Customers who get to use of tools like video chat to interact with insurance companies may show the highest overall satisfaction, but barely more than a quarter get offered them, according to research from J.D. Power.
The Troy, Michigan-based firm analyzed more than 3,000 evaluations by auto or home insurance customers who had filed a claim in the last 12 months for its second annual U.S. Claims Digital Experience Study.
While close to half of those surveyed, or 47 per cent, made a claim using a website, only about 40 per cent of claimants interacted with a claim estimator via digital channels, according to the data. Instead, approximately 49 per cent continue to engage with their insurance company by phone during the estimater phase. Yet telephone calls ranked lowest in terms of customer satisfaction than any other channel, or 861 on a 1,000-point scale.
Though insurers are making some progress in terms of deploying digital claims management tools, the study indicated they are failing to achieve the expected results. The report said firms using such systems are hitting their key performance indicators (KPIs) for the estimation process just 35 per cent of the time and for digital reporting just 40 per cent of the time.
“Property and casualty (P&C) insurance claims were supposed to be the tip of the sword when it came to digital transformation,” the company said in a statement accompanying the report’s publication last month. “Instead, the industry is lagging far behind financial services and utilities providers when it comes to the digital customer experience.”
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The full J.D. Power study, which was conducted in partnership with firm called Corporate Insight, is only available via purchase, so there may be considerably more data to develop CX improvements in insurance than what was mentioned in the press release.
Even without buying the report, though, companies would do well to conduct a self-evaluation of the digital experience they offer using the same four criteria J.D. Power used as it studied insurers’ web sites and mobile apps. These included appearance; clarity of the information; navigation; and range of services. If employees or an invited group of focus group-style customers offered lower scores on any of these areas, there would obviously be indications of where to invest further effort.
Getting an estimate on a claim is also only one stage of an insurance customers’ journey. Companies here may be lagging on embracing a digital-first approach because the complexity of questions they get from customers or problems they have to solve lend themselves to more personal interactions. You have to bear in mind the demographic factors here, too: not surprisingly, Gen Y and Z had overall better satisfaction with the digital insurance tools available to them compared with Baby Boomers.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.