January 29, 2009 (New York): Novarica, a research and advisory firm, singled out MassMutual, AXA Equitable, and New York Life for their strong online customer service offerings in a new report published today, Online Customer Service at Top US Life/Annuity Insurers.
“Even the highest-touch, most-advisor-oriented companies realize that their high-value customers are managing more and more of their financial lives online,” commented report co-author Matthew Josefowicz, director of Novarica’s insurance practice. “Although none of the leading life/annuity companies have yet taken the leap to online sales (or even online quoting), a strong service capability for current customers and rich educational content to lure new customers into a conversation with an agent are becoming competitive necessities, especially as Generations X and Y move into their prime accumulation years.”
The report ranks seven leading insurers’ websites in 15 categories, including overall ease of navigation; online payments, policy changes, funds allocation/transfer, account viewing, claims submission, withdrawals, calculators, planning tools, and policy loans; non-English language materials; agent/office locator; educational multimedia and articles; and social bookmarking/sharing functionality.
“To honor our promises to policyholders and clients and to help them make good decisions, we use advanced technologies and proven processes and techniques to deliver first-rate customer service,” said Michael Fanning, executive vice president of MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group. “Without downplaying the value of personal contact, our online presence is just one of several ways that helps us meet and surpass customer experience expectations. We are pleased to have been recognized by Novarica for our efforts in this area.”
“AXA Equitable’s ongoing effort to enhance the online experience with our company illustrates our commitment to being attentive, available and reliable to customers,” said Connie O’Brien, senior vice president of internet strategy and development. “The goal of our Web strategy is to make it easier for clients to stay connected with us, and for prospects and job applicants to get to know AXA Equitable. Through our Web presence, we can encourage customer engagement by bringing visitors and clients closer to the information they need to make informed financial decisions.”
In addition to AXA Equitable, MassMutual, and New York Life, the report also evaluated the websites of John Hancock, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, and Principal Financial. The report is available online at http://www.novarica.com/report_life_online.shtml.
Novarica provides information, insights, and perspective on markets, operations, and technology to financial services and insurance executives and project teams. The company delivers its service through published research, retained advisory services, and project-based consulting. Novarica’s research includes market and trend analyses, best practices research, case studies, and independent analyses of insurance software vendors including the Novarica Market Navigators™ and Novarica ACE (Average Customer Experience) Rankings. Novarica is a division of Novantas, LLC, the leading management consultancy and information services provider for the financial services industries. www.novarica.com