The digitisation of claims management has for several years been considered the key asset in standing out on customer satisfaction. However, putting People at the heart of the process is what (truly) makes the difference.
In France, while 8 out of 10 policyholders who have had to file a claim are satisfied with their insurer, just 3 out of 10 say their customer experience has strengthened their relationship with their claims officer. The reason is that offering innovative services isn't enough. The human element is regaining ground and the customer experience is now what counts, to the extent that 76% of consumers prefer to spend money on experiences rather than on material items. This paradigm shift also applies to insurance: more than a product, you need to be able to offer an experience.
To differentiate yourself and create an engaging value chain, beware of the pitfall of a fully digital journey: technology needs to allow you to dedicate more time to certain human aspects of claims management that need to remain human. Below are a few of these.
An empathetic ear
The claim is the very essence of insurance professionals' value proposition. The problem today is that we often forget all of the stress, anxiety and hardship that a claim represents, and human support often falls by the wayside. However, claims handling is a fundamental moment for the customer: it's the culmination of months or even years of premiums invested in an insurance programme, meaning that the customer expects their claims officer to be up to the task. This is when the customer needs to feel advised and listened to, and neither a chatbot nor artificial intelligence will be able to do this as well as you. You need to go beyond technical expertise per se and be fully aware of how the customer feels about the claim situation.
What are their stumbling blocks? What don't they understand? How can we guide them through the claims management process? What can you say to (re)assure them? Much more than a simple list, this approach gives you the means to be proactive, anticipate where the problem lies and inject the right amount of empathy. In practice, you can, for example, as AXA Partners does, ask how the customer is at the time of the claim – are they safe? have they suffered physical injury? – or quickly provide effective and personalised solutions based on the insured event, such as the provision of a courtesy vehicle in the case of an accident. In any event, policyholders expect you to provide appropriate solutions and a real layer of humanity.
A personal broker-policyholder relationship
Humans are social animals who need to create bonds and build personal and lasting relationships. This is especially true for relationships where there is asymmetry in access to information and people put their trust in an expert. This also applies to the insurance world: customers need to trust their manager in the same way as they trust their GP or dentist. Personalising relations with your policyholders is therefore a fundamental element of your claims management. It's important to successfully create a climate of trust and a certain connection, which will be drivers for growing customer loyalty, especially given that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their specific needs. Policyholders need to feel unique and valued, and understand that behind the technology is a flesh-and-blood claims officer dedicated to their case. This means no more going back and forth with the customer because you can't find a policy number or you have doubts about their identity.
Communicate less, but communicate better. This could be your mantra when it comes to personalisation, because the aim is to focus on the added value you can bring to the various interactions with your customers: what could be more satisfying for a policyholder than having an officer who knows all about their claim? What could be better than having continuity of communication with a dedicated account manager, rather than having to deal with multiple different contacts? What could be nicer than not having to repeat your customer references for the umpteenth time when your call is answered?
It's a fact: the more care you take in personalising the relationship, the more credibility, efficiency and customer satisfaction you'll gain. The claim will be easier to handle, you'll have a better understanding of your policyholder's profile and you'll make the right decisions.
To achieve this, you can rely on automation, which allows you to offload a whole range of tasks for which humans aren't needed – such as checking premiums and limits or analysing identity documents – and save precious time that can be reinvested in this personalisation work.
Who's in charge of my case? What's the status of the claim? What's happening with the payment? As an Insurtech Insights report reminds us, customers want to follow the progress of their claim step by step. Hunting for information and a lack of visibility are major points of frustration or even disruption: policyholders no longer want to navigate by sight and expect their manager to be proactive and transparent in following up the claim, with the help of clear and intuitive tools, paired with a process of regular communication from the claims officer.
This is one of today's major challenges, especially when it comes to payment: some customers sometimes go a long time without having any idea of the amount of their payout or when it will be provided. Conversely, by anticipating customers' questions, they won't just be better informed but also pleasantly surprised by the importance you place on the emotional aspect of the claim.
Technology is a medium but not an end in itself. Its role is to provide you with the tools that enable you to stop wasting time on repetitive and time-consuming tasks and focus on what differentiates you from machines: empathy, discernment and collaboration. In this way, you make claims handling a people-centred experience, and your customers are your priority.
With Seyna Claims, create and deploy human and personalised claims experiences for your customers in under two weeks, in which your employees are the heroes. Discover Seyna Claims.