Building emotional connections delivers success in life insurance

Building emotional connections with consumers is the way forward for life and health insurers to improve the customer experience.

Building emotional connections delivers success in life insurance

Joe Heapy, founding director at London-based Engine Service Design, has told Life Insurance International there is now a greater recognition among insurers about connecting with life events.

Heapy says: “After all, insurance products are sold because things happen in people’s lives. Insurers are building brand stories and product information, advice and support because they recognise the products they offer are there for a good reason.”

He adds that: “Leading businesses in the sector recognise that deciding to take out life insurance and claiming on it is a big deal. It’s not about a product and a claims process. It’s about an event in someone’s life.”

Heapy is indeed correct that life and health insurers around the world are increasingly investing money and time on ways to improve the insurance journey for consumers.

It’s therefore positive to see that customer satisfaction in the insurance sector has increased over the past year, reveals the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), which is published by The Institute of Customer Service.

The UKCSI gave the UK’s insurance sector an overall customer satisfaction rating of 79.4 out of 100 – 0.7 points higher than its January 2016 score.

Twelve organisations within the sector have improved, said the UKCSI. LV= tops the tables as the highest scorer in the industry, with M&S as the most improved.

Customer advocacy

This year, despite the increase in satisfaction, the insurance sector has experienced a 9.9 point drop in Net Promoter Score, suggesting it is becoming harder to insurance organisations to earn customer advocacy.

Insurance also generates fewer problems and complaints for its customers than most sectors. 9% of customers had a problem, up from 8% in January 2016.

The UKCSI said the sector has improved on most measures, except for price and those associated with speed, such as speed of response to written communications and speed of service in person.

Consistent with the national trend, the sector’s biggest improvements were for measures around managing complaints, each of which improved by at least 1 point (out of 10).

Despite the overall increase in customer satisfaction, the UKCSI said there has been an increase in the score for customer effort – in other words, customers said they had to expend more effort in dealing with organisations than they did a year ago.  

For example, 62% of people said it has taken them more than two attempts to get a problem fixed with businesses in the insurance sector.

The UKCSI noted the extra staff time spent on repeat customer contact to resolve issues is arguably time which could be better spent, with businesses able to save money on staff hours if a focus is placed on ‘getting it right first time.’

As  Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service has noted, just being ‘good’ is no longer good enough, and organisations should think about how they can deliver outstanding service at all times.”

There is also a well-recognised need for better consistency across different channels, such as social media, email, text, apps and webchat functions.

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