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The London Market wants a customer-centric claims model using technology to speed up claims management and settlement processes. What things stand in the way?
The London market's claims board has set itself the aim of moving to a customer-centric claims model. They are aiming to enhance the customer experience by using new technologies to speed up the claims management and settlement processes. Technologies such as AI and neural networks are being touted as the solution to the Market's current claims situation. However, there are several obstacles to overcome before customers see the benefits of digital transformation.
The nature of the London Market means any improvement in market efficiencies will take a significant amount of time to come to fruition. With so many organisations to consult and gain agreement from, a prolonged timeframe is inevitable. Organisations should not wait for the Market to lead the way, but start making improvements to the claims service internally.
Customer vs operating efficiencies
There can be a friction in claims between saving money and looking after the customer. By focusing solely on operating efficiencies, insurers risk overlooking their customers' needs.
Take the introduction of alternative communication channels such as chatbots on a website or automated text messages to provide updates on claims. They may reduce costs and improve productivity internally; however, they should supplement human interaction, not replace it.
Putting the customer at the centre of any operational changes will ensure that efficiencies benefit both clients and the company.
For example, online claim notifications and electronic submission of claims related documentation are improving insurer's productivity, reducing claims processing times and improving the customer experience.
Creating a customer-centric claims mindset
To create a customer-centric mindset, a business needs to know their customers and put them at the heart of their business strategy. Customer expectations change with the technology they use. Retail giants such as Amazon have set the standards for self-service and speed of delivery. Customers now expect the same level of service across all industries. London Market claims are playing catch up, and cultural changes are needed to alter the current mindset.
Creating a customer-centric mindset begins with the business strategy. Leaders need to show commitment to being customer focused.
A good starting point is collating customer feedback and using it to understand what customers' needs are. Then the feedback can be used to provide proactive customer service.
For example, keeping in contact with customers at specific points throughout the claims process even if there is no update to give them.
Companies can also prioritise employing people with customer-centric mindsets rather than technical skills. It's easy to provide training on the technical aspects of a role; it’s more difficult to teach people how to have a customer-focused mentality.
Human vs machine led service
To enable a customer-centric claims transformation, the Market will have to get the balance right between human and digital service. Reliance on manual claims processing has frustrated customers who expect efficient and fast service. Challenges insurers face include:
Introducing new technology will also impact the skillsets required in claims. For example, AI and machine learning will automate routine tasks, and traditional support roles will reduce in number. An increase in staff with technical skills to deal with more complex claims and risk mitigation strategies is likely. And data analysts will be needed to interpret claims data sets and enable decision making.
Introducing customer-centric technology successfully
Technology can help insurers provide a customer-centric claims service. However, an environment which supports the successful implementation of new technology will need to be created. Staff may be resistant to change, and the business may not know how to integrate legacy technologies with new ones. A data cleansing exercise may be overwhelming, as may be the transfer of manual processes to digital systems.
Getting staff buy-in for new technologies is crucial to its success. Ask for their opinion on what technology would help them in their roles. Not only will this make them feel part of the decision-making process, it gives insurers access to innovative ideas they may not have previously considered. Also, explain the positive impact potential new systems will have on users' work.
A change management programme will help ensure successful implementation. Focus on providing a support system for users throughout the programme. Include systems training before launch and have support available for a specified period afterwards. If possible, start with a pilot initiative to iron out any issues before rolling out the changes across the entire department. And communicate with employees throughout the process. They need to trust the company and the technology to become invested in its success.
Moving to a customer-centric claims service in the London Market will take time. However, using the correct combination of technology and people to enhance the customer claims experience will increase profits and reduce costs in the long term.
If you're interested in learning more about the transformational changes taking place in the London market and their implications for claims, join us at the London Market Claims 2019 conference on 8th October.