Innovating the Policyholder Experience

Image

Tom Griffin, President Invoice Cloud

We’ve all witnessed Google’s domination of online advertising and Amazon’s eclipse of brick-and-mortar retailers through innovation. Digital disruptors have elbowed aside incumbents in many other sectors, and this trend is accelerating in the insurance industry.

New, digitally savvy players are raising the bar in the industry and leading the way to reinvent the policyholder experience. Low-cost, agile technology platforms that provide simplicity, convenience, transparency and personalization are becoming the industry norm. Flexible business models and technological agility enable carriers to compete asymmetrically and target the most profitable business segments, leaving less innovative companies behind.

This industry transformation drives the opportunity for both traditional carriers and new market entrants to reinvent the insurance customer relationship and increase positive interactions. This enables carriers to build loyalty and brand recognition. The customer experience matters now more than ever.

In a recent survey, we found that the payment experience is a significant factor in choosing insurance companies. Premium payments are among the most frequent touchpoints with policyholders and play a key role in informing the consumer’s perception of their insurer. The payment experience is an ideal opportunity for insurance organizations to leverage innovative technology to deepen the customer relationship.

Improving Retention

A critical and intensifying challenge for insurance organizations is the constant struggle to keep existing policyholders and attract new customers. Due to the dramatic shifts in the market, many carriers are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and keep pace with new, more agile competitors and meet policyholder expectations. 

It is easier than ever for policyholders to compare rates and take their business elsewhere – in fact, 45% of survey participants indicated they were “likely” or “very likely” to look for a new insurance company in the next 12 months. Innovative customer-facing technologies play an essential role in enabling carriers to present more frequent positive interactions, build stronger customer relationships, and increase satisfaction and retention.

Today’s policyholders expect 24/7 access to accurate and up-to-date payment information and the ability to pay when and how they prefer. As connectivity becomes ubiquitous, immediacy becomes critical. Policyholders expect carriers to respond and interact with them in real time. As millennials become a more powerful force in the industry, this issue will only become more pressing. The ability to interact from a mobile device, quickly making payments through texts or electronic reminders will help retention and increase profitability. Meeting these expectations will have a significant impact on policyholder lifetime value and retention.

Facilitating Convenience

Omni-channel payment options are the key to the modern insurance experience. Omni-channel is the ability to connect customer experience touchpoints across multiple channels, such as online, mobile or over the phone. The difference between omni-channel and multi-channel is the ability to offer a consistent experience from one channel to the next. Omni-channel capabilities allow customers to begin their interaction on the phone and pick up later online without losing context. There is a dramatic difference between simply offering multiple ways to pay and having a seamless consistent experience across multiple channels.

Modern consumers have higher expectations and seek experiences that are simple, personalized and consistent across channels. Antiquated and inconvenient payment experiences drive policyholders to shop and do business with companies that meet their expectations. An innovative payments experience should be a top priority for any carrier’s digital strategy. Offering a simple one-time payment, pay-by-text, paperless billing and a real-time seamless experience is quickly becoming table stakes in the industry and is vital in driving customer satisfaction and retention.

Accelerating Innovation

Just as consumers – especially the millennial and Gen Z generations – keep pace with new innovations in technology or online experiences, so should insurance carriers. For their most recent insurance payment, 77% of survey respondents made an online payment either through a one-time checkout route or an automatic payment. This number grows when we look at respondents under the age of 45 – 87% of whom made their most recent insurance payment online.

Today’s consumers have high expectations of speed and innovation from all their products and services, so simply offering an online option that rolled out in 2009 isn’t satisfactory anymore. Insurers should invest in a cloud-based solution, like software as a service (SaaS), which allows them to adopt changes and new innovations instantly, without costly upgrades or code re-factoring. As new payment methods or capabilities are introduced into the market, they immediately become available on a carrier’s site and all policyholders immediately have access to these new capabilities.

Customer experience, quality and value creation are central to business success. In a highly competitive industry like insurance, carriers need to differentiate themselves in those areas. Innovating the payments process with a simple, secure and seamless experience drives customer engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Trending
Share this Post:
Posted by Tom Griffin

Tom Griffin is the president of Invoice Cloud, a leading provider of complete, simple and secure electronic bill presentment and payment solutions to insurance carriers, consumer finance companies, local governments and utilities. A veteran in the enterprise cloud solution industry, Tom was part of the leadership team at Demandware that grew the company from disruptor to industry leader, IPO in 2012, and acquisition by Salesforce in 2016. At Salesforce, Tom was COO then GM of the B2C Commerce business continuing to accelerate the growth of the business to $500M+ in annual recurring revenue. Tom is a focused growth leader with experience building organizations across go-to-market, product, and M&A. Email: tgriffin@invoicecloud.com

Advertisement

ad ad

Related articles

Patrick Rastiello joins Ardonagh Specialty to lead North America Reinsurance expansion

Ardonagh Specialty has appointed Patrick Rastiello as CEO* of its North American reinsurance operations.   Patrick will be responsible for building Ardonagh Specialty’s US reinsurance...

Global Markets Overview: February 2024

In this Global Markets Overview, we explore our global outlook and share what we think it means for 2024.  https://www.wtwco.com/en-gb/insights/campaigns/global-markets-overview As...

EAMONN CUNNINGHAM WINS RIMS HARRY & DOROTHY GOODELL AWARD

Risk Management Trailblazer Presented with RIMS Highest Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Risk Management  NEW YORK (February 13, 2024) – At the RIMS New Zealand and Pacific Island...

Insurer’s Lease More Than Doubles Its Chicago Office Space

Sompo International Plans Move to 46-Story Tower at 155 N. Wacker A global specialty insurance provider is more than doubling the size of its Chicago office in a move a few blocks north, bucking the trend...

Haynes and Boone, LLP is pleased to announce that Peter A. Halprin has joined the firm as a Partner

Haynes and Boone, LLP is pleased to welcome Insurance Recovery Partner Peter A. Halprin to the firm’s New York City office. A Chambers USA-ranked attorney, Peter joins from Pasich LLP, where...

LIO Specialty Launches Revolutionary Online Portal for Life Science Insurance Solutions

Leading the Excess and Surplus Lines Market with Innovative Coverage for Cannabis and Nutraceutical Industries  West Conshohocken, PA– LIO Specialty Insurance Company proudly announces the launch...