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May 21 2021 | Mark Breading

Much has been written and much has been done in the past decade regarding the customer experience in P&C. Progress has been made in better understanding customer needs and journeys, implementing digital solutions for mobile and self-service capabilities, and improving interactions with agents and policyholders. However, anyone involved in strategies and improving the CX in P&C is likely to admit that the industry is still in the earlier stages of the journey. It is clearly a marathon, not a short term, once-and-done project. But now, as a result of the pandemic and the momentous events of the last year, the race has changed in significant ways.

052121BlogimageA new SMA research report, Customer Experience in P&C: Transformation in the Pandemic Era, assesses the journey of P&C insurers. Companies covering the personal lines, small commercial, and mid/large commercial market segments are profiled based on a survey of executives and SMA’s analysis of customer experience projects with insurers. The new SMA research is chock full of insights on the level of maturity of each P&C segment, the state of CX officers, and the project priorities of insurers.

About one-quarter to one-third of insurers are in broader rollouts of customer experience strategies, with the personal lines segment being the most mature. There is also a correlation between the status and maturity of CX officers and the level of overall segment maturity. There are two categories of CX-related projects that are vital to track: those that are strategy/organizational in nature, and those that are oriented around technology capabilities. For example, flipping the lens from a customer service to a customer experience orientation and establishing a customer-centric culture are the top two project areas, signaling a recognition that these are foundational elements of a good CX strategy.

The project plans recognize the change that is underway. It is becoming fashionable to say the pandemic changed everything. While that may be hyperbole, it is true that the pandemic and all that it has entailed has altered customer expectations in important ways and has caused insurers to rethink and reprioritize plans. The short-term focus has been on enabling and improving self-service, digital payments, and digital intake for both sales and service. Improvements in these areas will continue, but in the meantime, P&C insurers have been taking stock of their customer experience journey – and this is where they are running a marathon. What once was movement at a steady pace has now taken on a steadily increasing momentum. Virtually every insurer is accelerating digital transformation, and customer experience is an important element of the acceleration.

However, now that the expectations of agents and policyholders have risen to new levels, the finish line for the marathon has been pushed out. It is not as if there was ever a firm finish line where a company could claim they were “done” with customer experience. But the race is now taking some new turns, will require adaptability, and may require a longer sustained effort to remain competitive.


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To learn more, please contact:
Mark Breading
Partner
Strategy Meets Action
614.562.8310