There’s no question that 2021 will see a continued hardening of the insurance market. Between Brexit and the ongoing pandemic, Xpedition wanted to uncover the key challenges facing UK financial services and insurance professionals during these uncertain times. To do so, Xpedition commissioned its financial services Innovation Equation Report to uncover key insights from across the financial services landscape.
When all results were collated, we found that that nearly half of the respondents (45%) represented the UK insurance sector, from a mix of insurers and brokers.
To really find out what these senior insurance professionals considered as the major issues to address for the year ahead, we asked ‘What are the key challenges insurance firms face during the COVID-19 pandemic?’. The top three answers were:
- 45% providing a seamless omnichannel customer experience
- 21% competing with digital disruptors
- 20% customer engagement and retention
It’s encouraging to see that a majority of the insurance respondents recognise the need to modernise their customer engagement processes. After all, with other sectors such as online retail and digital streaming platforms showing everyone else what truly holistic, personalised journeys really look like, customers now expect insurance firms to provide the same level of experience.
Not only that, at a time when insurance firms are facing increasing competition and disruption, ensuring a seamless, holistic customer experience can provide a significant competitive advantage.
Of course, it’s always easier said than done.
There are often several hurdles that firms need to overcome in order to meet customer expectations. These include:
Breaking down internal silos and connecting disparate systems to unify data. Only then can you gain a single source of truth and true 360° view of the customer.
Recognise that customers want to engage with your organisation on any device, from anywhere and at any time. For example, if they are halfway through a quote or claim, but want to switch devices or contact a customer service representative to continue the journey, this all needs to be seamlessly connected.
You’ll also need to leverage actionable intelligence from the vast amounts of data you have access to. Understanding how customers are engaging with your organisation is a significant step towards understanding how you can personalise their journey, which also goes a long way to gaining a competitive advantage.
Proactively communicate with customers with sophisticated customer insights that anticipate customer needs, helping you deliver information and ideas before they even know they might need them.
Reduce time-wasting manual tasks with marketing automation that enhances the customer journey and frees up your team to work on value creation.
Ensure any investment in solutions also complies with increasing regulatory obligations. Personalisation and customer demand still needs to be balanced with comprehensive data governance and usage.
Findings from the Xpedition Innovation Equation Report clearly demonstrate the recognition amongst insurance professionals of the importance in delivering omnichannel customer engagement.
With customer engagement in other sectors having a significant impact on what consumers now expect with regards to levels of service, accessibility and flexibility, it has never been more important for insurance firms to make omnichannel customer engagement a reality.
Firms that fail to address this will find the current environment even more challenging than it already is, and not only lose the race to winning new customers, but also find that retaining existing customers will be considerably harder too.
Learn more: Xpedition
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