Becoming a more customer-centric insurer isn’t simply a matter of finding the right technology, according to a recent PwC report, which asserts that inadequate governance explains why carriers currently send mixed messages to confused customers.
The white paper, titled “From solos to symphony: How insurers can harmonize customer communications,” begins by describing the mounting frustrations of a fictional couple with a bundled package of home, auto and life insurance policies. Initially pleased with the discounted offering, the couple ultimately decides to switch carriers after being pummeled with a barrage of calls and promotional flyers for coverages they already had—and three separate monthly bills, even after signing up for paperless billing.
“Thinking about the apparent lack of coordination among the company’s different departments, they began to worry what would happen if they ever needed to make a claim,” the report says, explaining the decision to move coverage.
The fictionalized account is “by no means atypical” for property/casualty insurers, the report says, noting that P/C carriers are taking steps to become more customer-centric with their communications.
So what is the fix to marketing and messaging gone awry?
Creating “an enterprise-wide governance framework that coordinates and sets rules for the creation, use, management and distribution of content across business functions and channels” comes first, the report says.
Importantly, this means individual departments have to put corporate objectives ahead of departmental goals.
The report details specific steps for creating a governance framework to coordinate both regulated content (bills or policy statements) and unregulated content (marketing materials). One step is setting up a centralized governing body to enforce communications rules across all functions.
Rules would address frequency, prioritization and consolidation of customer communications, the report says, providing a specific example of a rule that might suppress mailings of marketing material to customers who have filed claims.
The goal is out of place with the systems for communications that carriers have now, the report reveals, going on to recommend that carriers invest in content management technology.
“At most carriers, employees use desktop word processing tools to create communications rather than entering the information into a content management system that requires authors to ‘structure’ the communication into defined fields (such as header, subject, greeting or closing)…
“In addition, disparate platforms gather massive amounts of data (such as information from customer interactions, social media and third parties) to gain insights into customer behavior. However, these platforms are rarely connected,” the report says.
The report sets forth a list of recommended technology capabilities to look for as they investigate content management systems. Among other capabilities, the report lists:
• Effective content organization through federated search and library functions, taxonomies and metadata.
Federated search functions make it easier to find content stored on other departments’ servers. Library functions, such as check-out/check-in, help ensure version control and leave an audit trail.
Metadata and taxonomies make content more useful and searchable.
• Customer insight and personalization through interaction and event logs.
An interaction log, for example, maintains a record of all communications sent, creating a “single view” for each customer.
Other recommended features include reusability of content across channels through structured, topic-based authoring and the ability to capture customer engagement analytics.
“Structured authoring gives authors the power to ‘create once, publish everywhere’ while maintaining a single source document or image,” the report says.
As for analytics, the report says that methods of measuring engagement can include: multivariate testing for web channels; click and bounce rates for emails; clicks, likes and re-tweets for social media; and response rates for direct mail.