At a recent roundtable, held in collaboration with Insurance Post, we joined together with a number of c-level executives from across the insurance industry to discuss the extent to which hype about digital transformation in the insurance industry is turning into action, and the impact this is having on the industry’s customer base.

In recent years, the perception that insurers haven’t embraced technology in the same way that other industries have has become a hot topic for discussion. With this, naturally come questions regarding the impact legacy technology is having on customer satisfaction and retention as more agile digital insurers raise the bar and generate pressure for incumbents to embark on their own digital-transformation journeys.

Easy-to-Sell, Hard-to-Keep Customers

From the conversation held during the roundtable, it seems that whilst insurers are accepting of the fact that they have no problem selling insurance, they haven’t yet mastered the art of retaining their customer base in what is an increasingly competitive market.

It’s widely acknowledged that overall customer experience and satisfaction is the key to building and retaining customer relationships. The reality is, however, that customer experience often falls short of expectations. One of the reasons for this is the huge amount of data involved in processing claims, which insurers are all too often ill-equipped to manage.

For many insurers, data exists in many different formats within silos across the entire business, making it hard to access, interrogate and derive actionable insights and business value. Many insurance firms are still using legacy IT systems to manage the floods of information they hold, rather than the technology that is best suited for the integration of these disparate data sets. Without the right technology, insurers are unable to harness the critical insights into their data and customers they need, which can result in lengthy and frustrating journeys for the customers themselves.

These issues are being further constrained by mounting pressure to comply with today’s stringent regulatory requirements, which is often where the majority of insurers’ budgets, time and resources are spent. The penalties for non-compliance are startlingly high, meaning that investment decisions are often made with a short-term view to instant compliance rather than with a view to investing in technology that will support the business and improve customer experience in the longer term.

Better Technology and Data Can Revolutionize the Customer Journey

It’s clear that an industry-wide culture shift is required if insurers are to truly transform their businesses and experience customer loyalty. Whilst there’s trepidation that a tech-driven approach may not go hand-in-hand with customer service, other industries can provide an excellent proof of concept. The travel industry is one such example where the introduction of modern data systems has empowered agents and led to a revolution in the way customer journeys can be tailored to the individual to improve the holiday booking process.

In spite of the various challenges today’s industry faces, an opportunity presents itself for insurers to optimise the claims and underwriting process, improve customer experience and achieve regulatory compliance. By investing in modern data systems, like MarkLogic’s Operational Data Hub for Insurance that can quickly integrate large amounts of data into a single hub, insurers have an opportunity to leverage the vast amount of customer data at their disposal to kick-start their digital-transformation journeys and pave the way for an enhanced customer experience.

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