Why InsurTechs need to focus on the customer experience

In today's business landscape, prioritising the customer experience (CX) has become a ubiquitous concern across all industries. In the InsurTech realm, competition is intensifying, and insurance providers are increasingly recognising the pivotal role of the CX in attracting and retaining clients. FinTech Global sat down with a pair of industry experts to dissect this phenomenon. 

In today’s business landscape, prioritising the customer experience (CX) has become a ubiquitous concern across all industries. In the InsurTech realm, competition is intensifying, and insurance providers are increasingly recognising the pivotal role of the CX in attracting and retaining clients. FinTech Global recently sat down with a pair of industry experts to dissect this phenomenon. 

Customer experience in insurance refers to the entirety of interactions and touchpoints between policyholders and insurers. It encompasses every phase of the customer lifecycle, from initial research and policy purchase to claims processing and ongoing support. A robust CX strategy evaluates each of these touchpoints, identifying opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Technology plays a crucial role in shaping the new era of CX in insurance. InsurTech innovations are revolutionising the way insurers engage with customers, offering seamless digital experiences and personalised solutions. 

One key area that can boost the customer experience is that of automation. By doing so firms can cut down wait times tenfold, boosting profitability, and slashing customer withdrawal rates dramatically. 

Efrat Marmur, VP Marketing at Air Doctor, a start-up which connects travellers to private doctors worldwide, delved into how the automation of processes has assisted them. 

“As an InsurTech with an innovative digital solution, we have successfully developed a service offering that’s provided significant demonstrated cost-savings to our partners, with an average of 48% demonstrated cost-savings on outpatient claims costs. 

“But the Air Doctor solution goes beyond mere efficiency gains; it is designed to be cashless and claimless, eliminating out-of-pocket expenses and lengthy claims processes for users. Instead, users experience a fully digital and seamless journey, from seeking medical assistance to resolving claims. This not only streamlines operations for our partners but also significantly enhances the overall customer experience by removing traditional pain points associated with insurance and assistance processes,” she said. 

Is simplicity the key? 

From user-friendly mobile apps to AI-driven chatbots, simplicity, and ease of use has become a major priority for customers – and InsurTechs now have to adapt, or risk being left behind in a concentrated market. 

Air Doctor’s Marmur explained how having a user-friendly product is now more important than ever. 

She stated, “A user-friendly digital interface is absolutely critical in retaining customers. While a clunky app is a one-way ticket to customer churn. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about empowering customers to manage their healthcare easily, anytime, anywhere. 

“At Air Doctor, we’ve found that simplicity and ease of use are key drivers in customer satisfaction. Our app ensures a seamless experience, allowing travellers (young and old) to connect with doctors effortlessly, regardless of their location. 

“A straightforward interface is not just a convenience; it’s a fundamental part of our commitment to providing accessible healthcare globally,” she added.  

Yifat Ben Yehuda, VP of Product at Air Doctor, echoed the belief of her colleague, expressing that simplicity and an urge for constant improvement is the key for customer retention. 

“We don’t believe in tech that confuses. Our platform is designed with simplicity in mind. We use clear language and intuitive navigation to ensure everyone can find and book an appointment with a doctor when they’re in need, regardless of tech savviness,” she explained. 

“To ensure a seamless and user-friendly experience through our app, we continuously invest in user testing and feedback. Regular updates address user pain points and introduce new features based on customer preferences. This iterative approach ensures that our platform evolves in alignment with user expectations and needs,” continued Ben Yehuda. 

This feeling is backed up in research too. According to a report from brand strategy and design firm Siegel+Gale, the impact of the pandemic has ingrained in people a preference for simplicity and a willingness to invest more in streamlined experiences. 

The report highlighted that 57% of individuals are now willing to pay a premium for simpler experiences. Moreover, 76% are more inclined to recommend brands that prioritise simplicity, a notable increase from 64% in 2018. Remarkably, stocks of brands identified as the world’s simplest by the company have significantly outperformed the major indexes, demonstrating a remarkable 1,600% increase since 2009. 

While this isn’t specific to InsurTechs, the general consumer trend is clear to see across all domains. 

Personalisation is paramount 

Insurance addresses some of the most intimate aspects of an individual’s life journey, spanning from acquiring their initial car to purchasing their first home, and safeguarding their family’s well-being and health. Consequently, there’s a distinct requirement for insurance to be a personalised service, whether it pertains to tailoring coverage or providing responsive assistance with inquiries. 

The insurance sector has traditionally excelled in offering tailored solutions to its clientele. However, customisable quotes and products only scratch the surface, in fact, offering a tailored holistic customer experience is now the goal that all the firm’s operating in the sector now have to aspire toward. 

Based on research by Accenture, 80% of consumers express willingness to share their data in exchange for various personalised advantages. With figures like this, it is clear to see why a bespoke experience is now – more than ever before – needed to retain customers. 

Air Doctor’s Ben Yehuda explained how their product is designed to do just that, stating, “We’re not about one-size-fits-all. Air Doctor works closely with our partners to personalise the experience for each customer. 

“By collaborating closely with travel and insurance partners, we can integrate our offering seamlessly into their platforms, and ensure we tailor our services to their customer needs. 

“Our solution is like Lego blocks; each partner selects the relevant part they want to configure and implement into their offering. This way our partners can customise how our services align with their policies, ensuring a cohesive and complementary healthcare solution for their policyholders. 

In addition, within the Air Doctor app, users have the flexibility to personalise their search and filter results based on their specific needs and preferences. For instance, travellers can set language preferences, filter doctors based on specialties and more. This level of personalisation empowers users to find healthcare solutions that align with their unique requirements, further enhancing the relevance and value of our services within the broader context of our partners’ offerings,” she explained.  

What is the future of CX? 

According to research by Sutherland, by the year 2030, businesses will conduct comprehensive analyses of all customer interactions to extract valuable insights, including contextual and emotional cues that may not be explicitly expressed by customers but can be detected and interpreted through real-time sentiment analysis. 

These insights will be integrated with other customer data such as demographic information and previous purchasing behaviour, employing a combination of predictive and prescriptive analytics techniques. 

As per the aforementioned report, in ten years’ time, the conventional practice of agents waiting to address customer inquiries will become obsolete. Instead, proactive outbound contact will become standard procedure. 

Harnessing machine learning capabilities at remarkable speed, brands will promptly identify emerging issues and swiftly deliver precise solutions. This will be facilitated by real-time digital engineering, seamlessly integrating omnichannel intelligence, content moderation, and customer care to provide a cohesive and efficient customer experience. 

With these steep expectations, companies that are not already prioritising the implementation of AI and other tools to bolster the customer experience, risk becoming completely obsolete as we look ahead to the next decade.    

While these visions are lofty, companies with boots on the ground, and in the field are feeling similarly about the future of the industry, as Air Doctor’s Ben Yehuda cast an eye to the future regarding CX. 

She said, “The future is about personalisation, customer experiences, and using tools like AI to stay one step ahead. We envision a world where insurance adapts to individual needs, anticipates health concerns, and provides support wherever, whenever it’s needed. It’s vital that user interactions with our service feel like real-life conversations with their doctors. At Air Doctor, we’re building that future, one doctor-patient connection at a time.” 

The future of CX is seemingly brimming with potential for further innovation and advancement. With ambitious targets firmly in the mind’s eye of industry experts, the field is poised to enter a new era. An era where the customer experience is of a much greater standard than ever before, which is exactly why InsurTechs now have to focus on the customer experience. 

Copyright © 2024 InsurTech Analyst

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