Mar. 1, 2013 – The insurance industry has a problem. With the economy still looking shaky, customers are increasingly shopping around and making increasingly complex demands. That situation is bad in any industry but in insurance the high cost of new business acquisition is well known, as is the value of customer retention. Loyalty pays dividends but it is tough to achieve without the right tools in place.
So it is vital to deliver a service with “stickiness,” as Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, called it – a service that engenders loyalty. What gives you stickiness? It is all about communication, and communication is now all about technology. Customers, most of whom are now equipped with multiple information access devices, and with expectations changed fundamentally by their new digital interactions, want consistent, clear and on-demand interaction and communication across a number of platforms – print survives but it’s joined by PCs, smartphones and tablets. Those interactions and communications, now and increasingly in the future, need three “sticky” qualities: frictionless, immediate and customizable.
Unfortunately Insurance is an industry that is notorious for nervousness about upgrading its legacy systems, preferring to patch, mend and make do. That is no longer practicable. Frictionless, immediate and customizable products require better technology – centralized and highly accessible information stores and straight-through systems, for example. Those in the insurance sector that want to survive and thrive have to change now, or get left behind.
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