Four outcomes that every insurance company wants in 2021, with RingCentral
The insurance sector is a rapidly-transforming area of the wider financial industry, which is itself undergoing rapid change thanks to technology. The larger established insurance players find their market share being reduced by digital-native start-ups, whose disruptive tactics are forcing even the industry stalwarts to reassess their digital priorities.
By astute use of the correct technology, insurance specialists of any description and size can achieve desired outcomes. That means the long-established institutions can compete alongside the newcomers by changing the way they perhaps regard the digital space and look to the latest trends to learn what’s possible. Conversely, the startup can steal market share from companies whose names have shaped history over hundreds of years.
And while implementing the right digital strategies will not single-handedly change the mindsets of decision-makers, the following desired outcomes are undoubtedly achievable.
In this article, we will outline what we feel insurers today are seeking. Then, we will break each goal down into how it is achieved, proposing the platforms and solutions that will allow forward-thinking companies to hit their goals and accomplish those desired outcomes.
Before we begin, we have to admit that we have cheated a little! While the title of this piece refers to four desired outcomes, we’ve listed eight — two per category. With particular software and hardware, companies can kill two birds with one stone (or eight birds with four stones?).
Outcome one: greater customer satisfaction and less customer churn
With digital, companies can engage with their customers more regularly, more cheaply and across multiple channels. An increased number of touchpoints keeps the customer and the insurance provider more engaged with each other over time, producing brand loyalty, a happier customer and fewer disgruntled service-users that will look to the competition for a better experience at critical times – such as a policy renewal or change in life circumstance.
More touchpoints come from the use of, and a choice between, multiple channels. RingCentral Engage Digital lets companies use a range of channels, including email, live-chat and Facebook Messenger, to name but a few. Offering choice and flexibility allows customers to engage on their preferred terms, via their favoured methods.
Additionally, call deflection can move those customers that are happy with the concept from voice to text-based channels, helping alleviate strain on customer care agents, or provide vital services for out-of-hours needs. Provision of the same levels of care, regardless of medium, mode of communication, or time of day is critical to maintaining low levels of churn.
Outcome two: genuinely personalised service and proactive communications
Both of these pillars of customer satisfaction come from the insurer having access to complete customer history, drawn from across the enterprise’s data repositories.In today’s multi-system environment, the challenge is to draw all the available information into the communications platform, a challenge which too few insurers are taking up. The 2020 World Insurance Report tells us, “Only about 35% of insurance executives said they empower their agents with digital tools that offer a heads-up about policyholder life events.”
Thankfully, RingCentral’s engineers have built their solutions to be fully interoperable with the types of technology already in play in many businesses. The platform integrates with company-wide ERP solutions, marketing communications platforms, call centre systems, CRM software and much more besides. Access to these valuable sources of information means that messages can easily be personalised thanks to access to each customer’s history, and companies can proactively interact with individual customers, addressing their needs according to what’s happening to them today, their expressed preferences and previous behaviours.
Outcome three: compete with disruptors and traditional financial institutions alike
For a company that needs to be offering better services, more innovative products and a more pleasant experience (often at times of great stress for customers), it’s the use of the technology that holds the keys here. The RingCentral stack was created for the types of communication that are the everyday currency of today’s consumers and businesses — typically a scenario-dependent mixture of digital and “traditional.”
So all-pervasive are digital interactions in everyday life that it should come as no surprise that 36% of people would consider purchasing insurance from the tech giants like Amazon or Google.
Suppose an established institution steeped in history needs to compete and beat off competition from small, startup disruptors and those newcomers to the market that may already be household names. In that case, using smarter tech than the rest of the market is the foundation on which innovation and imagination can build. RingCentral’s clients include some of the world’s biggest and most successful companies.
Many organisations are leveraging the very latest to drive their business profile in ways that differentiate them from their competitors. AXA Switzerland is just the type of company that successfully embraced new digital channels to better engage with customers
Outcome four: engage with the digital-native and the digitally-averse
No company wants to differentiate between its customers for seemingly no reason. Yet many do: digital-first disruptors are keen to avoid baby-boomers and their “old-fashioned” reliance on phone calls or paper letters. Conversely, centuries-old companies have been slow to use the latest digital channels and are in danger of losing new, younger customers. Insurers have to ask themselves why they might be using methods that exclude valuable sectors or demographics? With RingCentral and its comprehensive omnichannel options, brokers, sellers or intermediaries can move seamlessly from email, SMS and Messenger apps with no change in business processes.
Critically, choice of communications channel is a significant part of the customer experience. People that prefer sending emails to make a detailed enquiry can do so, while those happier with messaging apps also have their preferences honoured. The same World Insurance paper says, “Among the Generation Z, 76% of customers prefer to use [a] company’s mobile app to purchase insurance.” On the RingCentral Digital Engage platform, the emphasis is on the customer’s personalised experience, and no exclusion of any market with too much or too little digital fluency.
Customers in the market for insurance increasingly know that competitors are only a screen tap or mouse click away. Therefore, establishing a personal relationship with each one is the key to reducing customer churn and turning happy customers into loyal brand advocates. After all, the old adage holds for the policy-holder: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Satisfied customers are more likely to stick around and are more receptive to new products and offers, especially when those offerings are sensitive to context and the individual’s expressed preferences.
The software that underpins a first-rate customer service goes a long way to ensuring that this level of experience is the norm, not the exception. To find out more, speak to a local representative from RingCentral today to discuss how you can achieve the outcomes you need.