28 February 2014News

Customer service and technology the keys to competitiveness

Strong customer service and a well-developed digital presence are vital to increasing top-lines, according to Capgemini and Efma’s World Insurance Report 2014.

US, South African and Dutch insurers currently top the customer satisfaction charts, according the report, which found that 51 percent of US customers reported positive dealings with their insurer. With a clear link between improved levels of positive experience and customer behaviour leading to greater profitability the regions at the bottom of the scale—Hong Kong, South Korea and Russia—could be missing valuable opportunities to “turn ordinary customers into advocates”.

The report reads: “though difficult to deliver, positive customer experience has become an increasingly important success factor in the commoditised, price-competitive insurance industry. The results of this year’s index indicate that insurance companies are steadily improving the experiences they provide customers.”

Across all regions, mobile phone channels were found to have the heightened impact on profitable consumer behaviours, making the development of a viable mobile platform “imperative”.

The report also noted movement away from traditional channels in favour of online access. The authors write: “once an ancillary channel, the internet-PC is now ranked higher in importance by customers than a number of traditional channels.”

North America exhibits the highest level of online maturity, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe. Capabilities lag in online claims servicing, highlighting an area that needs attention.

The report reads: “competing effectively in the future will demand an intense focus on improving digital connections with customers. Only by embracing digital will insurers be able to boost their top-line growth.”