As we move through 2023, insurers need to contemplate their strategies to ensure their products and operating models are fit for purpose in a post-pandemic world.
Let’s consider some of the converging forces in play:
During the pandemic, many policyholders traded long commutes for remote working arrangements. Others chose to relocate, selling and buying properties. Some made large-scale home extensions or improvements. And during the (ongoing) Great Resignation, many people have decided to change careers or take breaks to travel.
All these lifestyle changes present insurers with opportunities to connect with their policyholders in new ways – but they also require them to assess people’s evolving needs and adapt and diversify their product and service offerings. For example, new or upgraded vehicles and homes will need risk protection. Those who’ve chosen to travel and put their possessions into storage might need different insurance policies.
All of these changes represent strategic opportunities for insurers, but they can also pose new challenges. To effectively seize these opportunities and drive growth, insurers need to have proven processes and sufficient workforce capacity to accommodate these changes quickly and efficiently.
The Way Forward
For insurers, the path to success and profitability will be adapting products to deliver more personalized policyholder experiences while gaining a share of new and evolving customer segments and markets.
Forward-looking firms recognize the wisdom of engaging with insurance Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers to help them navigate new conditions and adapt and innovate with purpose so they can grow and effectively compete.
As insurers progress through various growth and expansion stages and seek to mitigate risk, one popular outsourcing area is customer support. Let’s explore why.
How Outsourcing Customer Support Can Help You Grow, Innovate, and Pivot Faster
Grow Faster – Minus the Risk
During periods of growth, you’ll likely find that you could benefit from having more customer support staff to deal with increasing volumes of policyholder inquiries but lack the budget to hire and support more full-time employees. This can limit your growth potential and put the brakes on any momentum you’ve already built. Worse still, long wait and feedback times could alienate prospective and existing policyholders.
However, if you decide to hire new employees but your growth and expansion initiatives don’t take off as quickly or successfully as you hoped, you might find yourself with a bloated workforce and unmanageable headcount costs (think office infrastructure, training, software, benefits, and more) – which can further stall your growth ambitions.
A sound strategy that mitigates these risks is outsourcing overflow work resulting from your growth and expansion initiatives to a seasoned BPO provider. This allows you to continue operating your customer support function at a reasonable and predictable cost without sacrificing your service quality or brand voice.
Allocate Internal Resources to Focus on Breakthrough Innovation
Successful and sustained growth requires a healthy dose of bold innovation (as opposed to incremental, short-term changes and initiatives.)
But transformative innovation is more than just getting creative and coming up with unique ideas. It’s about diligently studying and identifying untapped markets and unmet needs and addressing them – at times with untested products. It’s unwise to embrace this risk without allocating sufficient people, budget, and other resources to bring new ideas to life.
Outsourcing your customer support function will allow you to reassign certain professionals from generalist duties to potentially disruptive initiatives and task teams. Giving them an opportunity to participate in testing out new product portfolios or improvements with policyholders will help you hone and refine your innovations and give these employees an exciting new challenge.
Effortlessly Extend Your Geographic Footprint
If you want to expand into new markets but don’t have the internal resources to support a multilingual customer support team, outsourcing is a sensible move.
Also, if you’re involved in cross-border or international growth and expansion initiatives, some policyholders may be in different time zones. And if your growth strategy involves branching out into unfamiliar territories, your existing customer support teams might not have the necessary knowledge and experience of the nuances of these local markets (and, potentially, the associated regulatory frameworks).
The right BPO provider will give you access to a remote customer support team with experience operating in local markets – allowing you to provide 24-hour service to existing and prospective policyholders without investing in recruitment, training, and infrastructure costs.
Expand Your Team of Brand Ambassadors
Providing great customer support doesn’t end when a policyholder purchases a policy from you. In fact, that’s when the real work begins. The key to maintaining a long-term relationship with your policyholders is to provide exceptional service at every stage of their journey.
One of the biggest concerns insurance companies have is losing control over their brand promise and messaging. Often, there are worries that outsourced customer support teams won’t behave in a manner that’s aligned with their values.
The good news is that the right BPO partner will be willing to invest the time and resources necessary to get to know your business inside and out, maintain your brand voice throughout all interactions, and represent your business with the highest standards.
Fuel Your Growth Engine with Covenir
As a leading, forward-thinking provider of insurance BPO customer support, Covenir has the experience and expertise to help your business reach its full growth potential. We take the time to get to know your business and your expansion and diversification ambitions so we can tailor our services accordingly.
We’re not an extension of your team; we are your team throughout the entire insurance lifecycle, from FNOL and claims, print and mail, premiums, and underwriting to product advising.
Whatever your growth, expansion, or diversification plans, we have the ‘people power’ to operationalize them.
Interested in learning more about how we can help you push the boundaries and explore new paths to profitability? Contact us today.