The latest annual customer experience study from Engine – covering 14 major industries – found the insurance sector saw the third biggest increase in the number of customers citing them among the worst for service (see chart below) – rising 2.9 percentage points to 27.9%.
Only airlines and broadband/pay-TV firms saw a greater rise among the 14 sectors covered in the latest annual study by service design consultancy Engine.
Insurance’s rise in negative citations means it is the fourth worst sector for customer service – behind only the much-maligned public transport (cited by 38%) utilities (36.9%) and broadband/pay-TV (33.5%) firms.
At the other end of the spectrum, restaurants (cited by 47%) and hotels (46%) increased their lead in being seen as the best sectors for service.
However, when it comes to the best individual companies for service, retail dominates with Amazon leading the way followed by John Lewis, M&S, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Commenting on the results, Joe Heapy, co-founder of Engine, said: “Insurance firms could learn a lot from banking, which has done the most to improve customer service over the last three years of the survey,”
“Obviously insurers don’t have the day-to-day interaction that banks have, so they need to find ways to make themselves more relevant to customers more often – developing the immediacy of their proposition and designing themselves into the routine of people’s lives.”
Heapy added that banks have improved their mobile and digital service offerings, enabling them to gather more data to provide a more personalised experience. This has then been matched by more engaging personal interactions online and with call centres.
In terms of what insurers need to focus on to meet customers’ expectations, Heapy added: “People aren’t asking the earth. The three things they value most when dealing with a company are honesty, efficiency and reliability – and it’s been these three consistently for the last four years of the study.”
The total sample size for the survey was 1,025 adults. The survey was conducted online during 1-2 June 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).