As Capgemini’s Mahendra Nambiar noted in ITA Pro’s August 2017 e-magazine, the growing expectations of customers centered around convenience, personalization and transparency are driving technological innovation in the insurance industry. As Nambiar puts it: “Freed from the status quo of the past…[i]t is now just a matter of insurers implementing the correct technological innovation for them to retain or assume leadership positions in the marketplace.”
The holy grail in this transformational process is commonly articulated as “customer-centricity,” defined as an approach that ensures the customer is at the center of a business’s philosophy, operations or ideas. Achieving customer-centricity has led carriers to take a hard look at their customer communications, as well as the technologies used to engage with customers over every channel. In our view, the way to truly achieve customer-centricity is through what we are calling “content-centricity.”
According to a report by PwC, customers today are overwhelmed with irrelevant and inconsistent messages from their insurance carriers. Developing a customer-centric communications strategy involves a commitment to collaboration, as well as the right technology and governance, to support consistency of content. A successful strategy will require purposeful and focused attention to the actual messaging that goes into communications. Content is the key to achieving customer-centricity because if an organization is not carefully ensuring that it is creating the right messaging to drive its communications, it doesn’t matter what the technology can do or what other steps are being taken to engage the customer through every channel.
PwC is right to point out that customer experience is quickly eroded when a customer signs up for a bundle of auto, home and life insurance from a company, only to realize that communications related to these products bear no resemblance to each other. Even worse, the insurance organization may continue to send promotional flyers for the products the customer has already purchased.
What is needed is an intensified focus on finding ways to empower the content authors, regulators, marketers and product managers responsible for customer communications to get relevant messaging into those communications. However, the challenge is that many of the technologies put in place in the name of a customer experience strategy have not made it easier for those responsible for messaging to access the right content or for the organization to engage in initiatives to improve that content, such as a plain language rewrite.
Carriers need the ability to migrate and optimize relevant content so that it can be moved from legacy siloed environments to a more centralized means to intelligently manage, personalize and control the content across the enterprise. That way, irrelevant and inconsistent messages can be eliminated, making it possible to ensure that messages are consistent, reusable and highly personalized for each customer.
Ultimately, the goal should be to view all customer communications from the customer’s perspective, rather than in the context of the tools used to deliver it. That’s because it is essential to recognize that the tools you are using today and the channels you are communicating in may not be the tools and channels you will be using years or even months from now. Alternatively, if you have a situation where there is more than one tool in place for customer communications, there is no way of telling which one will be most critical to how your communication strategy plays out in the future. However, what you can count on enduring is your content, and you want that to be the right content and to look and feel the same to your customers no matter where in the organization it is coming from. Ultimately, focusing on content-centricity is the best strategy for creating a positive customer experience.
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