ITL FOCUS: Customer Experience

ITL FOCUS is a monthly initiative featuring topics related to innovation in risk management and insurance.

Customer Experience


For maybe the first 15 years of the personal computer revolution, business and even government leaders talked a lot about the need for computer literacy. We were told that the very competitiveness of our nations depended on educating the populace to prepare for the digital age. Then Steve Jobs came along.

It turned out the problem wasn't our lack of education. The problem was that computers were just too hard to use. Once Jobs and Apple brought the graphical user interface to computers, and once processors became powerful enough to handle the demands of GUIs, the talk of computer literacy faded. Then came the iPad and iPhone, making an intuitive experience available on almost any device. If you asked a teenager to define "computer literacy" today, he or she would likely say, "Hey, Siri...."

The insurance industry is trying hard to move into a "Hey, Siri" phase, as companies focus on drastically improving the customer experience. Companies are finding that they have to reinvent chunks of their businesses to really get the experience right. Yes, they have to focus on the ways that they touch customers, through agents and brokers, through call centers, through adjusters and through an increasingly broad array of electronic means. But a customer doesn't just experience a company through a direct communication. Customers also experience, for instance, how long and painful an underwriting process or a claim is.

And here's the thing: This emphasis on customer experience requires a revolution for companies but merely an evolution for customers. Insurers have to move heaven and earth to add computing power, to deal with new kinds of data, to come up with new analytical models, to design new processes and so on. Consumers just have to add an app or a phone number so they can text a company, have to e-sign documents rather than printing and mailing them, etc. -- and consumers have already been doing these sorts of things with other companies in other industries.

So, customers may understand at some level all the effort that has to go into changing how they experience an insurance company -- but they don't really care.

As you'll see from this month's interview, from the appended articles and from a host of articles throughout the website, lots of noble efforts are underway, and companies are making progress, but improving customer experience is a marathon, not a sprint. Every January, I publish articles about how this is the year that the industry will figure out the customer experience. Then I publish more of those articles the following January... and the January after that. Despite the undeniable progress, I don't expect to stop publishing those pieces any time soon.

- Paul Carroll, ITL's Editor-in-Chief


An Interview with Scott McArthur, CRO, Statflo

We spoke with Scott McArthur, chief revenue officer, Statflo, about the impact of digitization on customer interactions.


3 Tips for Increasing Customer Engagement

Even before the pandemic, insurance customers were moving to digital channels and demanding the kind of smooth experience they get with Google and Amazon. With customers demanding new types of interactions and agencies and companies needing to increase leads in a world that’s gone from face-to-face to zoom, technology doesn’t have to be intimidating.


Key to Better CX: Think Like NTSB

Airlines are rarely held up as exemplars of customer experience, but in one important respect the industry deserves such recognition.


Why CX Must Trump Efficiency

Companies talk about improving customer experience but focus too much on saving money. Customer process automation does both.


Providing a Better Claims Experience

It’s important to consider the communication preferences of five different generations when building a better claims process.


Self-Service Portals Improve CX

81% of companies expect customer experience to be a key battleground. Self-service portals are a great place to start.


3 Ways to Optimize Customer Experience

Even in a heated marketplace, a superior customer contact center can let life insurers grow.


Millennials Demand Modern Experience

To address the life insurance gap among millennials and create more financial security, the industry needs to move quickly.


How to Increase Profits With Connected CX

Fostering connected experiences is vital to meeting customer expectations and succeeding in a technology-centric world.



Get to know this month's FOCUS article authors:

Andi Dominguez

Tina Hammeke

Ian Jeffrey

Renaud Million

Jon Picoult

Thiru Sivasubramanian

Kseniya Yurevich

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Insurance Thought Leadership

Insurance Thought Leadership (ITL) delivers engaging, informative articles from our global network of thought leaders and decision makers. Their insights are transforming the insurance and risk management marketplace through knowledge sharing, big ideas on a wide variety of topics, and lessons learned through real-life applications of innovative technology.

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