Who or what, exactly, has set the pace of digital change through 2020?
We are living through ‘Chaos Theory’ on a scale we could never have imagined this time last year and it is not so much a butterfly, rather a giant bat that has flapped its wings in the Far East and caused hurricane force winds of change to hit the shores of the West.
Habit Forming – Change through Crisis
The majority of studies say that it takes 2 months for new habits to form. If you want to give yourself some mental breathing space, then there are some that say (depending on time, geography, environment and nature of the change) it can vary from 18 days to 254 days. Since official lockdown started in the UK on 23rd March 2020 we are 184 days in, so you can be sure that many habits have formed already.
What does this mean to Insurance software vendors?
- A more open approach from customers to data sharing?
- A general apathy towards those retailers who cannot effectively manage data, purchases, or service offerings online?
- Long term increased market share for those already offering data driven online offerings?
- Opportunities for those who invest and innovate with a customer first approach?
- A fall in Customer Satisfaction scores if expectations are not met?
Probably some, if not all, of the above would be a sensible answer.
Habit Storming – Expectations not met
I fully expect our customers are well in the storming stage;
- Has the Claims process for businesses been simple, smooth and efficient?
- Have customers been able to access data from their providers whilst they were relocating their operations to whichever multiple geographies their staff live in, with the overlay of multiple different broadband speeds, mobile coverage etc.
- Were those looking to purchase insurance for the first time or those reviewing their requirements during the last 6 months able to access products and advice in a media and timescale acceptable to them?
As an industry we are not always meeting expectations and I dare say that we have been put under more strain in the first three quarters of 2020 than we have in the last 75 years.
It my other life I am Treasurer of a cricket club in the leafy suburbs of South Leicestershire. We have long talked about moving towards a digital way or working but like many businesses or associations we never put it top of our priorities.
All of a sudden in order to continue as a club we needed online booking facilities for training, digital recording keeping for Track and Trace, contactless technology for payments at our small but vitally important bar, the same can be said of all other similar sports facilities near us and around the country.
This time last year if we had tried to roll out an online solution for our cricket members it would have stalled by slow take up and a fair few grumbles amongst the most senior members, now it is not only accepted but expected. We have leapt 30 years forward in the space of 2 months.
If this is what casual sport looks like, what about one of the most vital global industries?
Habit Norming – Delivering Trust in Insurance
Use of data and trust is (and always will be) hugely important and, from an Insurance perspective, there are still challenges to overcome but now more than ever, the customer is expecting a ‘digital first’ approach. If they are getting it from their sports clubs, some of the most old-fashioned institutions around, you can bet they will be expecting it from their Insurance Companies or Brokers.
Customer Portals, whether web or native App should be the hub of data, knowledge and activity for the customer and the Insurance retailer they have selected. And when I say insurance portal, I mean a place when a customer can see their data, change it where necessary and understand what relevant products, services or advice is available, not simply a list of documentation or a bill for an invisible product which has been the bane of the savvy customer since the turn of the millennium.
The ability to transform customer interaction is here, it’s available now and those who adopt the technology that enables them interact with the customer on a 1:1 basis, rather than react to them in a clunky, impersonalized one will be the ones who will exit the pandemic era with the most trusted, loyal customer base.
Didn’t think it possible that you could changes images, text, workflows and tone of voice based on any detail or set of details that you know about your customer? Think again, it is not only possible but, with the right technology and technology partner, it can be cost efficient and quick to implement.
If you are not already reviewing your digital strategy, do so now, do your research, find a partner that will work with both you and your customer in mind, grab the bat by the wings and don’t let it suck the life blood out of your business.