Mobile technology has transformed the way consumers interact with businesses. Anybody with a smartphone can quickly and easily compare insurance companies, get real-time quotes, purchase policies, make payments, and file claims — from anywhere and at any time. According to the IBM Insurance Blog, “When it comes to mobile technology, the most important thing to do is get started.” The article also warns of dire consequences for insurers that are still “planning to embrace mobile,” but haven’t yet begun.
Successful insurance companies are tapping into the power of mobile to optimize multiple business functions, such as payments, claims, operations, and customer engagement.
Most modern insurers provide some avenue through which customers can pay premiums with their mobile devices – either through an app or an online portal. Mobile payments are more efficient than traditional payment methods, such as mailing checks or sitting down at a desktop computer to pay bills online. The added convenience helps insureds keep up with their payments and avoid policy lapses. Additionally, because payments are the most frequent customer touch-points, they provide the perfect opportunity to engage policyholders and offer a more personalized experience through mobile communications.
When it comes to claims, consumers tend to expect a hassle-free, expeditious process: file the report, then get the payment. Unfortunately, claims rank among the most complex, costly, and time-consuming aspects of insurance. This discrepancy between expectation and reality can leave insureds feeling disenfranchised with their providers, both during and after a claims experience. To help bridge that gap, many insurers offer their policyholders the ability to streamline the process using an app, allowing them to file claims, upload images, check status updates, schedule inspections, find repair shops, exchange messages, and authorize and receive digital payments through their mobile devices.
Automating and mobilizing processes and “paperwork” – such as applications, invoices, appraisals, claims, and supplemental forms – offers benefits to both providers and policyholders. By cutting out manual form-filling, data entry, lengthy correspondence, shipping delays, and other time-consuming activities, insurers can deliver a better overall customer experience. Even something as simple as enabling a mobile e-signature option can let policyholders know their time is valued, boosting customer satisfaction.
4. Customer Engagement
A recent Pew Research Center poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans (96%) own a cellphone, and 86% own a smartphone. This presents the perfect opportunity to reach customers through their preferred channels, including calls, texts, app notifications, social media, and/or email. Engagement opportunities range from official notices (“Your policy is about to renew.”) to helpful tips (“Check your smoke alarm batteries every 6 months.”), to fun personal notes (“Happy birthday!”). By enabling policyholders to set their own communication preferences – frequency and channels – you can create a messaging cadence that helps build positive relationships, increasing retention and persistency.
Up until the last decade, the bulk of insurer-insured interactions took place during signups and claims. Smart/mobile technology has shifted the paradigm, restarting the conversation by creating additional avenues to connect with policyholders. Through mobile engagement, insurers can improve the entire customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The One Inc Digital Payments Platform is optimized for mobile use. Contact us to learn how our platform helps you engage with policyholders through their preferred channels, improving the customer experience and increasing retention and persistency.