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July 17, 2015

How to Captivate Customers (Part 2)

Summary:

It is getting harder to captivate customers -- or even to please them -- because Amazon, Google, et al. have set the bar for service so high.

Photo Courtesy of Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone

ITL Editor-in-Chief Paul Carroll recently hosted a webinar on “Captivating Customers With All-Channel Experiences,” featuring experts from Capgemini and Salesforce.com and the former chief customer experience officer at AIG. To view or listen to the webinar, click here. For the slides, click here.

The insurance industry is getting “Amazoned.”

The term dates back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, as the online retailer’s friendly interface, including the ability to buy with one click, made consumers wonder why their experiences with other companies were so much more cumbersome. Retailers were the first to suffer by comparison, but customers have become increasingly demanding of companies in all industries.

Now, the insurance industry faces similar comparisons with disruptors outside of the insurance industry. Consider the questions today’s policyholders are raising:

  • “Why can’t I know the status of my claim the way Fedex tracks packages in real time?”
  • “Why can’t I get help interactively in the same way I collaborate on Facebook?”
  • “Why can’t I search and compare products like the way I answer questions on Google?”
  • “Why can’t my experience be as speedy and personalized as hailing a limo on Uber?”

Insurance companies can no longer just incrementally do better than they have in the past and hope to please customers, let alone captivate customers. Simply outdoing immediate competitors is not enough. Insurers now must find ways to satisfy – even delight – customers who have been conditioned for years to demand stellar service.

Customers now insist that every person and every computer system they deal with have full knowledge of them and of all previous interactions regardless of channel, whether it be an employee, agent, self-service portal, mobile app or contact center. Customers want to initiate a request for a quote and pick the request up at any time later, basically in mid-sentence, after doing some online research, conferring with friends and family or just grabbing a cup of coffee.

The words to keep in mind in dealing with today’s customers are:

–Fluid and intuitive (seamlessly engage and make the transition from channel to channel or any device, know what the customer may be interested in or needs before he gets there)

–Effortless (once and done; i.e., entering information once and never again)

–Efficient (especially when processing a claim)

–Personalized (know who I am when I call in and what I’ve done. I called yesterday, so acknowledge my journey in your world and help advise me)

The bar will keep being raised, as Amazon and others keep showing what’s possible, but delivering on those four terms will do an awful lot to delight customers for the foreseeable future.

This is the second in a series of four articles adapted from the Capgemini white paper “Cloud-Enabled Transformation in Insurance: Accelerating the Ability to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences.” The first article is here. For the full white paper, click here.

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About the Author

Jeff To is the insurance leader for Salesforce. He has led strategic innovation projects in insurance as part of Salesforce’s Ignite program. Before that, To was a Lean Six Sigma black belt leading process transformation and software projects for IBM and PwC’s financial services vertical.

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About the Author

Bhuvan Thakur is a vice president within the Enterprise Cloud Services business for Capgemini in North America, UK and Asia-Pacific. Thakur has more than 18 years of consulting experience, primarily in the customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience domain.

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