Insurance is a unique consumer product because most people buy it but hope they never have to use it. For the most part, as long as policyholders’ premiums remain reasonable, they stay happy. But if insurers are unresponsive, tardy, or unhelpful when disaster strikes, people’s frustrations ramp up quickly.
A Two-Pronged Problem
One of the underlying causes of sub-optimal customer communications in the industry is that some insurers have done a poor job of keeping up with evolving preferences.
Digital-first experiences permeate our personal and professional lives. Whether it’s sending a quick text to our bosses in between meetings or ordering our favorite dinner online for delivery to our home, we’ve become accustomed to immediate bi-directional communications and service.
For most people, the thought of standing in line for hours at a customer service center or waiting on hold on the telephone to report a loss, query a bill, or change the terms of a policy is simply unimaginable.
Insurers that fail to modernize their communication processes to support real-time, anytime, anywhere communications through their customers’ channel of choice – be it via text, email, web chat, or telephone – risk becoming obsolete.
However, there’s a second problem.
Insurance Technology Can Never Replace the Personal Touch
Technology can only go so far. Some people struggle to understand insurance policy terminology and grasp the minutia of the “fine print.” There will always be times when policyholders want to reach out with a query or concern that only a human being can assist with.
This is especially true when a policyholder needs to make a claim after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a car accident or damage to their property due to a fire, flood, or another extreme weather event.
Your level of responsiveness and empathy when policyholders are making first notice of loss (FNOL) reports can make or break your customer service experience. It’s not surprising that nearly 70% of all consumer complaints submitted to the ten largest U.S. home and auto insurers involve claims.
At Covenir, we believe that when technology and people work synchronously, great customer communications happen!
The “White Glove” Customer Communication Experience
Consider this scenario: You come home one evening to find a pipe burst in your kitchen. Your home is flooded, your carpets are ruined, and you have to turn off your power. Your kids are tired and hungry, and you have an important work deadline the next morning. You can’t get through to your insurance company on the phone to report the incident and initiate the claims process.
If this was your first time experiencing a loss of this nature, you might be unsure of the procedures and protocols to follow. When you finally reach a customer service agent, you’re transferred multiple times (once to the wrong department). When you’re finally connected with an FNOL agent, they sound distracted and don’t seem to have the necessary knowledge to answer your questions. The call ends unsatisfactorily, with the agent advising that they’ll mail your claim forms in the post the next day—but they never arrive.
How much more relieved and satisfied would you feel if you’d received a “white glove” customer communication experience? You get through to the correct customer service department on your first attempt and speak to a helpful, knowledgeable, and empathetic agent who immediately emails you your claim forms to complete, sign, and return digitally. They also reassure you that an assessor would be around at 8 am the following day to review the damage to your property.
The agent then stays on the call with you for 45 minutes, patiently answering all your questions about the next steps in the process and providing you with precise timelines. If that’s how you were treated, how much more likely would you be to renew your policy with your insurer and recommend them to your family and friends?
Build Your People Power with Covenir
Covenir is a trusted Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) insurance partner that makes our clients’ business our business. We employ highly trained and experienced teams with a holistic view of the entire insurance lifecycle.
Perhaps most importantly, our agents are just as passionate about customer service as they are about the business of insurance. That puts us in a unique position to deliver on your brand promise.
Collaborate with us to achieve customer communication excellence.