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Digital Communications in Insurance: Managing the Expanding Options

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action

Most P&C insurers have gradually expanded their options for digitally communicating with prospects, policyholders, producers, and employees. As the industry moves beyond the web, portals, and email, there is a growing recognition that a whole new world of digital communications options can be applied in insurance. Messaging and collaboration platforms, business texting, chatbots, voice, personalized interactive video, and even augmented/virtual reality are now on the palette. Add these communication options to the “zillion” different ways to make or receive a payment, and a great thing happens. They often simultaneously improve the customer experience while reducing expenses!

Technology options and solution providers are plentiful, but the big question for insurers is how to leverage the right mix of these across the enterprise. There are three really important components for successfully leveraging the new communications options:

  1. a digital communications strategy,
  2. digital content capture and creation, and
  3. content management and e-delivery.

Digital Communications Strategy:

The methods of communications have often been driven by the requirements of specific areas of the business. Marketing uses a variety of tools and approaches to reach prospects and customers. Distribution uses another set to interact with agents and other partners. Claims has many types of external participants to communicate with during the claims lifecycle. Underwriting and other areas of the business have their own needs and favorite technologies. But, now that digital transformation is accelerating, a comprehensive digital communications strategy is needed to determine how and where to best leverage capabilities like chatbots, messaging platforms, and other tools. The capabilities for delivering customer documents and communications via email, portals, and other traditional methods will continue to be equally vital.

Digital Content Capture and Creation:

Inbound communications, such as submissions or first notice of loss, benefit from intelligent capture solutions that can efficiently gather and organize the information sent to insurers. Also, the ability to create and manage forms, documents, and customer correspondence is essential. Communications that are created must adhere to branding guidelines, enable regulatory compliance, provide a modern customer experience, and have the flexibility to support today’s array of outbound channels (including print and digital channels).

Digital Content Management and E-delivery:

Managing the digital content used for customer communications is an important capability. Insurers must be able to efficiently create, store, and (re)use content objects such as visual branding elements, signatures, text blocks, and the templates that they support. Moreover, in a world of many digital delivery options, the digital communications platform must support the delivery to the recipient through any technology option or channel, including messaging platforms, business texting solutions, and chatbots, as well as traditional print, email, the web, or mobile.

Traditional options for communicating (such as portals, email, and even print/mail) are not going away. But establishing a digital communications strategy and implementing a platform solution for creating and managing those communications is even more important in an era where the world is more rapidly shifting to digital due to the pandemic and work from home environments.

For more insights on digital communications in P&C, register for the SMA Digital Communications Virtual Event Experience on July 29, 2020.

About The Author

Mark Breading, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methods and his ability to incorporate InsurTech and emerging tech into business strategies are unparalleled. Mark also leads SMA’s research program, has overseen the publication of over one hundred research reports, and directed custom research projects for insurer and tech clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, emerging technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him rankings as a “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the 10 finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”

Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM, where he co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.

He is a frequent speaker at industry events; an InsurTech mentor with the Global Insurance Accelerator; and a frequent contributor of articles to Insurance Thought Leadership, Insurance Networking News, LOMA Resource, and many other industry publications.

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)