Adopting a more personalised approach to customer engagement and product development present insurers with the opportunity to influence customer loyalty and respond to ever-increasing customer expectations. Nelson Camara, Go-to-market Executive at SilverBridge, believes this is where the ability of insurers to collect, analyse, and activate the right data from the vast amount of it at their disposal will become integral as they strive to differentiate their brand through a better customer experience.
Insurance is evolving, bringing with it an increased focus on customer touchpoints. This is in response to demand for an enhanced customer experience. Being able to analyse customer data and act on the insights in more innovative ways can greatly enhance these interactions and transform the relationship into a more proactive one. This is essential to counter the perceived agility of insurtechs and their focus on customer-centricity.
“Personalisation can make the entire insurance customer journey more relevant and personal to the individual customer. Advanced data analytics is now making it possible for insurers to become more proactive in how they engage with customers. This is resulting in the expansion of customer digital touchpoints. In doing so, customers can share more data, but expect to be ‘rewarded’ in turn. This talks to how people no longer want generic insurance offerings but prefer targeted solutions based on their individual risk profiles. Based on the data they share the insurer can now incorporate this level of personalisation. In doing so, personalised premiums can be delivered not only driven by usage-based coverage but also having more data to analyse,” says Camara.
This brings with it an implicit expectation of getting a more unified and personal experience. Simply focusing on age, wealth, and geographic location is limiting in an environment driven by a myriad of interlinked data entry points. In the past, push notifications and other one-way communications were considered satisfactory. Subsequently, this has evolved with customers wanting a more engaging experience.
“Today, it is about having a deeper understanding of the customers’ needs and desires and providing the product and customer experience to match. This is putting insurers under pressure to continually develop innovative experiences to meet evolving customer expectations,” says Camara.
The shift towards personalisation can also transform the underlying insurance focus towards prevention instead of only making claims easier to do. This is where the data generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices become critical. From telemetry in cars monitoring driving to chips on geysers that can identify when maintenance is due, these can contribute to making insurance more focused on the individual instead generally targeting a broad customer segment.
“Furthermore, this also contributes to gaining an integrated understanding of each individual customer. By collating data from all touch points, the insurer is better able to respond to their expectations. In many respects, this assists with taking the theoretical understanding of the omni-channel and transforms it into a practical one driven by digital insights,” adds Camara.
An example of this can be seen by the approach some insurers like Naked have taken when it comes to vehicle cover. Even prior to the lockdown, customers can pause vehicle cover for the duration they are not driving, reducing their monthly expenses. This has become a significant advantage during this time.
“An insurer can only adopt this pay-as-you-live model if it understands the data at its disposal. More than that, it can provide customised advice and even more tailored pricing based on the risk profile of an individual.”
This agility also brings with it the opportunity to reach the previously uninsurable. For example, Rwanda is seeing micro-insurance companies coming up with a human-centred solution with those unable to access traditional insurance policies.
“At its core is the willingness to understand the precise needs and the daily lives of the people the insurer is serving. With this comes an increased relevance to customers in a more direct way. By emphasising the customer experience, an insurer can get the much-needed competitive advantage required for the digital world,” concludes Camara.