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May 29 2014 | Mark Breading

There are a number of factors that influence the customer experience in insurance, and many of them are visible through the touches an insurer or agent has with the policyholder. These touches typically involve documents, correspondence, voice communications, and web interactions. A new SMA research report, Improving the Customer Experience Through Communications and Document Management, addresses how insurers are capturing, creating, managing, and delivering digital (and hardcopy) content. The report is based on a survey of 112 insurers in North America, representing all lines of business and company sizes. It is clear that technology-based solutions for customer communications management (CCM), enterprise content management (ECM), and contact centers are playing a central role in the quest to improve the customer experience.

Insurers have invested in these areas for many years, automating operations and continuing to expand capabilities. Now, two big trends are gaining increasing prominence as insurers develop strategies and plans to further improve their customer communications and document management: the strategic emphasis on the customer experience and new focus on e-delivery.



Customer Experience Drives New Initiatives           

Historically, companies emphasized cost reduction, transaction efficiencies, and the elimination of paper for projects related to document management, contact centers, and the creation and delivery of customer documents and correspondence. Recently a strategic shift has occurred, with insurers now energized around customer-centric strategies and focused on improving the customer experience. It is still important to strive for efficient transactions and customer interactions. However, more insurers are now thinking in terms of the entire customer journey and the full set of interactions they have with their customers over the course of their relationships with the company. This new orientation is shifting investments and projects toward those that have the most influence on the customer/agent experience.

E-Delivery Projects Proliferate

The second trend is a shift in focus from inbound to outbound digitization. There are still many opportunities and plans to capture more information digitally on the front end to improve the customer acquisition process. However, the top two project areas are now e-billing and e-delivery. Many insurers are seeking to optimize the print side of the house to fund the transition toward more electronic delivery to customers and agents.

These trends signal a new era of technology solutions and initiatives that will enable insurers to achieve their strategic visions of differentiation through excellent customer experiences. The key to success for insurers will be to think more holistically about the digital solutions that support interactions with customers, rather than continuing to extend point solutions. Ultimately, this is another example of where companies must further break down the silos to create more integrated technology platforms.  

For more information about insurers’ IT plans and priorities, read SMA’s new research report, Improving the Customer Experience Through Communications and Document Management. Contact Mark Breading for additional information at mbreading@strategymeetsaction.com.

*3CM is SMA’s term for Customer Communications and Content Management



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