Why This Case Study Is Relevant
It demonstrates how optimizing the customer experience helps insurance companies acquire, retain and sell more products to policyholders.
Like most companies, an insurance provider’s ability to manage churn will dictate whether they will grow year over year. Customer attrition is inevitable, so providers need to have a plan that will allow them to attract more customers and cross-sell.
When we began working with this insurance client, they were saddled with legacy systems that made it difficult to understand who their most profitable policyholders were, and it was impossible to personalize their communications by policy type, length of relationship, etc. Communications were highly transactional: policy documents, billing and renewal notices; they did little to reinforce the value of being a policyholder. When policyholders reached out to our client, interactions were inconsistent. Policies could only be purchased through an agent. Agents had varying approaches for finding new prospects, presenting insurance options to customers and onboarding.
Agents are critical to insurance companies. They are trusted advisers and experts who help policyholders find the best insurance options. They are the first line of contact when policyholders have questions. According to our qualitative research, agents were perceived as having policyholders’ best interests at heart, and insurance companies were viewed as a necessary evil. If insurance companies want to retain policyholders or potentially introduce alternative methods of selling policies, e.g., direct, the carrier needs to develop a relationship with its policyholders beyond simply providing insurance documents.
Catalyst used customer journey mapping and customer data segmentation to identify the ideal customer experience for our client. Our goal was to reduce churn and grow annualized premium. The map identified several gaps in the customer communication process and highlighted opportunities to improve acquisition and retention programs. Based on these opportunities, we recommended:
- Customizing communications based on customer segment
- Enhancing the claims experience by clearly articulating timing, next steps and status
- Developing customer communications that would support the claims process, eliminate confusion and include online access to customers’ claims status
- Introducing a customer data-driven cross-sell program
- Developing a referral program to grow policyholder base
- Establishing a modeled approach to acquisition efforts
- Building an agent support program to help grow their business. The program would supply agents with qualified leads; e.g., policyholders who could benefit from bundling, new product introductions and other referrals