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Happy 2011: Year of the New Insurance Customer?

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Developments in social media, cloud computing, and new technology are challenging IT professionals, but progress is being made, and the challenges are turning into opportunities.

We sometimes fail to appreciate that customers – insurance customers – are going through the same challenges and are seeing similar opportunities in selecting companies and products which meet their needs (see our  December 15, 2010 post on Consumer Awareness).  As the P&C industry remains in a soft market and life insurers are challenged by persistently low interest rates, we might be well served by taking  care to clearly understand the needs and desires of this newly empowered customer.

A recent column by Bruce Temkin in Insurance Network News listed 8 New Customer Experience Trends for 2011. We’ll list three examples (the article contains all eight and goes significantly deeper into implications).

1. Customer Insight Propagation. Most decisions in companies are made without any real customer insight. Companies will increasingly recognize that they need to integrate a deeper understanding of their customers throughout their company. …

2. Unstructured Data Appreciation. Deep feelings that customers have about a company often get truncated into a 5-point, 7-point, or even 11-point multiple choice scales; making it difficult to understand “why” things are happening. New text analytics applications can quickly process thousands of pieces of unstructured data and discern what’s making customers happy or what’s making them upset; pushing a dramatic rise in companies analyzing rich unstructured data like comments on surveys, call center verbatims, or social media discussions. …

6. Social Media Assimilation. Social media is a hot topic. But Social Media is not really a new thing for companies; it represents just another interaction channel with customers. Companies will increasingly fold Social Media activities into the core activities of the company; especially within customer service.

8 New Customer Experience Trends for 2011, Bruce Temkin INN

An organization concerned about its New Consumer Strategy might be well served by a review of this list with an eye to determining how its strategies align with these trends.

2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology ConferenceThe 2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference will be featuring several presentations which focus on customers interactions.  We’ll go into more detail in this blog over the next few weeks.

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