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Stopping claims churn with customer-centric strategies
By Dara Banga
Customer loyalty. It’s the Holy Grail for any business, isn’t it? But the bar is continuously being raised on what it takes to achieve loyalty. Today’s buyers are more demanding. They’re digitally connected. They value the customer experience as much as the product they’re buying. And their expectations of that experience are evolving. Loyalty is harder to come by than ever.
Insurance buyers are no different. They want more from an insurance company than just a policy. They want the experience, and they want a partner who will go beyond selling them something, to actually enhance their lives.
The claims process is a microcosm of that overall insurance experience, and it’s become a crucial measuring stick of satisfaction for policyholders. When a policyholder files a claim, he naturally wants the best settlement he can get. But that’s no longer enough to keep him coming back. He has high expectations of the experience. He wants it to be quick, convenient, painless, and transparent. And if it doesn’t meet his expectations, there’s a good chance he won’t be your customer for long.
Fourteen percent of policyholders who have submitted a claim in the past two years are dissatisfied with the way it was handled, and 83 percent of those unhappy customers plan to change or have already changed insurance companies.
That’s one of the findings of Accenture's latest Global Insurance Customer Survey of nearly 8,000 auto and home insurance customers in 14 countries by Accenture.
But here’s the thing – even if the policyholder is generally satisfied with the claims experience, that’s still not enough to guarantee her loyalty. Average claims satisfaction doesn’t cut it anymore. And if the policyholder is dissatisfied with your claims experience, she will probably switch insurance companies, and there’s a good chance she will share her negative experience on social media.
Two crucial pieces of the customer loyalty puzzle
To get a handle on this claims churn and achieve that elusive policyholder loyalty, you have to meet and exceed customer expectations on many fronts. That includes giving policyholders the kind of claims experience they expect. Two of the most crucial pieces of that puzzle are speed and transparency.
Ninety four percent of the Accenture survey participants noted speed of settlement and transparency of the process as two of the biggest expectations of policyholders during the claims process, and two of the most important contributors to customer loyalty. Policyholders want a speedy, efficient settlement process, and they want to be kept in the loop throughout the process. They want conveniences such as digital options to interact with their insurer and instant access to the status of their claims. They want engagement.
According to the Accenture survey, they’re even willing to share data about their vehicles and homes with their insurance companies to speed up the claims settlement process and get personalized recommendations that can help them better manage risk and reduce their losses.
With so much riding on the claims experience for insurers, your choice of a third party claims administrator (TPA) is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make.
It’s crucial to pick the right team. They need to have integrity, be expert listeners, provide a professional and attentive service, be champions of your company’s claims handling philosophy, and be savvy with evolving legislation and reporting requirements. And they need to provide the kind of claims handling experience policyholders expect.
If you could benefit from that kind of claims handling team, give us a call at DSB Claims. With a 98.47 percent claim satisfaction rate, we’re serious about customer loyalty.
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