A little over a week ago, ITC Vegas 2022 brought the brightest minds in insurance together for one of the industry’s premier events at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Offering a variety of actionable tracks—like claims, data & analytics, product development, innovation in action, and customer experience, retention, & acquisition—ITC Vegas prepared insurers and vendors alike to succeed in 2023 and beyond.
ValueMomentum was honored to be a Title Sponsor at ITC Vegas, delivering a breakout session, hosting a happy hour and networking dinner, and sharing our IT services and solutions for insurers with both long-term customers and new prospects at our booth in the exhibit hall.
The Human Touch as a Competitive Advantage
The insurance industry has become increasingly competitive and dynamic in recent years. Insurers are confronted with evolving customer expectations, high inflation, new regulations, pandemic and geopolitical shocks, talent wars, and new, disruptive business models, along with other challenges.
To be successful, insurers need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and one of the most effective ways to do so is to focus on customer experience and the human touch. In the too-often impersonal world of business, it’s easy to forget that customers are people who respond best to—and buy most from—carriers who understand their needs. Customer-centricity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a business strategy.
ValueMomentum was joined by Aite-Novarica and Erie Insurance to present “Digital Business with a Human Touch—Key Ingredients for Delivering Differentiated Sales, Service, & Claims Experiences.”
Driving Brand Loyalty & Business Success by Prioritizing the Customer
Raghavendra Aithal, VP & Client Partner at ValueMomentum, began by conveying the dramatic shift in customer experience expectations, which includes anywhere, anytime access and personalized experiences. To build long-term customer relationships, insurers need to prioritize customer service, operational efficiency, and distribution speed to maintain brand loyalty, and the most successful insurers are investing in digital cores to accomplish that.
Digital cores include digital commerce, 24/7 customer service, digital communities, automated workforces, assisted workflows, and embedded (API-led) sales and services. Cloud and data are the foundational enablers of those cores,
Data, Analytics, & Automation Are Key 2022 Trends
Next on the stage was Martina Conlon, Head of P&C Insurance Practice at Aite-Novarica Group, who has the advantage of a birds-eye-view of the larger insurance industry. Average insurer IT spend has risen over the last year, with a 20% increase in catastrophes from 2021 to 2022 and a 30% spike in security breaches during the same time frame.
To combat these rising costs and remain competitive, insurers are focusing on business intelligence and analytics, speed to market, and operating cost reduction. Analytics and business intelligence are the low-hanging fruit—relatively easy to invest in and they produce significant business—but many successful insurers are also enhancing their agent and customer portals as well.
Personal lines are very omnichannel and lead experimentation in AI, while commercial lines focus on improving ease-of-business for distributors like agents and brokers. Customer experience initiatives like customer service and claims are ripe for enhancement, with the most successful insurers investing in customer service improvements across their entire ecosystems—from pricing to turnaround time—and automating as many repetitive, low-value interactions as possible.
Erie’s Customer-Centric Business Philosophy
Wrapping up the session was Partha Srinivasa, EVP & CIO of Erie Insurance, who described Erie’s organization-wide “human touch” business philosophy—which began with their founder almost 100 years ago.
By simplifying their quote flows and improving their agent availability and response time, Erie has driven considerable increases in prospect-agent connections and policies written. Prospects and customers can reach Erie through multiple channels—through email, live webchat, phone, and more—and restart or continue their conversations seamlessly on a different channel than they began them on. By respecting their prospects’ and customers’ time, instead of impersonally forcing them into specific modes of communication, Erie has enjoyed significant customer loyalty over the years.
Moreover, Erie keeps real-time records of their customers and actively informs their agents of them. When a customer calls Erie, the agent who takes their call will know the customer’s situation at that time on that day, not what it was the last time they spoke. This allows them to offer much more accurate guidance to their customers, prioritizing their needs first, and establishing Erie as an exemplar of a customer-centric insurer.
Moving the Needle in 2023 & Beyond
In the brave new digital world our industry operates in, customer experience is the single best investment insurers can make. Through intelligently leveraging analytics, data, automation, and a customer-centric philosophy, insurers can meet the myriad of challenges facing them and drive long-term success.
The ValueMomentum team appreciated the opportunity to bring to the forefront the many benefits of prioritizing a “human touch” in the insurance business with Erie and Aite-Novarica. We were excited to connect with industry partners, customers, and prospects in-person once again after a two-year hiatus. The energy at the event was palpable, and we look forward to driving more innovation and growth in our industry in the coming years!
Are you ready to become a modern, customer-centric insurer? Learn more about how ValueMomentum can help you sharpen your differentiator and deliver on customer experience.