Danyelle C. Overbo

Survey: Insurance companies falling behind in digital strategy

Insurance companies are not embracing digital strategy and are in danger of losing out to newer companies with robust technological approaches.

Digital strategy

Insurance companies underutilize mobile in their digital strategy, with only 47 percent providing information about their company or products and 23 percent enabling customers to submit and process claims online or via a mobile device.

Most insurance companies are not embracing digital technology, the EY Global Insurance Digital Survey 2013 finds. Of the more than 100 insurance companies surveyed on digital strategy and readiness, 79 percent say that they are “still learning to use digital capabilities” and do not see themselves as leaders in the digital world. A large portion of the industry is in danger of losing out to newer companies that are adopting a robust technological approach to engage their customers.
If the insurance industry wants to meet consumer expectations — which include engaging customers on social media and content delivery via mobile applications — top companies need to invest in a digital strategy. Nearly 70 percent of companies surveyed spend less than 10 percent of the business and IT development budget on digital. Building a long-term business case for investment in digital implementation is the first step toward progressing into the technological landscape.
According to EY, the second step is to build an infrastructure for analytics. Segmentation, customer data, and predictive modeling were the skill sets businesses reported wanting to improve upon the most. To make the most of a digital investment, companies need to utilize analytics to take advantage of every opportunity provided by these new technologies. For example, a content delivery network (CDN) with performance reporting and user demographic information could be leveraged to tailor product recommendations to consumer preferences.
The ultimate goal is to improve communications with customers and personalize the experience so insurance companies can attract new, digitally savvy consumers while retaining their current base. Customer satisfaction rises with quality and frequency of contact, but nearly two-thirds of customers claim they receive one or fewer annual contacts from their insurer.
Digital technology is a cost-effective way to keep in contact with a customer base, increasing touchpoints, and cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. By providing superior content delivery and customized, on-demand communication such as live, 24/7 online help desks, insurance providers could increase satisfaction rates and decrease the chances that customers will switch to another provider.
Any insurance provider looking to invest in a long-term digital strategy will have to be careful to deliver the best possible digital experience upon its implementation. A lackluster site with lagging download speeds, unreachable content, and broken mobile applications will hurt rather than help customer retention. Partnering with a high-performance CDN with on-demand, instantly scalable bandwidth is one way to ensure the digital customer experience runs smoothly both upon delivery and in the future.
Photo credit: morgueFile



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