Sharper data collection is key to better insurance CX

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Digital transformation has been one of the top priorities for insurance companies lately. The promises of big data and analytics for quoting, risk analysis and underwriting efficiency are immense. Still, many insurers struggle to leverage the wealth of customer data they have access to.

This topic is less about infrastructure requirements and more about data collection processes. Customers today are digital natives, as a study by EY shows. Two out of three customers prefer digital interactions and around 80% of respondents said they purchased insurance online.

Social media, wearables, telematics, agent interactions, and smart homes are just a few data sources insurers can leverage. However, manual processes and outdated workflows prevent insurance companies from designing memorable customer experiences (CXs).

By revamping their data collection methods in the following ways, insurance companies can potentially transform their businesses.

Faster customer onboarding for insurance companies

The typical onboarding process for insurance customers is lengthy. The customer fills out multiple forms, requests a quote, provides a lot of medical paperwork, responds to insurance agents’ requests for more paperwork, and finally manually signs forms before sending them to the company.

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month. Price comparisons are impossible with such methods as insurers find it difficult to offer comparisons without the necessary documentation. Consumer demand for aggregators shows a hunger for easy online comparisons, and insurers are unable to fill this gap.

A digital onboarding experience eliminates these hassles and seamlessly connects agent needs with consumer data. For example, an online form can capture relevant consumer information, centralize data storage, and automatically screen applicants for further requests for information.

Companies can identify risk thresholds based on customer input and request documents or create offers within a few days. Underwriters can make quick decisions because all customer data is centralized. Not only is the customer experience seamless, the backend processes also benefit.

Quotation periods are even longer for business-to-business (B2B) claims, lasting three to six months. Digitally updating data collection processes can help reduce onboarding time from months to weeks, increase profits, and create a scalable digital process.

Offer agile plans

Customers are also not patient enough these days. Given the plethora of options available to them, consumers are very prepared to receive sub-optimal service from their insurers. From the insurer’s point of view, the easiest way to guarantee stable insurance revenues is to strengthen loyalty.

Most insurers use discounts to build loyalty. However, all this forces customers to think of insurance as a commodity. Insurers often struggle to communicate the value underlying their policies due to a lack of data on customer value drivers.

Data offers companies the potential to create highly individual and agile products. For example, a health insurer can use wearables data to segment its customers and assign risk parameters. These datasets can transform granular processes like entering information into forms. Insurers can pre-populate data and capture only what is necessary.

Moving away from manual data collection is key. Nürnberger Versicherung was faced with a challenge here. Their customers demanded flexible products, but the company lacked the insights to offer value-based and profitable plans.

By centralizing customer data and aggregating relevant information, companies can strengthen brand loyalty through highly flexible policies. Customers can pause, adjust, or cancel insurance plans as needed. The company has used data to shift power to its clients, allowing them to input their needs, reducing agent workloads and automating tedious underwriting risk analysis.

Thus the benefits are twofold. Not only are customers more loyal, but Nuremberger’s operating costs have fallen, increasing their margins and potentially helping them achieve free float.

Reduce healthcare costs for consumers

The insurance market has evolved with changing customer attitudes. Consumers today demand affordable healthcare and expect insurers and healthcare providers to use technology to achieve this goal.

Healthcare provider Atrius Health needed a way to monitor their diabetes patients. Their goals were to encourage greater self-care, manage health between visits, and improve patient satisfaction scores. Given their large customer base, it was impossible to manually conduct in-person screenings to maintain a proactive surveillance stance.

Glooko’s remote monitoring services, based on wearable technology, help Atrius monitor large amounts of patient data such as blood glucose levels, physical activity and carbohydrate levels on one central platform. Glooko also removes data silos, presenting healthcare providers with a complete picture of patient health.

Crucially, these records are automatically shared with patient consent. After implementing the program, 80% of patients said they found data sharing extremely easy. In addition, patients proactively monitored their health and doubled the frequency of their blood tests.

Better data collection for a better insurance customer experience

Customer satisfaction is closely linked to data collection. The more seamless the data collection, the better the customer experience. Customers feel less intimidated when sharing data and get less work done. In turn, healthcare providers can adopt proactive healthcare management solutions, thereby reducing healthcare costs for patients and operational costs for their businesses.

Tal Daskal is the CEO and co-founder of EasySend.

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