Guidewire Software, a systems provider for property casualty insurers, announced today that its "Billing Market Survey" has found that billing plays a significant role in customer service.
According to San Mateo, Calif.-based Guidewire, while billing has traditionally been viewed as a back-office function, in recent years it has taken a more prominent role in the front office as carriers have recognized the role billing plays in customer service.
"Since periodic bills are the only regular form of communication between carriers and insureds and the majority of customer service calls a carrier receives are billing related, billing offers a unique opportunity to build satisfaction and loyalty by providing flexibility, accuracy and prompt resolution of discrepancies," the company said.
Guidewire said it had surveyed more than 60 carriers in North America, with the following results:
o The majority of survey participants believe billing has an impact on customer satisfaction, and 86 percent believe billing affects customer retention.
o Fifty-six percent believe their current billing systems and processes inhibit their ability to provide superior customer service.
o Sixty-nine percent believe the ability to offer a wide variety of billing programs would be a source of competitive advantage.
o Twenty-six percent report that enhancements to their primary billing systems are so difficult they are no longer made.
"This survey gave us the opportunity to learn directly from carriers what role billing plays in their business and how they are currently handling their billing operations," said Katie Doyle, Guidewire Software principal product marketing manager. "The results reflect Guidewire's belief that billing is an untapped lever for significant savings."
Guidewire said it surveyed a broad range of property-casualty insurers in North America about the current state of their billing operations, how well current systems support their needs, and how they see their billing operations evolving in the future.
The survey was conducted via e-mail and participants were asked to complete an online survey.
Business and information technology executives and staff members from more than 60 carriers participated in the survey.
Thirty percent of survey respondents were from carriers with less than $100 million in direct written premium; 59 percent were from carriers between $100 million and $1 billion in direct written premium; and the remaining 11 percent were from carriers above $1 billion direct written premium, said Guidewire.
The complete survey results are online at http://go.guidewire.com/forms/BillingCenterMarketSurvey0708.