A wake up call for the UK insurance industry

by • March 9, 2016 • News, The Science Bit, Top TipsComments (0)1161

 

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The UK insurance industry is suffering from a major crisis of confidence. Multiple reports have all come to the same conclusion: consumers aren’t happy with the service that their insurers are providing. In 2014, only 32% of customers ranked their interactions with insurers as ‘positive’. Worse still, in 2015, a survey revealed that only 29% of consumers are satisfied with the services of their insurance providers.

Something needs to change

Consumers don’t trust insurers. This is something that is already self-evident for most insurance providers; and it is something that should change. But even the most concerted efforts of firms to win back the disenfranchised are not altering perceptions of customer service within the industry. Why? And what can be done to change the status quo?

We recently conducted research into ten of the UK’s leading insurance companies’ reactive contact channel offerings. The full results are available for download in our latest ebook, ‘Customer Contact Channels in the UK Insurance Industry: an investigative report.’

Disconnected digital development

We found that the disconnect between consumers and insurers has worsened as firms continue to adopt new technologies without intelligently determining their most effective applications. Even if insurers have invested in new technologies like online chat services, they are not using them in a way that improves the customer experience.

Consumers, for example, expect insurance agents to have an omnichannel understanding of their online, and offline, journeys. But most don’t. Customers are being made to repeat their online journeys to call center agents. They’re getting stuck in IVR loops. Their online chats are not being answered immediately.

A new approach

The crux of the issue is that UK insurers are approaching digital development in precisely the wrong way. Some are offering multiple contact channels at every, or almost every, stage of the customer’s online journey. Others hide their contact channels so that they are accessible to only the most determined online visitors.

Both of these approaches are applied without any knowledge of why the online visitor is on the site; without knowing whether the visitor is a prospective customer, or an existing customer with a customer service query. This isn’t a problem unique to the UK. We also assessed the contact channel offering of US-based insurance providers and found that they are suffering in a very similar way to their UK counterparts. We’ve visualised the problem, and provided resolution, in this infographic.

Treating all online visitors the same way does not make for a good customer experience. Customers need to be treated like individuals. They need their providers to intelligently offer them the contact channels that best suit their needs. They need to believe that their insurance provider actually cares.

A new approach is needed to heal the divide between insurers and consumers. Without using intelligence to determine each individual online visitor’s unique requirements and reacting appropriately, this divide is only going to grow. Consider this a wake up call.

Find out more in our ebook “Customer Contact Channels in the UK Insurance Industry”, downloadable below.

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