4 min read

Is there really a role for CRM in Customer Centric Insurance?

Customer centricity is a top talking point in the insurance industry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way customers interact with insurance products across every channel. UK Insurance comparison sites are booming, data is getting bigger and technology is getting more sophisticated (wearables, black boxes, drones to name a few). With so much development and choice, competition is fierce.

So how do insurance firms deliver a better product and superior customer experience?

Insurance start-ups are ahead of the game with an agile ability to embrace the pace of technology and customer expectations for personalized products, numerous interaction options and seamless service. With artificial intelligence, automated processes and predictive digital data just three of the cornerstones of this new era, strategic partnerships are beginning to pop up that allow the incumbents of the industry to keep up despite their risk centric background and all of the infrastructure that supports it.

Whether or not you are already pursuing customer-centric products and services, do you have the right CRM system to hold all the data?

A good CRM system lets you access all relevant information about a customer at the touch of a button, accessed by every department for a 360-degree view. It means an end to the complexity of silos of data and systems that don’t talk to each other and that slow your response rate, personalization ability and productivity down.

Here’s what your CRM system should be doing for you:

  • Faster enquiry handling
  • Intelligent document management
  • Better data management
  • Effortless task management
  • Automated workflows
  • More effective marketing
  • Visibility of your sales pipeline
  • Easy reporting
  • Streamlined claims resolution
  • Proactive customer service
  • Staff productivity
  • Mobile access
  • Multi channel customer interaction
  • Track your most profitable business
  • Track your most profitable channels
10 Insurance Sector Business Outcomes of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

So, why choose MS Dynamics CRM? Here are just a few of the compelling facts that build on the basics of what a good CRM system should do.

  • Deployment Options: Dynamics CRM is the only CRM system built solidly enough to allow you to choose and change deployment. You can read more about the benefits of On-Premise v Cloud-Hosted on our blog.
  • Integration: Being part of the Microsoft family comes with big benefits. Seamless integration with Outlook, Skype, Office 365 to name a few with LinkedIn soon to follow. It’s a connectivity that other providers simply don’t have.
  • Familiar User Interface: One of the highest user adoption rates in the market. Coupled with partner expertise (such as ours of course!), Dynamics CRM is set up for success from day one.
  • Intuitive customisation: Dynamics CRM comes into its own when the right tools and apps are deployed to make it really fit your business objectives. It’s a solid platform to customize from a access to a wide range of tools and its scalability means it will always fit your business’ processes and people.
  • Easier Administration: There is an extensive administrative function allowing you to alter fields, entities and processes without code if you have the right team internally.
  • Scalable and Innovative: The pace of change in the business environment is incredible. Dynamics CRM has always been at the forefront of the role of CRM and is always looking to the future to maximise the return on investment for its customers. You can read more about how this will look with the forthcoming Microsoft 365 on our blog. Link to dynamics 365 blog
  • Data Security: With the rise of security hacks and identity fraud across the world, cloud-hosted data security has never been more crucial. Each Microsoft data centre has perimeter security, multi-factor authentication, locked racks and extensive video monitoring. More importantly, Microsoft is the only Cloud provider to have UK data centres, making it even easier for businesses with highly sensitive data to benefit from the advantages of Cloud-hosting.
  • Extended CRM: The Microsoft Dynamics platform has evolved from a CRM tool to a fully integrate collaboration, communication and business productivity suite. With the right customisation and input, Dynamics can improve your relationships with suppliers, contractors and partners, as well as your customers.
  • Pricing: Users, press, industry analysts and partners alike, all rate MS Dynamics as one of the best value platforms across licensing, services, training, customisation, implementation, administration and maintenance.
  • With the upcoming launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365, the scope of CRM is going to shift up another gear. The pace of change in the insurance industry is fast. This disruptive new approach to CRM is going to make it possible for insurers to keep up. You can read what we know so far about Dynamics 365 on our blog.

Any CRM system is a commitment that it’s important to get right. To give you further insight into how it helps with customer centricity, we’ve prepared a Step-by-Step Guide that is free to download and will get you on the right path.

The Ultimate Guide to: Creating Customer Centricity with CRM

2 min read

Insurers ‘should focus on customer experience’

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A new report has highlighted how UK insurers should perhaps be paying a little more attention to how they approach customer experience, after it was revealed only 16 per cent of customers feel it had improved over the last 12 months.

The KPMG Customer Experience Barometer suggested personal interaction, embracing digital channels and considering a new way of thinking in terms of retail could be three ways to go about bolstering clients’ experience.

Such recommendations were made after it was revealed that e-retailers performed better in the index, with well over half (53 per cent) of clients having extremely positive things to say about their experience of this. Not to mention that better customer experience actually contributes to lower cost-per-acquisition.

UK head of insurance at KPMG Phil Smart explained how addressing customer experience was indeed a challenge for insurers, not least as the market is continually evolving. Furthermore, with so many different rivals competing for the same market space, it can be hard for one insurer to stand out from the crowd over another.

Nevertheless, he went on to say: “Commoditisation hasn’t held online retailers back and insurers have much to learn from this sector.” Global head of insurance at the organisation Gary Reader reiterated Mr Smart’s about the value of being flexible, adding that insurers would need to be able “to deliver a high-quality and differentiating customer experience”.

