How Innovation in the Insurance Industry Revolves Around Customer-Centricity

Paul Hoffman
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Build insurance apps and services using three strategic principles and test in the real world

Digital insurance – creating digital-first services for consumers – is no longer a nice-to-have. This imperative is not about new applications, it’s about innovation in the insurance industry and making the customer experience better.

Leading digital insurance companies understand today’s requisite customer-centric focus and thoughtfully build their strategies to extend beyond the traditional view of insurance.

Insurance companies today continually rethink their offerings and the ways they engage with customers. Taking a digital-first approach, they need to provide customers with the same engagement levels they’ve come to expect from other fully digitalized industries. With an unpredictable and changeable future — epitomized by COVID-19 — consumers and businesses will increasingly rely on and choose insurers offering online resources and tools that can best meet their needs, particularly as digital adoption continues to grow.

Three imperatives for digital insurance companies

Though many of the applications today’s insurers build are complex, the guiding principles behind building them are not.

1. Create simple, intuitive products and processes that engender trust.

Accenture's Guide insurance customers to safety and well-being reports approximately 7 out of 10 (69%) consumers would share significant data on their health, exercise and driving habits in exchange for lower prices from their insurers. Trust is a two-way street. For example, if consumers allow the insurer “inside the vehicle,” by accepting the use of telematics that indicate patterns in driving that may impact premiums positively or negatively, it must be clearly outlined how any information may be used in the future. Will other insurers be able to access this information in future contracts? These terms must be clearly and simply spelled out. This transparency will reduce friction in the customer experience and build trust.

2. Create and maintain a seamless customer journey.

Successful digitalization hinges on two factors — customer willingness to embrace a digital channel and the company’s ability to limit or eliminate pain points during this customer journey.

Insurers looking to create seamless customer journeys must ask themselves key questions when building a digital customer experience. For example, has the digital experience been designed with customers in mind and the functionalities they actually want? Is the experience limited by traditional or established ways of doing business? Flexibility that allows customers to engage across their preferred channels can be a significant differentiator for insurance companies.

3. Design new digital interactions for humans and test with real people.

Insurers are spending billions on new technology innovations and related services. No matter the complexity of new insurance offerings and the improvements they provide for customers, people still expect personalized experiences, much as they do with retailers like Amazon or streaming media services like Netflix. Considered at global scale, personalization is a massive undertaking. Language, culture, devices, platforms, local networks - the variables are exponential. How do insurers ensure their personalization efforts don’t alienate customers instead? They ingest as much customer input as possible, design for the human experience their customers demand and test with real people.

All the financial backing and strategy in the world means little if insurance applications and customer experiences are buggy.

Learn why Applause’s in-the-wild testing is the fastest and most flexible way to ensure you release high-quality insurance software quickly and with confidence. Read the ebook “Innovation In Insurance: 3 Keys To Exceptional Digital Customer Experiences.”

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