Importance of Customer Experience in Insurance
September 22, 2014
By Lavanya Rathnam
TMCnet Contributing Writer
Customer satisfaction and experience are important for every industry, and certainly insurance is no exception. For insurers customer satisfaction means not just the use of a policy product that was purchased from an insurance company for a cost, but also the satisfaction that is obtained when the claim is settled in full.
In this sense, customer satisfaction does not happen simply by purchasing a policy product, but it occurs when customers get the expected benefits such as peace of mind during the product cycle and speedy payment when a claim is filed. Customer experience, on the other hand, is the positive feelings that a customer has when he or she goes through the entire cycle, right from purchasing a product to getting paid when a claim is made.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies falter in providing the right customer experience because they get mired in overseeing claims and settling them. As a result, customers do not get the right response from agents or they have to wait too long to get their claims settled. Such situations have a negative impact on customer experience. And, this translates potentially into lost customers.
In fact, the importance of customer satisfaction to insurers is the subject of an interesting paper by Gobind Johri, Associate Professor & Chief Manager National Insurance Academy Pune, entitled, Customer Satisfaction in General Insurance Industry—A Step Towards Competiveness.
As the author notes, when customers are not fully satisfied, they turn to competitors' products, and this proves to e detrimental for insurance companies. To prevent such situations, it is important for insurance companies to hasten their claims processing and more importantly, educate employees on the need for good customer experience.
He also explains that if agents focus too much on the claims aspect, and exclude other aspects of policyholder life-cycle troubles can arise. Such intense focus on a single aspect is also not good for the insurance company because it can leave out policyholders who are in other stages of insurance life-cycle.
In short, it is important for customer representatives of insurance companies to focus on customer experience and other aspects of the policy's life-cycle. A holistic approach to improving the entire customer experience and having proper management of the process is the means to gaining satisfied customers and a competitive edge.
Edited by Peter Bernstein
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