In todays’ world, omni-channel communication strategy is of utmost importance for insurers. The question is ‘what’ is it and ‘why’ is it so important for the insurance sector? The omni-channel strategy of communication enables life insurers to provide a seamless yet integrated experience to all users’ right across the value chain. This would start from the engagement stage to the claims stage. Both external and internal users can use different mediums like Contact Center, Digital (desktop, mobile, tablet), and Face to Face (branch), for deriving value through seamless and smooth customer experiences.
Customer expectations are ever growing, and significant cost advantages are leading organizations in the insurance sector to implement omni-channel capabilities. Amidst this digital communication transformation, customers may ask for a text message for one kind and a detailed mail for another type of information. These are the precise reasons why an omni-channel strategy is a must have; to effectively reach customers through their preferred channel and make sure that expectations are met on time. Here are some of the most important reasons why omni-channel communication is of utmost importance in the insurance sector:
- This strategy improves customer engagement to a great extent. A well- designed channel of communication and interaction bridges gaps between the insurers and customers thereby making them come closer. This is only made possible if there is consistency and clarity in messaging when it comes to claims handling processes, information about various product offerings and specific coverage needs. This kind of personalization improves the customer retention rate.
- Omni-channel experience is a must for meeting both short term and long term goals in terms of customer satisfaction that would eventually lead to long-term loyalty. Besides increasing customer satisfaction and improving distribution relationships, it enables brokers and advisors to have a seamless experience with the insurer through the value chain. Modern communication systems are reliable and secured, coupled with IT enterprise solutions that enables access to legacy data and transforms it into newer forms of communication. Once the customer feels a certain comfort level, he becomes loyal to the insurer thereby allowing the organization to meet long term goals and build the much-needed distribution network.
- Implementation of an omni-channel ecosystem is not easy and requires thorough strategizing. This strategy includes coordinated efforts from the stakeholders in the organization for achieving a customer centric, cohesive, and multi-platform experience. Life insurers need to invest in flexible tools for servicing in all the relevant channels like mobile, online, and social media. Insurance companies need to use the omni-channel communication strategy to engage customers with the right message at the right time. Based on customer preferences, insurance companies provide digital correspondence that delivers attractive charts and pictorial descriptions of the customer’s insurance information.
Setting up the channels and rolling it into action requires a lot of careful thought since omni-channel communication is critical for the insurance sector.
Here are some of the steps that organizations should take to set the strategy into motion:
- Disrupting the existing ways- Transformation always requires a path breaking idea or advice to disrupt the typical way of doing business. For setting up an omni-channel communication with customers, stakeholders need to collaborate for driving better and new experiences. Siloes need to be broken so that communication channels are set free. The shift should be more towards operational agility, organizational commitment, and top-down leadership. The strategy should be a mix of technology infrastructure, a complete view of customer travel points from quoting, binding, onboarding and claims handling.
- Selecting and adopting the right technology- Customers expect an omni-channel mode which is a concoction of email and web impressions, but the challenge is to ensure consistent experience that reinforces messaging across all channels. It is important to apply the required tools for achieving ease while managing unified customer communications across multiple channels. The solution should be such that it allows centralized content besides messaging management for connecting all content, rules etc., across all the channels. A single platform will reduce the number of document templates being created, generate output and also ensure consistency. Marketers would directly manage all content- print or digital.
- Correct focus- All insurance organizations have a plethora of communications that is sent to customers, from statements to letters to policy contracts. But communication with customers can be only improved through engagement and personalization.
Implementation of an omni-channel environment is a continuous process that never ends. With the advancement of technology, strategies for maintaining omni-channel communication need to be upgraded to keep up with the pace. A slow but steady start with a timeframe will give customers the correct message that the organization is committed to them and would meet the expectations set by the customers. The omni-channel communication strategy is not the end but the beginning to keeping customers engaged, serviced properly and communicated perfectly.
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