Jerônimo do Valle
Digital transformation has been a priority for insurance companies recently. The promises of big data and analytics for quotes, risk analysis and underwriting efficiency are immense. However, many insurers struggle to take advantage of the wealth of customer data they can access.
This issue is not so much about infrastructure needs as it is about data collection processes. Customers today are digital natives, as studies show. Two out of three customers prefer digital interactions and nearly 80% of respondents said they have purchased insurance online.
The typical process of onboarding insurance customers is tedious. Multiple forms are filled out, quotes requested, tons of medical documents provided, requests for even more documents from the insurance agent are answered, and finally the forms are signed - manually - before they are sent to the company.
This epic journey can take between a few weeks and a month to complete. Pairing prices is incompatible with the process, as insurers struggle to offer comparisons without the necessary documentation. Consumer demand for aggregators indicates a hunger for easy online comparisons, and insurers are failing to fill that void.
A digital onboarding experience eliminates these hassles and seamlessly connects agent needs with customer data. For example, an online form can capture relevant user information, centralize data storage, and automatically screen candidates for additional information requests.
Companies can identify risk thresholds based on data entry and request documents or issue quotes within days. Subscribers can make quick decisions as all customer data is centralized. So not only is the customer experience seamless, the backend processes benefit as well.
Quote times are even longer in business-to-business (B2B) insurance cases, taking three to six months. Digitally updating data collection processes can help reduce onboarding time from months to weeks, increasing profits and creating a scalable digital process.
Offering agile plans.
Customers are also low on patience these days. With the wealth of options available, users are highly attuned to receiving services that fall short of what would be ideal for insurers. From the company's point of view, the easiest way to ensure stable subscription revenue is to increase loyalty, and most resort to price discounts as a means of loyalty. However, all this only makes consumers see insurance as a commodity. Insurers often struggle to communicate the underlying value of their policies due to a lack of data on customer value drivers.
Data gives companies the potential to create highly personalized and agile products. For example, a health insurer can leverage data from wearables to segment its customers and assign risk parameters. These datasets can transform granular processes such as entering information into forms. Insurers can pre-populate the data and collect only what is necessary.
Moving away from manual data collection is key.
By centralizing user data and collecting relevant information, companies can increase brand loyalty through highly agile policies. Customers can pause, adjust or cancel insurance plans to suit their needs. The company must leverage data to shift power to consumers, allowing them to input their needs, reducing agent workloads, and automating tedious underwriting risk analysis.
So the benefits are twofold. Not only are customers more loyal, but operating costs decrease, increasing margins and potentially helping the company achieve free float.
The insurance market has evolved with changes in customer attitudes. Consumers today demand cost-effective healthcare and expect insurers and healthcare providers to leverage technology to achieve this goal.
Customer satisfaction is intrinsically linked to data collection. The more seamless the data collection, the better the customer experience. In turn, care providers can adopt proactive healthcare management solutions, freeing patients and reducing operating costs for their business.