By Bill Pollock, Strategies for Growth
In its World Insurance Report 2018, global management consulting firm, Cap Gemini, suggests that the greatest impact on customer touchpoints in the Insurance segment are likely to come from a multitude of “environmental, technological, and organizational factors” including many of the following areas:
- Evolving customer preferences – Superior customer experiences, now commonplace from other industries and InsurTech firms, have significantly upped the expectations of consumers, who now demand better and faster services. More than 80 percent of insurers across sub-sectors said evolving customer preferences were the most important factor driving the need for digital agility.
- Margin pressure encouraging efficiency improvement – Competitive pricing due to increased competition and lower interest income are affecting the bottom line of insurers looking to improve operational efficiency. Rising pressure on margins was found to be the second most important digital-agility driver, with more than 50 percent of insurers across sub-sectors rating it as highly important.
- The emergence of new business models – The rise and rapid growth of marketplace models, a sharing economy, and peer-to-peer business models require more agility to revamp the existing processes. This factor was cited by Property and Casualty (P&C) and health insurers as one of the top three drivers of digital agility.
- Changing market dynamics – Low-interest rates, soft pricing conditions, technology advancements, and the entry of new players such as InsurTech firms are all affecting market dynamics; life insurers say this factor is one of their top three drivers of digital agility.
- Growing real-time data volume – The availability of data is growing at a faster pace than ever before due to the advent of online digital sources and connected devices. Moreover, today’s customers are more willing to share their data for added benefits.
- New, disruptive technologies – Technology is disrupting every process across the insurance value-chain with some facilitating new business model development and implementation.
- Changing nature of risk – Political, technological, and environmental shifts across the globe are changing the nature of risk. Cyber threats have become a more significant concern. Therefore, to sustain long-term business success, insurance firms must rapidly enhance their agility to adopt/develop new business models and cater to evolving customer preferences.
It is essentially in these areas where the right FSM solution, tailored specifically for the Insurance segment, but built on a foundation of general field service management functionality, can be most helpful in providing companies with the tools, capabilities, and mobile resources they will require to support their market base.
According to ClickSoftware, now part of Salesforce, “Field service and workforce management are in the midst of a transformation. In an increasingly connected, mobile and customer-centric world, every service provider competes not just within their industry, but with every positive service interaction their customers have ever had. Experiences with brands like Amazon, Zappos, and Uber shape customers’ expectations for a seamless, transparent, responsive service – and to be helped in real-time.” As such, the principal driver in selecting a Field Service Management (FSM) solution – and vendor – must focus on choosing “the right partner for field service excellence”.
As a result, the implementation of a state-of-the-art, robust, Field Service Management (FSM) solution has become not only a luxury for Insurtech organizations – but a necessity for empowering its workforce to support the company’s customers in terms of enhanced customer service and support, quicker turnaround on claims processing, and a more realistic pricing model for doing so.
The following represent the key factors with respect to the emerging patterns and trends that characterize the global Insurance industry, as well as the industry’s unique needs and requirements for a segment-specific Field Service Management (FSM) platform and solution:
- The global insurance industry is growing faster than ever before and, as it does, it is relying more and more on the application of developing technologies to ensure that it is continually able to meet customers’ expectations for service and support, and build a strong foundation for increased customer satisfaction and retention, all while protecting – and improving – the bottom line.
- Historically, the Insurance industry’s adoption of state-of-the-art technology has been slower than for other major industry segments; however, with the advent of InsurTechs, this trend has reversed itself significantly in recent years.
- The very nature of the business of Insurance is transforming, driven by technological advancements and socio-economic trends. Emerging technologies – like Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), wearable devices, and blockchain – are revolutionizing the insurance industry and changing consumer expectations and preferences.
- While Claims Processing is generally acknowledged as the “most powerful driver” of customer satisfaction and retention, it is not always a positive experience for customers, and can oftentimes lead to Insurance carrier switching/replacement.
- The implementation of a state-of-the-art, robust, Field Service Management (FSM) solution has become not only a luxury for Insurtech organizations – but a necessity for empowering its workforce to support the company’s customers in terms of enhanced customer service and support, quicker turnaround on claims processing, and a more realistic pricing model for doing so.
- Technology platforms are now delivering enhanced and more specific segmentation, streamlined workflows, more efficient core processes, and improved productivity; in addition, there has been a surge in the automated settlement for smaller, more straightforward claims with no indication of fraud.
The days of service being perceived as merely a cost center are in the past. Service operations are now a critical business function with the potential for increasing customer satisfaction and strengthening customer loyalty. Increasingly, Insurance companies must find the right vendor, that offers the right solution (i.e., designed specifically for the Insurance segment, but based on a foundation of state-of-the-art FSM technology, functionality, and tools). By relying on this type of FSM solution, the Insurance industry will no longer need to play “catch-up” with other major industry segments that have traditionally led with respect to technology adoption and implementation.