Ilya Filipov, General Manager for Insurance at Total Expert

Right now, the customer experience in insurance matters more than ever. Evolving customer expectations for seamless, personalized and fast interactions are reshaping the industry — and putting some pressure on agents and brokers to adopt the technologies that enable these types of quality interactions.

"Modernizing the customer and prospect experience has a great impact on the value and competitiveness of an agency," said Ilya Filipov, general manager for insurance at Total Expert. "It ensures organic growth and can maximize the value of each customer. And, for those who are looking to exit the market and sell, a modernized agency can be more attractive to potential buyers."

Every stage of the journey — whether it's awareness, decision and purchase, customer on-boarding, policy management, claims processing or retention – can be improved with technology. For example, leveraging data to get more accurate insights from customer data can improve targeted marketing campaigns, personalize recommendations for coverage, and provide more accurate quotes. Adopting omnichannel ensures the customer can seamlessly switch between preferred channels to engage. Self-service technologies provide a way for customers to manage their own policies or file claims without having to talk through it with a live support person. And automation can streamline communications and provide gentle reminders to take action, such as at renewal time.

Getting started

With so much technology available, modernizing everything at once can be tempting. But Filipov warns against it.

"As they say, don't boil the ocean," he says. "Instead, adopt a strategic approach, starting with an assessment of current pain points and inefficiencies."

Filipov says that customer input is valuable here, so he recommends conducting a customer satisfaction survey to help uncover where they may experience the greatest friction. Agents and brokers can take an even deeper dive by interviewing a random sample of customers in person. Filipov also recommends conducting secondary research through industry sources, which can help bring to light any additional industrywide issues that could apply.

Once pain points and inefficiencies are identified, Filipov says it's important to set clear objectives. "For example, if it takes five hours for an agent to respond to a simple question from a customer, your objective may be to improve customer service," says Filipov. "Then, you'll need to determine what your options are for reaching that objective. Maybe it's building a chatbot to answer some of those routine questions quickly."

Finally, Filipov recommends starting with small, manageable projects. "Start with small-scale pilot programs to test new technologies and processes," he says. "Don't try to create a chatbot, for example, as that could be a bit too complex for the average agency. Off-the-shelf solutions can work well, but tapping a partner that already has the tools, expertise and ecosystem is ideal."

Then, with some quick wins under their belt, agents and brokers can build on their modernization momentum. "As they become more experienced deploying and using new technologies, agents and brokers can start thinking about tailoring these technologies to more closely match specific needs," says Filipov. "With that, they're well on their way to modernization — and all the perks that come with it."


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.