Paul Ridge, Banking & Insurance Specialist, SAS UK & Ireland, looks at the state of real-time customer experience in the insurance industry and how analytics can power hyper-personalised customer journeys.
The insurance industry has always been there to cover the risks we face in our daily lives. Yet we’re seeing those risks slowly start to change as the way we live our lives alters. In many cases this is being driven by technology and the internet of things. This also presents an opportunity for the insurance industry. Price comparison and other competitive pressures are driving costs down; new crowdsourced models are emerging and technology is offering more personalised services. Insurers can remain competitive by leveraging this trend to provide value add services to the segment of one.
Enhancing the insurance process with customer experience
SAS’s latest report, ‘The Age of Now’, shows that 34 per cent of UK insurers believe that engaging with customers in real-time can deliver a 5 to 10 per cent increase in revenue. Others are more optimistic – a further 34 per cent believe revenues will increase by 10 to 20 percent.
Insurance providers are taking heed and investing heavily in customer targeting and engagement. The evidence is there. 58 per cent claim they are only ‘months away’ from delivering a personalised service to their customers in ‘real-time’, based on customer behaviour and external data. – closer than any other industry.58% claim they are only months away from delivering personalised service to their customers in #RealTime #Insurance Click To Tweet
Compared to other industries, insurance companies are in prime position to benefit from a more intimate relationship with customers. The industry is a breeding ground for exclusive data with consumers confiding very personal information to insure almost every aspect of their lives. Information on consumer’s credit ratings (71 per cent), the size of their wallet (70 per cent) and media preference (64 per cent) are all combined to deliver tailored policies and premiums that reflect customers lifestyles.
However, we must recognise that there is a significant difference between understanding customer identity and being able to use the information adequately to drive customer intimacy. Over a third (36 per cent) of insurance companies admit they are limited by the data they can use in segmentations. While the data is clearly intrinsic to the business, how they collate and act on that data throws up some question marks.
The insurance ecosystem is both excited about the potential of AI in insurance, and concerned about how far the disruption will go. Read this report by SAS insurance experts on the scale of change ahead.
Data’s intrinsic value to customer experience and real-time engagement
There is a clearly a generational force powering this new trend. Other research shows that a new ‘Data Generation’ has emerged, which view their own personal information as “bargaining chips” to enhance their lives. The insurance industry is one that the Data Generation has shown particular willingness to share their data with, in return for a more flexible and bespoke experience.
For example, one in four would be prepared to have a ‘black box’ fitted to their car. It monitors their driving behaviour and in return they might achieve lower motor insurance premiums. Almost half (41 per cent) feel black boxes provide benefits, such as geo-location services offering cheaper petrol or other special offers while on the road.
As we see the adoption of assistants, such as the Echo from Amazon and other connected home devices also begin to gather pace, insurers are presented with new opportunities. The traditional once-a-year engagement with your insurer could change to one of an ongoing dialogue to ensure you have adequate cover. Having Alexa or another assistant let you know that the new TV you have just allowed them to connect to is not covered by your home insurance policy, could trigger a two-way real-time relationship that ensures you are always protected as your needs change.
Insurance providers need to embrace this willingness to share to capture consumers’ data and use it to deliver bespoke products and services. At the heart of this approach is developing a single, unified environment that brings customer data together and applies analytics to uncover patterns, spot anomalies and predict opportunities in real-time. Only this technology shift can drive this new hyper-personal instant world.