Lindeboom works as Principal Consultant at Keylane and has been involved at the cutting edge of business and IT in the insurance sector since 1998. As well as working as consultant, he gives lectures and regularly publishes items on new technology and its impact on business and society.