Author: Eugene Khazin, Principal and Co-Founder, Prime TSR
The threat of “digital Darwinism” is real. This was the message that came through loud and clear to those of us who attended the third annual Connected Claims USA Summit in Chicago June 5-6. The two-day conference had some familiar topics, but also some new ones that I don’t believe have been discussed enough.
Here is what we thought was relevant.
It’s still about customer experience, but change management is restricting many experiences from being adopted.
The major themes were technology, customer experience, and C-Suite approvals.
Rather than launching in with my key takeaways, I wanted to highlight a series of “pain points” that I heard again and again from attendees and speakers alike.
- Technology is not an end in itself; integrating it to improve CX is where the value happens.
- Insurance companies don’t have the best reputation for quality customer experience; historically it’s been marginal at best. How do we right the ship without capsizing?
- How do we transform legacy data into happier customers, happier adjusters, and more revenue?
- How can we use technology to automate common manual activities in the claims process?
- How can we get access to more IT staff that understands the importance of customer experience through technology?
- How do we convince leadership to prioritize investment in modern technologies that drive customer experience innovation?
Long story short, if your claims data isn’t frictionless and impactful, then customers will go to another provider; it’s that simple!
However, what I heard over and over publicly and privately, is that getting IT to change to adapt was a huge pain point. Proper transformation isn’t all about the technology, it was about connecting the desired results with an effective change management journey that the company can stand behind.
In many cases, IT viewed modernization as a threat to their careers because they are responsible for sustaining legacy systems.
This is just one of many anecdotes, stories, and struggles that I heard over the past two days. But I also heard a lot of successes from the trenches of those who powered through to make their CX awesome. There are 4 major recurring themes that stood out to me during the past 2 days.
- How Data and Customer Experience are tied together
- How you can build data platforms to enable customer experience
- How to use Analytics to drive customer experience changes
- Examples of Customer Experience done right through technology
This is my bucket list of what I heard it takes to create an awesome insurance CX strategy – one that turns strangers into customers and improves profitability every time.
Use Data Platforms to Set Your Customer Experience Apart
Time and again in the short span of 2 days at Connected Claims I spoke with insurance CxOs who lamented the lack of access to accurate, timely, relevant, and reliable information throughout organizations. One executive who had been in the industry three decades said it this way: “I’ve had countless meetings, demos, and dog and pony shows over the years, you name it, but we just can’t settle on a long-term data strategy because of data constraints and roadblocks.
Today’s progressive insurance companies require data platforms that offer real-time, AI delivered insights that can manage underwriting, sales & management, claims, and distribution all within one platform.
Based on several conversations, the advice is the same: Start small with your data platform. Pick a use case, and implement it. Provide value to the organization and then work on a major rollout, one use case at a time.
Analytics is the foundation for transforming the customer experience
What I learned at the conference is that analytics isn’t always the magic pill for most C-Suite initiatives, however, it is still valued as a method to make faster decisions in the medium to long-term.
Predictive analytics is one of the most talked about and powerful tools in the insurance industry today. It’s admittingly not the easiest technology to deploy, but if leveraged correctly is the fastest way to create actionable insights; improve communication with customers, vendors, and employees; transform customer experience; and enhance business efficiency.
Research suggests that as many as two-thirds of all insurers are already using predictive models in some way, shape, or fashion to improve their business. Here are the most popular ways:
- Pricing and risk selection
- Identifying customers at risk of cancellation
- Fraud claims detection
- Identifying high-cost loss claims
- New trends detection
For almost a decade, auto insurers have been using telematics devices to optimize and transform the industry. I have also leveraged usage-based insurance for a couple of years and have noticed my premium pricing drop on average 10-15%.
This is becoming an extremely popular option; I recently read that the total number of telematics-based insurance policies will increase to 90 million by 2020.
Telematics not only helps adjust pricing for safe driving but can also add value in the event of a crash. Detection technologies help to begin the claims processing immediately after an accident and lead to more control, better customer service, as well as fraud and cost reduction. These real-time optimizations are very powerful for customers already dealing with the stress of an accident.
3 Powerful Insurance Claims Use Cases of Technology Driving CX
I heard a great quote at the conference from a Farmers Insurance Executive, Frank Carni, that summarizes how companies should view digital transformation: “Don’t focus on the buzz words such as digitalization, instead focus on the human glue to achieve the CX results.”
Here are some examples of companies that are focused on technology to create superior, frictionless, human customer experiences.
- Companies like Metromile offer pay-per-mile coverage so that customer bills are based only on their usage, not on behavior or driving style. By delivering new customers a Metromile Pulse, a small free wireless device that plugs into their car’s diagnostic port, they are charged only pennies on the mile.
- Supply chain partners to insurance companies are also bringing tremendous value to the industry. Vivent is a smart home solutions provider of home automation, cameras, and security. The company lets homeowners know if a window is broken, for example, and even provides Liberty Mutual customers discounts when they install their device.
- Lemonade had transformed the realm of renter & homeowner insurance by deploying AI and chatbots to deliver policies and handle claims for its users on desktop and mobile. The estimated time it takes to get insured is advertised at just 90 seconds and a claim payout speed clocks in at just 3 minutes.
Insurance agents, brokers, and supply chain personnel are getting fired up and excited like never before about taking fresh new approaches to CX.
Change is never an easy thing, and the transformation of the insurance industry won’t happen overnight. But this conference sparked a light, not only in me but in the dozens of attendees that I spoke with. The overall momentum, synergy, and innovative thinking that I saw on display in Chicago was nothing short of inspiring.