Eight Critical Areas for Customer Experience Transformation

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, Founder & CEO, Strategy Meets Action

Boston, MA (July 30, 2019) – Customer experience is an essential component of the transformational journey. In fact, transforming the customer experience is a new and powerful organizational shift that can bring about quantum change. It can also create amazing, quantum impacts and improvements without huge IT investments or years of time. And not only will an improved customer experience have a positive effect on retention, it will drive operational optimization as well.

In all my years of working in insurance and technology, I have never experienced anything with such a magnitude of power and potential to change. Nothing can move true transformation like changing the perspective, or “flipping the lens” on customer experience.

It all begins with shifting away from the traditional inside-out, customer-service driven focus and flipping the lens toward an outside-in, empathy-driven, customer-experience focus. And it does not matter who you call the customer. Some insurers consider their agents or other distribution partners to be the customer. Others view the policyholder as the customer. Some consider both to be customers and even extend it to other stakeholders as well.

It requires a new look through a new lens to understand the customers’ roles and their motivations, goals, and pain points to begin to have an empathy that drives a new and different operational response. That response must include a redesign for the ease and quality of customer interactions and deliver value in each and across all interactions. With empathy as an integral part of the lens, the conversation changes. With the common goal being the customer, silos are broken down, and organizations are changed. It’s quite powerful.

SMA believes that eight customer-experience areas need attention, focus, and investment as your company launches into and matures in CX. Embracing customer experience throughout an organization requires transforming traditional strategies, workflows, processes, and technologies in each of the areas so that they become an organic part of who you are, what you do, and how you do it. The eight areas are Advanced UX Designs, Customer Analytics, the Voice of the Customer Empowerment, Customer-Experience Driven Metrics, Customer Journey Mapping, the Service Blueprint, the Customer Experience Playbook, and the Culture Shift from Service to Experience.

SMA has recently released a report that assesses each area in terms of insurers’ investment levels, maturity levels, the business areas that will be most affected, and current or emerging trends in each area for commercial lines insurers: 8 Critical Investments for Customer Experience Excellence: State of Commercial Lines Investments, Adoption, and Maturity.

How to start? Education is the first step toward advancing and embracing customer experience across the enterprise. Understanding the customer is the only sure way to be able to provide the customer with the experiences that they want – and the experiences that will cement the relationship of trust and loyalty between the insurer and the customer.

The importance of empathy cannot be understated. Every effort made by the insurer to put themselves in the shoes of the customer will result in better customer experiences. And the goal to give customers excellence in service goes beyond supplying mere customer satisfaction. The key is to infuse empathy into the insurer-customer relationship. And that involves caring, understanding, personalization, and commitment. The technologies, resources, and initiatives deployed to this end will benefit the customers – as well as the insurers as they position for success in the digital connected world.

Critical Investments for Customer Experience Excellence

This SMA research report assesses customer experience maturity in P&C Commercial Lines in North America. The report covers the investment, maturity, business areas most affected, and current or emerging trends for eight CX-related project/initiative areas.

The areas covered are:

  • Advanced UX Designs,
  • Customer Analytics,
  • Voice of the Customer Empowerment,
  • Customer-Experience Driven Metrics,
  • Customer Journey Mapping,
  • the Service Blueprint,
  • the Customer Experience Playbook, and
  • the Culture Shift from Service to Experience.

Figure 1 (below), portraying Advanced UX Designs, is an example of the research included in the report.

Advanced UX Designs (SMA Research Report)

Click here for the table of contents or to purchase the report.

About The Author

Deb Smallwood, the CEO & President of Strategy Meets Action, is widely recognized as an industry thought leader who is known for her expertise in helping companies rethink the traditional business of insurance and position for success in the changing insurance world. Deb’s passion is to advise insurers on innovative ways to leverage InsurTech and the emerging technologies that are required in today’s digital connected world. Deb provides insights that guide insurers on their journeys to becoming the Next-Gen Insurers of tomorrow. For over 30 years, Deb has helped customers understand how to leverage technologies, shift strategies, and make the right strategic investments. Deb has worked with hundreds of insurers and solution providers over the years, enabling them to create high business value and differentiate their businesses through their decisions and investments. Read more.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at www.strategymeetsaction.com.

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)

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