For today’s consumers, shopping and interacting with businesses online has mostly become easier and more convenient than ever — but not when it comes to dealing with insurance companies.
In stark contrast to experiences with large consumer-goods websites, people often struggle to find the information and forms they need on insurance sites. They are often frustrated by having to repeatedly enter personal information for multiple services offered by the same company. Worse yet, most transactions can’t be fully completed online. Phone calls with long wait times, requests for faxes that not everyone can fulfill, and frustrating automated call systems make things even more maddening. Often, instead of receiving helpful suggestions from a smart recommendation engine, consumers are fed content about products that don’t align with their lifestyle — or that they already have.
These problems are often the result of insurance companies’ antiquated IT systems, which are plagued by disparate, disconnected back-end systems and departments, limited or nonexistent self-service options, awkward mobile experiences, and an inability to offer personalization.
But the picture is changing fast. The vast majority of IT leaders (78%) expect data and analytics to fundamentally change the way organizations do business over the next one to three years, IDG’s State of the CIO 2021 study found. Nearly half of IT leaders who plan to invest in data analytics technology say their goal is improving customer insights and engagement.
Insurance companies that fail to improve their clunky online technology will lose business to those that can adapt better to online customer needs and make transactions a breeze. Organizations that increase their use of digital channels to reach customers or citizens are 3.5 times more likely to be top performers than those that trail behind, according to Gartner.
So, what kind of features do insurance companies need to offer to retain and attract customers?
The answers are straightforward. Consumers want to file claims online easily and quickly. They want to manage multiple policies without using multiple logins or separate apps. They want to find answers to simple questions and customize plans without having to call and wait for a representative. In short, they want the same ease and convenience they experience elsewhere in the online world — and if they don’t get it, they’re likely to defect.
The good news for insurance companies is that creating a user-friendly and engaging online experience doesn’t have to be difficult. Working with the right partner, companies can easily update their complex IT environments while maintaining the stringent security standards their industry requires. It doesn’t take long to realize the benefits.
For example, after adopting HCL’s Digital Experience Platform, one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States gained new insights about customers through analytics, using the information to simplify outdated processes and respond better to individual needs. As a result, the company experienced a 20% increase in users and a 9% increase in site visits. Perhaps best of all, customers now spend 19% less time on the site — because it’s so much faster and easier for them to get things done.
This case study shows that providing a better customer experience leads to better business results. But insurance companies need to act quickly because the reverse is also true.
For more information on a digital experience you can trust in the moments that matter, click here.