Have you ever experienced your company's claims process? This would be a great exercise for many executives.
Point 1 – Realize that the claims process is a customer experience.
Have you ever gone through the claims process for a life insurance policy? As a former adviser, I have helped people navigate the claims process for many companies, and none was a great customer experience. Most of the time, we were having to send in documents multiple times and hold multiple phone conversations to get clarification of what is needed. There seemed to be a constant “ping pong” approach to the entire communication process. For beneficiaries, this is frustrating, to say the least. Confidence in the carrier decreases, and the adviser in many cases is stuck in the middle, apologizing for the terrible process while trying to save or increase the confidence level about the carrier. Have you ever tried to offer that same carrier’s products and services to the beneficiary as part of a new financial plan? That’s a whole different discussion. However, I can say the lousy process puts the adviser in a tough spot. The beneficiary will ask, “Why are you offering me a product for my plan from a carrier that has a terrible process? I don’t want my beneficiary to go through a process like that.” This is a fair question….
Point 2 – Put yourself in the claimant’s shoes.
Think about it. The claimant is going through your process during a time of grief, hardship and huge loss. Your process should not add to the stress. Your process should be easy. It should work to deliver a little happiness for them during this time. You want your beneficiaries to tell stories to their friends, family or other loved ones about how seamless your process was. Ask your marketing folks how valuable that is for your brand….
See also: 3 Techs to Personalize Claims Processing
Point 3 – Ask a group of newer employees for feedback on your process.
We get the opportunity to speak at events across the country about innovation and digital transformation within the insurance industry and about how our company, Benekiva, has accomplished this. We often get asked, “How can a carrier be more innovative?” My response is usually a question: Who is on your innovative team today? Having an employee work at a company for many years is a double-edged sword. Don’t get me wrong, these long-term employees offer extreme value to your organization. However, some get stuck in the “that’s the way we have always done it” mentality. I would challenge companies to have some of their newer employees be part of the company’s innovation initiatives. Better yet, allow some folks on this team that don’t have any experience in your industry! You might be amazed at the innovation that can occur when people from outside the industry are allowed to give constructive feedback.
Point 3.5 – Meet your customers where they are.
This is an easy one. You need to have a claims process that can be completed from a person’s smart phone, tablet or computer. And give customers all of the options, not just the ones YOU like…
There shouldn’t be anything within your process that requires a person to have the thought, “really, why can’t I do this process from my phone?”
See also: How IOT Will Change Claims Process
Here is a challenge
– Have you ever experienced your company's claims process? This would be a great exercise for many executives. The trick is to NOT stage this experience. Be completely anonymous, and go through your company's process. Go through the process on multiple devices. Have a millennial go through the process.
Be completely honest with yourself and ask those you send through this exercise to ask themselves – does this process suck? If the answer is yes at any point in your process, you need a better process….