6 customer satisfaction drivers in insurance claims
The claims process is one of the most significant interactions an insurance provider can have with a customer. When customers experience a claim event, often they feel vulnerable and in need of support.
If the insurance provider makes them feel supported during that vulnerable time, there’s a good chance that they’ll stay long term, and even purchase additional services. One study showed that 18% of home owners and 15% of renters renewed with the same home insurance provider because of a good claims experience. Another study showed that 90% of highly-satisfied claimants said they would definitely renew their homeowner’s policy and would also recommend their insurer.
It goes both ways as well. When customers aren’t satisfied with the claims process, it’s likely to impact the way they perceive their insurance provider overall. According to an Accenture study, among customers dissatisfied with the claims process, 26% said they changed providers and 48% are considering changing providers.
What drives customer satisfaction?
So there’s no question that it’s important to keep customers satisfied in the claims process. But what does that mean? What factors influence customers’ satisfaction during the claims process?
We’ve put together a list of the key factors that drive customer satisfaction in the insurance claims process.
1. Personal touch
There’s nothing that annoys customers more than a customer service representative with a bad attitude. Even if the rep gets the job done, the customer is likely to come out of the process feeling frustrated and with a negative attitude toward the provider. In fact, a Harvard Business Review reports that companies with highly engaged staff outperform companies with disengaged staff by 89% in customer satisfaction. That’s why it’s important to train customer service agents to be friendly and helpful, and always let the customer know that they’re there to support them.
2. How quickly the claim is processed
The flip side of the above item is that the nicest, most helpful service agent won’t satisfy a customer who has to wait months for a claim to be processed. In fact, an Accenture study showed that customer satisfaction directly correlated with the speed at which the claim was processed. Remember, the customer has already experienced the loss of his or her property and likely needs to replace it ASAP. Therefore, speed is key to claims processing.
3. The amount of money the customer receives
Customers expect the amount of money they receive to accurately reflect their loss. If the amount that they are awarded is too low, they aren’t going to walk away satisfied, even if the process was quick and smooth.
That’s why coordinating expectations and making sure that customers understand their policy is critical. If customers receive a clear explanation of what their policy does and does not cover in the sales process, they are more likely to feel that the claim settlement was fair than customers who did not fully understand their policy.
4. The level of communication from the insurance company
Insurance company employees are usually very familiar with the steps of filing and assessing a claim and know what to expect from each step. However, that isn’t the case for customers. That’s a problem because the less they understand, the more anxious and the less satisfied they are likely to be. It’s important to inform them so that they know what to expect and send them frequent updates so that they understand what is happening and where their claim stands at any given time.
Self-service portals can be very helpful in achieving this goal. Customers can log on to the portals at any time, at their convenience, see the exact status of their claim, and what, if any, documentation is still needed. The transparency bestows a sense of confidence in the claims process and prevents frustration.
5. How easy it is to file a claim
Customers are busy and don’t appreciate having their time wasted. If filing a claim takes forever and customers find it difficult to understand what needs to be done at each step, they are going to come away frustrated and unhappy. But if it’s simple, straightforward, and quick, they will feel much more positive about the process.
There are many different ways to file a claim including through digital portals, call centers, and company agents. It’s important to make them all available, since some customers prefer one method, and others prefer another. Furthermore, many customers prefer using more than one method in the claims process, for example, submitting the initial claim with the help of an agent, but then uploading supplementary documents using a self-service portal.
6. The overall satisfaction with the insurance company
Claims filing is an important element of a customer’s relationship with an insurance provider, but it isn’t the only one. If the onboarding process was smooth and easy, billing is straightforward, and communication is positive overall, the customer will come into the claims process with a positive outlook that will impact how he or she experiences the claim process.
Transforming claims with digital data intake journeys
Building a coherent digital data intake journey can go a long way in improving all aspects of insurance, and claims are no exception. Digital data intake journeys streamline the claims process and improve customer experience across the board. Let’s look at some of the ways in which digital data intake improves the claim process.
A customer's circumstances and needs change, so it's important to be adaptable. It should be easy for the customer to update his or her information when circumstances change, for example, if there is new information that needs to be added to an existing claim.
Digital data intake is key to adaptability. Rather than a cumbersome process of filling out a new form every time a customer needs to make an update, with digital data intake it’s easy to add new information as it becomes available. In the claims process, this can be especially useful since customers often don’t have all of the information and documentation that they need at the time they submit the initial claim request.
You know the status of a given claim, but the customer who submitted it doesn’t—unless you tell them that is. Even if you don’t have a result, or if there is a delay, it’s important to keep the lines of communication with customers open at all times. They’ll feel more in control and satisfied with the process if they know what is happening.
Digital data intake makes things easier here as well. Since all of the customer’s information is in the system in a standardized format, it’s easy to create automatic updates for every stage in the claims process so that the customer is always in the loop. And don’t forget to use simple, straightforward language that makes it easy for the customer to understand the communications you send out, avoiding industry jargon whenever possible.
Availability and self-service
Using digital data intake and principles of good UI and UX can go a long way in reducing the number of questions customers have when submitting a claim. However, it’s impossible to eliminate questions altogether. Whether it's due to a unique circumstance or simply the need for reassurance, some customers will want to contact a service representative during the claims process. When that happens, it’s important to be available to help them.
Digital data intake offers benefits here as well. Since most standard actions can be done via self-serve methods, customer service representatives are more available to help customers with more complex issues when they arise, minimizing waits that frustrate customers.
Empathy and personal touch
When someone makes an insurance claim, it’s because they have experienced a loss of some kind. Therefore it’s likely that they’re feeling upset or agitated when they make the claim. In that situation, showing empathy can be critical. It’s important for the customer to know that you understand their distress and that you’ll be by their side to help them.
If the customer was onboarded with digital data intake, agents and customer service reps don’t have to spend their time on the phone collecting data. Instead, they can focus on showing empathy and making a human connection that the customer is likely to remember.
Taking responsibility for mistakes
Mistakes can happen—they’re unavoidable. When a mistake is made, it’s important to take responsibility for it. Focus on the quickest way to rectify the mistake and reassure the customer that it will be taken care of.
Digital data intake minimizes mistakes by verifying data in real time. With fewer mistakes to deal with, customer service agents are more available to handle those that do occur.
Automate follow up communications
After the claim has been processed, you may be ready to cross it off your list, but customers aren’t always at the same point. One way to earn customer satisfaction points is by following up with customers after the claim process is complete. If everything is fine, it will be a fast call. If there is a problem, you can deal with it promptly. Either way, the customer will appreciate your attention and thoroughness.
There’s no question that digital data intake is key to boosting customer satisfaction in the insurance claims process. And with no-code platforms like EasySend, it’s easier than ever to get started with digital data intake for insurance claims.