Customer experience is the insurer’s latest hot topic. Improving it at existing touchpoints and finding new opportunities to deliver it beyond purchase, renewal and claims dominate discussions. McKinsey found in the B2B sector that improved customer experience lowered churn by 15%, increased win rate from 20% to 40% and lowered costs to serve by up to 50%.
But understanding how to deliver great insurance customer experience, whether on mobile, in a contact centre or at a repair shop means far more than finessing an individual point of interaction. How the customer experiences each interaction and how it colours past and future interactions is critical to building a successful customer experience.
In other words, if you don’t give your customer the best journey, they’ll never arrive at the desired destination.
In this paper we look at the latest research supporting customer journey analysis and speak to three insurance executives who are putting this strategy at the heart of their customer experience and engagement policy. Progress towards the optimal customer journey is examined in the following stages:
- Proof points for customer journey analysis
- Embedding effective customer tracking
- Solid data collection practice
- Assessing and enhancing the availability of information
- Upskilling the organisation to manage the journey
- Discovering and mitigating pain points in the customer journey
- An atmosphere of continuous improvement
Proof points for customer journey analysis
Customer journey analysis and optimisation is so important because of the multiple channels and external influences involved in the buying process. So much can happen between intent and purchase. No-one is exempt. Google and Ipsos found that 90% of people move between devices in a sequential fashion to accomplish a goal. In online shopping, 61% of internet users and 80% of online millennials start shopping on one device but finish on another.” This is a pretty simplistic view. If we turn to research by user experience research house, GfK, the customer journey looks even more convoluted:
From this infographic, we note that most insurance customers use branded search but also go across around eight touchpoints including social media and email. Only 14% don’t do any research and for those who do, most will research online covering around five different websites. Further research on the insurer journey from GfK found that hardly any purchasers bothered with word of mouth (5%) but price comparison sites (PCS) wield a strong influence (26%).
This diagram only relates to the insurance purchase journey. There are many more influences on customer retention such as claims journey, customer engagement campaigns (increasingly popular under the influence of internet of things (IoT) technology).
Embedding effective customer tracking
The business case for journey analysis established, insurers need to make sure they are tracking all the essential touchpoints.
ERGO Group AG’s Head of Customer and Sales Service Health, Dr. Carsten Rahlf explains his process: “If a phone number is saved in the database we can see the customer’s profile upon calling, their historic interaction points, so we know where he is in the process. If he went to the doctor, paid him and wants to be reimbursed, also we can see when and how he submitted his bills. He may have sent them by post or used the app. He and we can see through the online portal that his request has been accepted and the customer and the agent can then track it to see if it has been executed.”
Wesleyan’s Group Head of Marketing Robin Gibson is in the middle of bringing CRM data into a Microsoft Dynamics system to improve their single view of the customer – vital to make any sense of customer tracking data. Executives looking to follow his lead should be aware it is a long-term project: “We spent the last three years on integration, migrating all the data into new CRM systems. The first part is to allow financial consultants and the customer to jointly have a single view of finances. »
« The next part is to allow customers to self-serve on their devices. Next, we need to put marketing plugins into the system to simulate interactions and use the database to find new customers.” He adds that a manageable, clean source of customer information is vital to comply with May 2018’s GDPR legislation which requires explicit data consent ongoing. It’s clear that tracking the customer journey means not just focusing on points of customer interaction such as cookies on a website or calls to a call centre but also looking internally to see what processes are helping or hindering that customer journey.
This will never be an exact science. Explaining where tracking begins and ends in MyCustomer, SEO expert Martin Calvert admits a degree of arbitrariness is expected “The start and end points of a customer journey are always going to be debatable. Does the journey ultimately start when they see one of your brand’s adverts years ago…does it end after they’ve bought their last product from you in their 80s?”
The learning is to track what you can and hunt out two specific areas:
- one, where gaps in the customer journey appear
- and two, where customers appear to experience pain points that are unaccountable – so far.
To get reliable pictures of this, insurers need to access as much data as possible.