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A recent study of insurance customers who recently submitted a claim revealed that, even if the claims process yielded a positive customer experience, it does very little – if anything - to build customer loyalty.
According to a study by Accenture, a global management and consulting company, although 86 percent of insurance customers who have submitted a claim in the last two years were satisfied with the way it was handled, 41 percent of them are still likely to switch to another carrier within 12 months.
"The survey results clearly show that delivering average claims satisfaction levels is not enough,” Michael Costonis, a managing director in Accenture's Insurance Industry practice and global head of Claims Services, said in a release. “The bar has been raised and in order to clear it, insurers need to provide a differentiated claims experience that delivers on service.”
The study, based on a survey of almost 8,000 automobile and home insurance customers in 14 countries, found that the very act of filing a claim is tough on customer loyalty. In fact, Costonis said it’s the only incentive a customer needs to switch carriers.
Digital Technology Can Leverage Customer Engagement
The Accenture study showed that insurance companies could enhance a customer’s experience – and retain them – by offering an enhanced digital landscape.
“Insurers should look at how connected devices and other digital technologies can help customers better manage risks and reduce claims frequencies,” suggests Costonis.
Additionally, 61 percent of customers surveyed said that they would prefer to use digital channels to file and check claims. And 53 percent said that they would not recommend an insurance company to a friend or family member that did not offer online or other digital channels as an option.
Also, customers are likely to let their feelings about their insurance company known via social media. One in three customers said that they have posted – or plan to post – their positive claims experience on a social media platform. And 43 percent read reviews by others about their experience.
More Findings: Customers Will Trade Info for Benefits
The survey also showed that more than 77 percent of insurance customers surveyed would give out personal information if it meant getting more benefits like lower premiums and quicker claims resolutions.
Some of the information car insurance customers are likely willing to share include the condition of their cars and driving habits. Home insurance customers are willing to share information from their home’s smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, or other devices. And 35 percent surveyed said they’d be willing to share security video camera footage.
"The survey findings underscore the 'make-or-break' nature of the claims experience for insurers," said Costonis. “Insurers need to rethink their claims operating models, organizational structures and even their corporate cultures to get in sync with today's demanding and digitally connected customers."
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