Digital technologies are connecting customers and organizations like never before, and they’re opening some great opportunities for insurers to enrich customer relationships and boost agent productivity.

We use the idea of the digital insurer to conceptualize the ways that insurance companies can digitize and enrich customer interactions and agent experience across all the devices they use. As such, Digital insurer can be broken down into three key pillars: omni-channel, customer insight, and agent experience. I’ll drill down into each of these pillars in more detail over the coming months, but first, here is an overview.

Omni-channel

Omni-channel involves digitizing interactions across all channels, including the mobile application, consumer portal, call centre and social media. There are some key areas to think about when developing an omni-channel strategy.

Consumers are used to switching between channels and devices to connect with friends and colleagues wherever they are, and they expect the same from their insurance company. To attract and engage those consumers, insurers need to enable seamless interaction across all the channels they use so they can pick up a conversation on any channel they choose. As part of that interaction, it’s important to deliver a common experience across all those channels and to make sure that you have the right customer in the right channel at the right time to optimize their experience.

Customer insight

Insurers need to be able to turn customer data into insights, and insights into enablement. Digital interaction yields unprecedented amounts of information about your customers. By applying customer relationship management concepts in the digital world you can turn that data into insight and enable your agent to act on it.

Producer enablement is key to this – ensuring that your agents can access all the customer data and insight they need wherever they are, so they can do a better job in selling. Legacy systems and organizational structures have left many insurers with silos of information that prevent agents seeing the full picture. These need to be broken down to enable a 360-degree view of the customer’s relationships, products and interactions – to establish the customer as the focal point of sales and marketing efforts.

A 360-degree view of the customer is essential in enabling agents to:

  • price their offer correctly – for example offering special prices to a customer who they can see is of value to the company across many different products
  • assess a customer’s risk by looking at their other policies and activities across the organization
  • use the customer’s data to generate insight and predict the next best product or offer for that customer

Agent experience

Advancing the agent’s digital work experience is the third pillar of the digital insurer concept. Many insurance companies have thousands of agents out there, some of whom are employed by the company while others are independent – and all of them need access to key information and productivity tools, wherever they are.

There are three key elements to achieving this.

The first part is about setting the agent free on a mobile device and empowering them with mobile applications that replicate what they can do in the office. By doing that, we can enable captive and non-captive agents with the productivity, communication and collaboration tools they need to get out and engage with customers outside the office.

The second part is the agent desktop. This is about enabling the agent with all the elements of Office 365, so they can better support their customers and effectively market and sell their insurance products.

The third is a web-based portal especially for the independent agent’s use, which gives agents the tools and information they need to sell more effectively.

Using the digital insurer concept to pull together these three pillars enables insurers to visualize how they can work with Microsoft to deliver a digitized experience that helps them enhance customer interaction, turn customer data into insight, and enable agents to sell more effectively.

I invite you to watch this webcast to learn how insurance carriers are becoming digital insurers. Webcast on demand

Download : Microsoft Perspectives on the Digital Insurer