A reconsideration of the approach taken by insurers in the UK is arguably needed after the report showed the UK’s figure to be notably lower than those of other countries. For example, in China almost two-fifths (39 per cent) of insurance clients felt there had been an improvement in their experience of working with insurers.

What’s more, Association of British Insurers’ figures show the UK’s insurance market to be the largest in Europe and third largest in the world.

The full KPMG report was based on a survey of 5,000 customers from 160 general insurers, leading banks, life insurers, utilities and e-retailers in the UK, the US, Australia, China and Germany.

3 min read

Customer engagement and financial services


The financial services sector has not, it would be fair to say, done much to polish its reputation for customer engagement over the last few years. Given the storm of negative media headlines it has attracted for bad behaviour such as the mis-selling of complex insurance products, this is understandable.

However, if the sector is to recover from this malaise, financial services – especially those with retail and business lending functions – are going to need to develop their customer engagement strategies.

A host of potential approaches have been suggested, with the water somewhat muddied by the fact that high street banking is beginning to fall away to be replaced with online, phone and mobile services.

CRM will be vital in this new development, as marketers and customer service teams work hard to stay in touch with consumers despite there being less physical touchpoints with which to do so.

But how is engagement likely to develop over the coming years? A new report from KPMG has cast some light on the changes expected to take place.

Customer experience – a great opportunity

Jeremy Anderson, KPMG’s global chairman for financial services, said that one of the greatest opportunities for sustainable revenue growth in what is still a complex market lies in improving the customer experience.

“Those that get it right will not only capture a greater share of new customers, they will
also be better placed to keep their customers and extend their existing relationships,” he explained.

He admitted that many service-based organisations are going to need to work hard to “scrub off the reputational stain” they have developed through recent mismanagement and bad decisions, but argued this only makes the opportunity bigger for those firms that can improve along this metric.

CRM and digitilisation will play a role in this development, argued Mr Anderson.

“Those heading down the road of automation and online services must continue to pay close attention to ensuring that their digitally-focused services are not just market leading, but that every customer interaction that underpins those services and relationships are the best they can be and support the brand values,” declared the KPMG chairman.

Ultimately, CRM solutions can’t be one-size-fits-all or badly implemented if firms are to see a strong return on investment or an uptick in engagement levels.

Working closely with a firm to ensure your customer relationship management software is tailored to your needs will help deal with any issues that arise.

Technology can also play a role in helping employees fulfil their potential and in ‘choreographing’ interactions efficiently, KPMG’s report found. However, training staff to utilise such systems effectively is also key.

“While data, analytics and new technologies will be key, it will be those that are able to integrate their culture, business operations, data and technology that will be best positioned to create a truly customer-centric organisation,” concluded Mr Anderson.

Four insights

KPMG revealed four main insights that service industries, particularly those in the financial sector, should bear in mind if they want to succeed in attracting new customers and retaining their existing ones.

Placing clients at the heart of how they operate is a good start, while understanding that a customer-centred approach will lead to an improved ‘lifetime value’ is also crucial, the consultancy giant posited.

The report also claimed that digital technology can play a big role in transforming the consumer experience, which makes sense as CRM technology becomes more sophisticated.

Finally, it reminded businesses that any engagement strategy will live and die on the quality of the people asked to carry it out, which is a good rule of thumb with any campaign planned by business executives.

A global issue

Customer experience and engagement is a global issue – Chinese consumers, for instance, recorded a rapid growth in their happiness with brand interaction as their market becomes more westernised.

Worryingly, British respondents recorded some of the most negative sentiments around engagement, especially for the banking and insurance sectors.

Customer engagement white paper

2 min read

UK insurers ‘should improve customer experience’

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Insurers need to improve their customer relationships in the UK market in a range of ways, a new report has indicated.

A study by KPMG has found that the general experience of British consumers is better than it was, but leaves much room for further enhancement – something online retailing may help achieve.

Its Customer Experience Barometer found only 16 percent of UK general insurance policyholders thought firms had improved in this area since last year, a figure that drops to 13 percent for life insurance. KPMG noted that most other countries have seen much more progress, with 39 percent of Chinese consumers happier with their service than 12 months ago.

The same pattern was apparent when it came to the overall level of experience, with only 34 percent of UK general insurance customers and 30 percent of life insurance policyholders rating this highly, again less than other countries.

KPMG said one way British insurers can improve is by increasing their focus on better personal interaction with customers, the use of digital channels and the adoption of a “retailing mentality”. It noted that those who retail online do best in the survey, with a 53 percent approval rating.

Global head of insurance at KPMG Gary Reader remarked: “The greatest opportunity for sustainable revenue growth does not come from new products or geographical expansion, but rather from their ability to deliver a high quality and differentiating customer experience.

“Those that get it right will not only capture a greater share of new customers, they will also be better placed to keep their customers and extend their existing relationships.”

CRM technology may help with this as it means companies can keep closer tabs on their customers and use the data available to offer better services more geared up to their needs.

The importance of providing a good customer experience was highlighted in the EY Global Consumer Insurance Survey 2012 report, titled Voice Of The Consumer.

It noted that insurance companies need to improve their quality of service, communicate better, be more transparent with their products and reward loyalty.