Arrow left
Back to Blog

Tying the customer journey in insurance together: from onboarding to policy renewals

8 minutes

Digital customer journeys are increasingly coming to the forefront in the insurance industry as the primary channel to drive new policy sales, policy renewals, and upsells. But the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to crafting outstanding customer experiences that create new customers and retain existing ones.


The problem: no end-to-end view of the customer journey


Customers see every interaction with their insurer as a point in the overall experience, not as a collection of separate interactions. They expect that each subsequent interaction is based on the previous one. The data they gave their customer support agent on the phone will be available in their personal portal. They don't need to send in the same document twice to two different departments.


Insurers, however, don't treat customer journeys holistically. Different departments are responsible for different parts of the journey. The flow of information is often siloed as departments don't communicate with each other.


This creates piecemeal and fragmented digital steps, not digital journeys, resulting in a sub-optimal customer experience in insurance.


The digital journey needs to be thought of as a unified, end-to-end experience - not a collection of stand-alone interactions. But achieving that is easier said than done.


The importance of digital customer experience in insurance


Digital transformation has been an ongoing process in the insurance industry for years, but the pace has been anything but rapid. 


The COVID-19 pandemic changed the focus towards digital experience as insurers had to adapt quickly to remote working and digital-first customer servicing. The digital channel has become the main channel for sales and customer service under lockdown conditions.


As we step into the new year and the pandemic is still raging worldwide, insurers must engage in a careful balancing act when it comes to their priorities. On one end, they need to remain conservative to ensure they have enough financial reserves. Still, at the same time, they must be daring and innovative to grab the opportunities to level up their digital experiences.


The quality of digital experience is increasingly becoming an essential differentiative factor. Customers research new products and services online and expect their policy purchase experience to be seamless and user-friendly from end to end.


What a digital journey in insurance should look like


The key to a successful digital journey is a seamless experience that enables the customer to achieve their goals in real-time without delays and minimal interaction with a support agent.


Experiences that used to be acceptable in the past, such as having to dial in and wait for five minutes on the line to submit a claim, are now harming overall customer satisfaction levels.


In addition to real-time interactions and seamless experience, customers also expect complete transparency from their insurer. They need to know precisely what is happening with their claim or application at any given moment in time.


How to unify the digital customer journey in insurance


Digitize the entire customer journey


Transforming the entire organization to embrace digital tools, both for customer-facing functions and back-office functions, is essential for success.


Automation can reduce the cost of a claims journey by as much as 30%, so digitizing the back-office functions directly affects the bottom line. But efficient back-office is also a requirement for a smooth digital journey with minimal wait times and real-time interactions.


The data flow between the back and front office is also required to maintain the levels of transparency the customers demand. At every point in time, customers can track the progress of any process they have with their insurer without having to contact customer service to receive the update.


Get a centralized dashboard and monitoring capability


Transparency is crucial for your employees as well. Having a centralized portal to monitor customer-facing processes enables your leadership to find areas for improvement and quickly address any issues.


Ongoing optimization is key to creating digital customer journeys that improve customer outcomes. 


Use data to give a personalized experience the user is expecting across every touchpoint


90% of insurance executives agree that the next big wave of competitive advantage in the industry will be realized by integrating customization and real-time delivery.


At the same time, technology-driven interactions are creating a digital identity for every consumer. Insurance executives recognize that personalization based on data they have collected is the way forward.


Digital journeys are no longer one-to-many. They are one-to-one with each customer expecting to receive a personalized experience that utilizes the treasure trove of personal data their insurer has on them.


Unify every interaction into an end-to-end digital journey


In the past, the customer journey consisted of multiple separate touchpoints, each interspersed with wait times and zero transparency. Today, customer expectations are entirely different. To meet satisfactory service levels, insurers must revamp their digital journeys into an end-to-end, seamless interaction with complete transparency and real-time or near-real-time interactions.


How can this be achieved?


Digital transformation and customer onboarding in insurance are not new processes. But the speed at which insurers need to innovate has picked up the pace. The focus on digital customer journeys requires the desire to create an excellent customer experience and the budget, opportunities, resources, and impetus to make a change.


The importance of leadership cannot be overstated. This has been reflected in recent years with VP Customer Experience's emergence as a critical function in insurance organizations. While customer experience used to be a function shared between marketing, customer service, and support roles, today's focus on digital journeys requires a dedicated executive who leads the way in transforming their organizations.


But to succeed, leaders need tools to drive their vision. According to Mckinsey, 96% of insurance executives report attributing the accelerated pace of innovation in their organizations over the past three years to emerging technologies. 


Why you need a no-code approach to digital customer journeys


Insurance providers are often seen as traditional organizations, but leading insurers are moving proactively towards utilizing emerging technologies to improve business outcomes. 


It's hard for big carriers to innovate. There is a lot to contend within the industry, such as legacy issues, compliance challenges, and growing competition from new digital-first market entrants. Insurers need to be in the game right now.


That is where EasySend comes in. EasySend empowers insurance organizations to quickly transition to seamless, personalized, and data-driven digital customer journeys by utilizing the no-code platform approach to digital customer journeys.

Jude Sherman

Jude Sherman is the Growth Marketing Manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance, banking, financial services, and the latest InsurTech and digital customer service trends.