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It’s vital that insurers have a single view of customer communication: Here’s why

By Mia Papanicalou, COO, Striata 

Few industries have as much information about their customers as the insurance industry does. Despite that, it’s often been behind when it comes to using that information to send out communications that are relevant and useful to customers.

But in a world where consumers can change insurers within minutes and without a lot of fuss, it is no longer feasible to operate without an ambitious customer communication strategy.

In order to remain competitive and retain customers, insurers need to have a single view of all customer communication. By taking this approach, they can understand the touch-points, identify the gaps and provide communications that are highly relevant, more human, and more connected.

 

Understanding a single view of customer communication

In order to understand why a single view of customer communication is so important, particularly in the insurance industry, it’s vital to understand how it’s different from a single view of the customer.

According to Brandwatch, “a single customer view is an aggregation of all data an organization has on a particular customer, presented to give a clear overview of them and their specific data.”

single view of customer communication, meanwhile, means having overarching visibility of all the messages sent from the organization, as well as the aggregation of data about the communication it has sent to that customer.

 

Reaching customers at multiple touchpoints

To achieve a single view of customer communication, an understanding of the various touchpoints, journeys, and life cycles their customers go through is needed.

Historically, these have been extremely limited in the insurance industry. Within the last couple of years, more than 90% of insurers worldwide did not communicate with their customers even once a year, with many customers not receiving a single communication all year. Of those interactions, many were limited to claims and related advice.

More recently, however, insurers have caught up to the fact that they need to provide the same levels of communication and interaction as their customers are used to from other industries.

 

Using built-in advantages 

No one wants to receive multiple communications from an organization that all look and feel different, least of all their insurer. People spend a lot of money with their insurers every year and need to feel confident that their best interests are taken into account. It’s incredibly difficult to cultivate that sense of confidence and security if there is a fractured communication experience.

In fact, insurers could do better than other industries. Leveraged effectively and combined with the right technology, they can use the vast amounts of data they have on hand to deliver hyper-personalized communication that is timely, relevant and useful.

Moreover, they can use these same tools to ensure that their various departments are not siloed when it comes to sending out customer communications.

Admittedly, it’s not always easy integrating disparate systems and platforms to create a single view of customer communication. It’s particularly hard when data sources reside in different systems, messages are sent via different platforms and managed by separate departments. It is therefore vital that the CX technology stack and teams managing messaging all work toward a goal of a single view of customer communication.

It’s hard to innovate off platforms built decades ago. A different approach and thinking is needed. Messaging needs to be more personal and meaningful. This is the way to retain customers.

Mia Papanicolaou heads up the North, Central and South American operations, providing strategy and direction for both internal teams and clients alike. Papanicolaou is a regular speaker on digital customer communication and improving the customer experience. She started her career in South Africa in the media sector before moving to the electronic messaging space, where she served as business director for email marketing eMessageX. She joined Striata in 2006 as Head of Email Marketing. Papanicolaou moved to the UK as Head of Operations in 2010, whereafter she moved to the US in 2013 to take up the post of General Manager of the US region. 

This article was first published by FinanceDerivative in June 2020. 

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