--Nearly 90% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, but 60% of insurance executives acknowledge that their company is lacking on customer experience strategy. Taking even one of the following seven steps will help.
According to The State of the Connected Customer, nearly 90% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.
Customer experience comes up as a stated priority across the insurance sector’s C-suites. Yet, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value report, "Elevating the Insurance Customer Experience," 60% of insurance executives acknowledge that their company is lacking strategically.
Like it or not, household name brands such as Amazon and Apple have set CX standards that customers apply to every sector, even insurance. To deliver against these high (and likely increasing) expectations, insurance executives must start by:
- Committing to operational and cultural transformation,
- Establishing their customer experience North Star, and
- Doing the hard work to align the organization mindset, behaviors, metrics and ways of working so everyone understands and acts in support of progress toward the CX North Star.
To help build momentum, here are seven proven practices for the change makers in your organization who have taken on the hard and harder tasks of transforming the customer experience.
1. Don’t let efficiency trump humanity when defining and designing CX improvements.
Show the organization why demonstrating empathy in your relationships with customers does not need to be a tradeoff against efficiency. In today’s market, leaders demonstrate empathy so they can deliver financial targets.
2. From now on, start every meeting with a customer story.
Institutionalize this one new behavior across the entire organization, and bring the customer to every employee function, whether participants are directly customer-facing or not. All employees' decisions and actions come back to affect the customer experience with your brand.
See also: Customer Experience Leaders Widen Edge
3. Build influence skills because, guaranteed, the CX team is unlikely to control the required resources.
Small team? Lack role clarity? Build an “army of the willing” by partnering with people across the organization whose goals are aligned with what you see as the CX priorities.
4. Approach transformation as the accumulation of experiments, pilots and other small steps that inspire action and trigger momentum.
The path to scale starts with:
- Constructing a compelling problem statement
- Creating a North Star ambition – not a slogan, but a meaningful ambition along with essential “how’s” of execution, e.g., proven CX design and delivery practices,
- Validating the North Star in pilots and other well-defined experiments,
- Engaging growth-mindset people to make the pilots happen, and
- Ensuring expert facilitation that can introduce the team to new ways of working and stretch their critical thinking capabilities.
5. Accelerate your ability to establish standards – for practices, measurement, skills and competencies and knowledge transfer.
Put in place a governance structure that takes advantage of best practices and fits for your organization’s culture and CX maturity level.
6. Take steps to link CX to financial, efficiency and other operating model goals, especially to the priorities of the executives who hold the most power.
The first steps: (1) assign the right expertise – in financial analysis, customer data analytics, customer insights, data integrity and privacy – to connect the dots between customer behavior and business results, and (2) prioritize CX improvements that have the potential to move the metrics most near and dear to the hearts of your business’ "power brokers."
See also: Tips for Improving Customer Experience
7. Keep asking questions and invest in defining the problem(s) you are trying to solve.
Albert Einstein is quoted famously as having said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
While none of us is likely the next Albert Einstein, any of us can emulate his approach by investing the time and thought, collaboratively, to develop high-impact problem statements.
Which of these actions will you apply now?
Take on just one, and you will see improvement.