The claims process is arguably the single most important task any insurance company has to deal with. This is the ‘make or break’ moment for many customers; the point at which they decide if an insurance company is the right fit for them. Until the point of needing a claim, price is the primary decision by which people will select their insurer, but in the event of a claim, a customer’s personal experience of the process becomes a vital factor.
There are a number of different ways that insurance companies can improve the customer experience of the claims process. By investing in and implementing positive claim management techniques, higher levels of customer satisfaction — and thus higher levels of customer retention — can be achieved.
So, how can the customer experience of insurance claims management be improved?
Understand the potential issues caused by overlooking customer experience
There are a number of factors that should be considered within claims management, and many insurers make the mistake of valuing these areas over the experience of the customer. This can be a serious mistake. As discussed, if a customer is unhappy with the experience they receive, they are likely to discontinue their business with that company— but that can just be the first problem. There is always the chance that unhappy customers may also “spread the word” about the poor service they received. This could mean writing on internet forums, using social media, and broadcasting their anti-your-company message far and wide.
Given the scope available to dissatisfied customers, it is imperative that any insurance company genuinely values the customer experience and puts it at the forefront of the claims process. It is one thing to accept that these issues might happen; it is quite another to see this kind of negative feedback as a genuine threat, and something that must be taken seriously.
Improved communication choices
In the modern world, customers are no longer satisfied with a long wait on hold or a promise of a callback that never comes. They want to receive quick, efficient service from their insurance company at each stage of the claims process.
This means that insurance companies need to implement a variety of different communication options for customers going through a claim; at the very least, social media, email, and telephone options should be available. Companies could also consider self-service portals online, where customers can check the status of their claim without having to contact a representative of the company directly.
Business practice management (BPM) necessities
A key component of effective customer experience management is the integration of this concern into the BPM that a company is using. If a BPM has been well-designed and structured to reflect the needs of customers, then it can help to manage customer interactions and improve customer service as a result.
The key advantage of BMP processes is their ability to monitor and improve the speed and efficiency of a claim from start to finish, which in turn helps to deliver a more seamless experience to the customer.
The advantage of automation
Certain aspects of the claims process can be automated, which can be incredibly beneficial to the customer. What customers want from a claims process above all is speed; a lengthy delay for a claim to be processed is a surefire cause for complaint if it is not addressed. Automating basic tasks in the claims process can allow for processors and adjustors to focus on activities which are able to deliver a better experience to the customer, safe in the knowledge that the claim is able to progress in the background thanks to automation.
Additionally, automation can also assist with improving the customer experience by handling the simplest claims in the most efficient timeframe necessary. Simple claims should not demand the time and attention of specialist workers; instead, BPM platforms and automation should be able to guide basic claims to a conclusion as quickly as possible. Not only is this outcome positive for the customer of the simple claim, but it is also beneficial for customers with more complex claims— as their claims can receive more attention from adjustors, who have more time without the distractions of basic claims.
The customer experience is an important component of effective claims management, thus it should be at the forefront of considerations when making decisions in this area. However, customer experience is not the only important facet of claims management— cost effectiveness, productivity, and the reduction of claims timescales are also incredibly important. By combining work in these areas with a dedication to improving the customer experience, you should be able to deliver an effective claims management solution that suits both you and you customer base.